Eric Henry Liddell was born on 16th
January 1902 in Tientsin (Tianjin) North China, second son of the Rev. & Mrs. James Dunlop Liddell who were missionaries with the London Mission Society.
He was educated from 1908 to 1920 at Eltham College, Blackheath, school for the sons of missionaries. Eric, with his older brother Rob, were left at their boarding school while their parents and sister, Jenny, returned to China.
During the boys’ time at Eltham College, their parents, sister and new brother Ernest came home on furlough two or three times and were able to be together as a family – mainly living in Edinburgh.
Although born in China and educated in England, Eric Liddell lived in Scotland at various times during his life.
In 1920, Eric joined his brother Rob at Edinburgh University to read for a BSc in Pure Science.
During this period he played rugby for Scotland and trained to run at the Olympics.
Athletics and rugby played a large part in Eric’s University life. He ran in the 100 yards and the 220 yards for Edinburgh University and later for Scotland. He played rugby for Edinburgh University and in 1922 played in seven Scottish Internationals with A.L. Gracie.
Eric Liddell was a gifted rugby player and played for the Edinburgh Univerisity 1st XV team.