The Edinburgh 1970 British Commonwealth Games - We Are England
The Edinburgh 1970 British Commonwealth Games
Perth 1962 Louis Martin

The Edinburgh 1970 British Commonwealth Games

England lost their crown but recorded some historic wins in Edinburgh as the Games changed name again.

After four editions of the 'British Empire & Commonwealth Games' the competition, now with 42 nations compared to an initial 11, was renamed the British Commonwealth Games. Unlike previous editions of the Games there was little to worry about for the Commonwealth Games Council for England (CGCE) who were able to raise funds, select and prepare a team with relative ease. Team expenses in total were a mere £18,247.

Louis Martin (above) and Precious McKenzie both won gold in weightlifting whilst in lawn bowls David Bryant retained his men's singles title, eight years after winning it. Due to a lack of bowling greens in Jamaica, the sport did not feature in Kingston.

A successful debut for badminton in Kingston was followed up by yet more English domination. A 1-2-3 podium finish in the women's singles event meant Margaret Beck, Gillian Perrin (later Gillian Gilks) and Margaret Boxall won gold, silver and bronze respectively. In both the women's and mixed doubles England claimed gold and silver.

In athletics Ron Hill (above), who in 2012 revealed he had run every day of his life for nearly 50 years, secured the marathon title by beating home crowd favourite Jim Alder by three minutes. David Hemery, Olympic 400m hurdles champion, retained his 110m hurdles crown.

Boxer John Conteh, at one point in his career widely tipped to be a rival of the great Muhammad Ali, beat Titus Simba of Tanzania in a matter of seconds for the middleweight title at the age of just 19. David Needham, one of few boxers to hold both the British bantamweight and featherweight titles, beat Ugandan Leo Rwabwogo for the flyweight gold medal.

Once again England's fencing team was in imperious form in the sport's sixth and final appearance at the Games. Bill Hoskyns finished things off on a high by taking his gold medal tally to nine as England won all but one title. There were no repeats of England's heroics of Jamaica in aquatics however, as the team let slip all four diving crowns they had earned. Diane Lansley won England's only gold in swimming thanks to her 100m butterfly performance.

England won 27 gold, 25 silver and 32 bronze medals to drop to second in the table, Australia topping finishing first with nine more gold medals. England would not repeat this disappointment on 'home' soil when the Games returned to the same city 16 years later, however...

Before that though there was the small matter of a trip to New Zealand.