Sprinter David Jones, pictured with Dorothy Hyman, modelling the English team outfit for the 1962 Empire and Commonwealth Games, has died aged 83 ©Getty Images

David Jones, a member of the British 4x100 metres relay team that won Olympic bronze at the Rome 1960 Games, has died aged 83.

But, arguably, the biggest impact this farmer's son from the Hertfordshire village of Brookman’s Park had on the Olympics occurred at the Mexico 1968 Games, two years after he had retired as an international sprinter.

Jones was with the BBC commentary team alongside David Coleman, Stuart Storey, Mary Rand and Peter West, The Telegraph reports, but was also working for Puma, the sportswear company owned by Rudi Dassler.

Dassler's brother Adi, who owned Adidas, had persuaded organisers of the Games to charge a $10 (£8.24/€9.51) duty on each pair of his sibling rival’s Puma shoes, and as a result 3,000 pairs had been impounded.

With only a few days to the Opening Ceremony, Jones came up with a plan to rescue the shoes from the customs warehouse.

The British Olympic team gave him an authorising letter and an official Team GB uniform, and at one in the morning he drove the team coach to the compound with a bagful of money with which he persuaded the armed guards to allow him - and a French sprint rival trying to do the same for the French sportswear firm Le Coq Sportif – to round up enough pairs to enable their respective team’s Olympic campaigns to proceed.

David Jones, right, winning his 100m heat for Britain at the Rome 1960 Olympics ©Getty Images
David Jones, right, winning his 100m heat for Britain at the Rome 1960 Olympics ©Getty Images

Jones took up running at Felsted School, where he discovered he had natural sprinting talent.

He won three Amateur Athletic Association 220-yard titles between 1959 and 1961 and was runner-up the following year before regaining his title in 1963.

Jones also finished second in the Amateur Athletic Association's 100 yards in 1960, later reaching the 100m individual semi-finals at that year’s Rome Olympics.

He also made the 200m quarter-finals and joined Peter Radford - who had just won 100m bronze - David Segal and Nick Whitehead in the quartet that secured the 4x100m bronze behind the United Team of Germany and the USSR after the original winners, the United States, had been disqualified for a baton exchange outside the permitted zone.

In 1961, Jones was the fastest in the country over 100m - 10.3sec - and 220yd - 21.0sec.

In 1962, at the Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia, Jones won 4x110 yards relay gold for England with Radford, Alf Meakin and Len Carter, as well as bronze in the 220 yards.

He won another bronze at that year's European Championships in Belgrade in the sprint relay.

In 1963, he formed a quartet with Radford and two other Joneses, Ron and Berwyn, that beat the USA relay team in a race at White City.

That year in Gibraltar, he also set the world record for 150 yards - 13.9sec, beating Radford.

Despite finishing third in the 100m qualifiers, Jones, who was also a promising hockey player with the Surbiton club, was not selected for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, instead joining the ITV commentary team.

After suffering a recurring Achilles tendon problem, he quit international competition in 1966.