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Donna Hartley
Medal record
Women’s athletics
Competitor for  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1980 Moscow 4x400 m relay
Competitor for  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1978 Edmonton 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1978 Edmonton 4x400 m relay

Donna Hartley-Wass MBE, born Donna-Marie Louise Murray and formerly known as Donna Hartley (1 May 1955[1] – 7 June 2013[2]), was a British athlete.

She was born in Southampton, England in 1955. She was a south of England sprint champion, and won the AAA's 200 metres in 1972 then the 400 metres in 1975. In 1977 she was U.K. 400 metres champion. In 1977 she married fellow athlete Bill Hartley. The marriage later ended in divorce.

In 1978, she won two Commonwealth gold medals in Edmonton, Canada, where she won the 400 metres,[3] and the 4x400 relay. In 1979 she was European cup semi finalist winner in both 400, and 400 relay again. She also was runner up in European cup finals in 1975, and 1977 in 400, and 400 relay again.

In 1980, she competed at the Moscow Olympic Games where she won a bronze medal in the 4 x 400 relay.[1]

Career after athletics[edit]

After retiring from athletics Hartley married Robert Wass, better known as comedian and actor Bobby Knutt. As Donna Hartley-Wass, she competed for several years on the UK women's body building circuit, winning the National Amateur Body Building Association's "Miss Britain Physique" trophy in 1988, having placed third the previous year.[4] Her bodybuilding career was short-lived and for several years after that she ran a Line Dancing School in Sheffield near the family home. Hartley-Wass featured on the front cover of Health & Strength Magazine.[5]

Hartley trained at a Sheffield health studio jointly owned by Bobby Knutt . Under the guidance of the health studio owner & ex Sheffield Wednesday coach Tony Toms, Hartley achieved national success very quickly on the women's Bodybuilding circuit.

She died while sunbathing in her back garden on 7 June 2013, being discovered by her husband of 26 years.[2]



  1. ^ a b "Donna Hartley". British Olympic Association. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Former GB Olympian Donna Hartley-Wass dies aged 58". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  3. ^ "COMMONWEALTH GAMES MEDALLISTS - ATHLETICS (WOMEN)". GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  4. ^ Hartley record at Musclememory
  5. ^ Magazine Cover

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Hartley — Please support Wikipedia.
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75 news items

Statesman Journal

Statesman Journal
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 20:18:45 -0800

Featured speakers include school safety authority John-Michael Keyes on Friday, Nicholas Kristof on Saturday, and motivational speaker Donna Hartley on Sunday. “Nick's known around the world for his work, and his journalism career got its start right ...


Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:07:18 -0700

The star sprinter of the 1970s and 1980s, who died aged 58, had been taking tablets for high blood pressure and an abnormal heart rhythm, an inquest was told. But pathologist Dr Charles Wilson said he could not determine the cause of Donna's death ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 09:26:02 -0700

Former Olympic 400m bronze medalist Donna Hartley-Wass has been pronounced dead after sunbathing in her home. The 58-year-old was found lying on a sun lounger by her husband, comedian and actor Bobby Knutt. Hartley-Wass had been taking ...


Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:00:04 -0700

Olympic star Donna Hartley-Wass – who was Britain's golden girl of the track in the late 1970s – has died suddenly aged 58. It is understood that she died while sunbathing in the garden at her home. The 400 metres runner – who competed under her maiden ...


Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:37:23 -0700

Olympics golden girl Donna Hartley-Wass was today described as “everyone's star” at her funeral. More than 200 mourners paid their respects to the 58-year-old former 400m runner, who died suddenly while sunbathing in her garden on June 7. Her husband ...

BBC Sport

BBC Sport
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:23:46 -0700

BBC Sport pays tribute to British athlete Donna Hartley-Wass, who died suddenly on Saturday, aged 58. The Southampton athlete anchored the Great Britain team to Olympic 4x400m relay bronze at the 1980 Games in Moscow, having won individual gold in ...

Daily Echo

Daily Echo
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:48:30 -0700

THE funeral of former Southampton athlete Donna Hartley-Wass is expected to take place a week today. Friends from Southampton will make the journey to Barnsley to say their goodbyes to the 58-year-old, who died suddenly on Friday as she sunbathed in ...

The Star

The Star
Thu, 20 Jun 2013 02:13:44 -0700

The order of service - 'In thanksgiving for the life of Donna Hartley-Wass MBE' - featured a photo of Donna in an ivory and black dress. Afterwards Bobby, dressed in a charcoal grey suit and yellow tie, wiped his eyes with tissue as he led mourners out ...

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