Donald Dinnie

Music: Donald Dinnie a Strathspey in D major, Composed by James Scott Skinner (1843-1927) in the 1880's, Words by W.D.Jeffery, Published in 1888 by Charles Middleton, Keith, Banff, Scotland.

World Champion Athlete

Photo Circa 1870

Born in 1837 at Balnacraig, Birse, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, the third child and first son in the family of ten to Robert Dinnie and Celia Hay. He had two younger and two older sisters. After leaving school in 1852 he followed his father's profession into stone masonry. In his leisure he developed an interest in athletic field events. At sixteen years of age he won his first competition at wrestling earning 1 which was the start of what turned out to be a long and successful sporting career. He became a full time professional althete in 1867 when at the age of thirty, and was still competing in 1912.

Read all about this remarkable man in the book published in 1999 "Donald Dinnie - The First Sporting Superstar" - written by David Webster & Gordon Dinnie. See below for details.


A beautifully produced hardback comprising of 159 pages of fascinating text and about 90 superb illustrations. Well printed on fine art paper and with full colour, laminated dust wrapper. A high quality publication. ISBN 0 9536596 0 7

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This splendid publication gives a wonderful word portrait of the most colourful British all-round strength athlete of the 19th century and is also a fascinating documentary of the times. The incredible Donald Dinnie was the purveyor of professional athletic sport and culture. He was as much at home on the Highland Games field as he was in wrestling or circus rings or on the stage as a leading strongman. Dinnie was not a self-styled champion; he thrived on open competition. Adventuring around the world in Victorian times, he challenged all-comers and beat them in their favourite sports. He won over 10,000 awards and competitions during his lengthy career and his earnings when calculated using public consumer price indices from 1890 - 1998, would today total more than US$2.5 million (1.5 million)