How long in the sport: 36 Years
After retiring as a player from international duty in 2005 I have focused on inspirational speaking and mentoring programs with many other elite athletes
I found all these projects rewarding but I missed the camaraderie and adrenalin rush that I had with the rugby, It’s always difficult to make the transition from player to coach but having this time-out rekindled my passion for the game, so when asked to Coach the Leicester Tigers WRC I jumped at the chance
The team are a good mix of experienced and young enthusiastic players waiting to put their stamp on the game, when a game plan comes together its every bit as rewarding for a coach as it was as an athlete.
In 2016 I took on a new role within the club as chairman, working with the Leicester Tigers Foundation, Matt Hampson and our wheelchair sponsors RGK to make the team the most supported and successful club.
How I got into wheelchair rugby?
I have always been a keen rugby player; representing my school throughout my youth as a tight-head prop, after leaving school I followed a family tradition by gaining employment as a coal miner.
In February 1981 my life changed when I sustained a spinal cord injury, breaking my neck in a road traffic accident
After 9 months in a spinal unit learning to adapt to life in a wheelchair I was desperate to fill a void in my life, I tried various sports but nothing really grabbed my attention
1989 a new game was developed in Canada for cervical injuries called Murderball (later to be changed to Wheelchair Rugby) a team came over from Canada and put on a demonstration of the sport at the Ludwig Guttmann Stadium, Stoke Mandeville, I was there and I was hooked, a hard-hitting team sport consisting of rugby, basketball and ice hockey rules which exceeded all my expectations, this was the turning point in my life
In 1990 a Great Britain Team was established and I went on to represent Great Britain in every major event, including 3 Paralympic Games, 3 World games and 3 European Championships culminating in the captaincy in Athens 2004.
I now enjoy my role as chairman within the Leicester Tigers family and when away from the club work with the Great Britain Squad as the assistant coach on the build up to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Your greatest achievements in the sport
Paralympic Team: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and Athens 2004 (captain)
Proudest Sporting Moment (in wheelchair rugby)
Watching the Leicester Tigers wheelchair rugby team lift the 2018 League Championship Shield at the Welford Road Stadium.