The world’s best single sculler prior to World War One, William Kinnear won gold at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. He captured the Olympic title comfortably and later the same year bagged his third successive Wingfield sculls. Better known to his friends as Wally, Kinnear was born in Laurencekirk in 1880, leaving home in 1902 for a career with the chain store Debenhams in England. Work colleagues introduced him to sculling and he became hooked. He won a myriad of sculling championships on the Thames between 1903 and 1911, including the Diamonds twice and Wingfield three times, establishing himself as a world-class oarsman. During World War One Kinnear served with the Royal Naval Air Service and afterwards became a rowing coach.