Daley Thompson and Lucozade: How did it happen?

Daley Thompson was one rude athlete: 1980 Moscow Olympics, Gold; 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Gold. He was also a competitor on the hardcore BBC sports series, Superstars. Daley Thompson was a 100% no slacking, top athlete.

Lucozade was the well-known, after illness recovery drink. Many of us remember it living in a tall glass bottle that was decorated with a bubble, fizz-like pattern towards the top. Chances are, if you were ill and off from school, you’d be gulping down a glass of Lucozade whilst wrapped-up on the sofa watching various Schools & Colleges programmes on the television. As a finishing touch, the bottle was wrapped in cellophane.

Daley Thompson; Lucozade. World class athlete; after illness recovery drink. Bulging muscles; slim glass bottle. How did these two eventually come together in a marriage based on physical exercise? If Daley Thompson had a history of spending days wrapped in the blanket, ill on the sofa, then maybe there could be a case for a marriage between the two, but, as it stood, marriage was unthinkable.

For a marriage to work, there has to be some kind of compatibility, or someone has to change in order to accommodate the other. I can’t imagine there’d be many who’d stand-up to Daley Thompson and demand that he had better change, so what if Lucozade changed its attitude? What if it started to tell the ill kids wrapped in blankets to get lost? What if it began to tell the man-flu sufferers to man-up and go find pity in a hot cup of Beechams? What if Lucozade said I’m bored of hanging around ill people and being a regular feature on the hospital bedside table, I want to be associated with the lean, fit and healthy? This is exactly what Lucozade did: ditched the sick and switched to fit. Lucozade changed and now stood for recovery during exercise – getting that little bit extra out of your training session, increasing your lactic acid tolerance, gaining the edge on the opposition and winning.

A change in direction leading to a marriage of between power and endurance, strength and strategy, physicality and recovery. The marriage worked and the rest is history.


What was the best Lucozade flavour from the 80s?

  • Original (75%, 3 Votes)
  • Orange Barley (25%, 1 Votes)
  • Lemon Barley (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 4

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A fun, nostalgic story about Lucozade is contained in the unique and original nostalgic book, Section N Underpass. Get the rundown by clicking any of the images below:

4 thoughts on “Daley Thompson and Lucozade: How did it happen?”

    1. Those were the days indeed! The bottle was iconic, partly due to your point of the orange cellophane. Thanks for your comment 🙂

    1. Yes it’s amazing how it happened – it was not subtle but it was a really clever piece of marketing strategy. Thank for your comment and I’m glad you found it interesting 🙂

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