Seven sporting stars inducted into the Loughborough Hall of Fame

Seven of Loughborough’s sportspeople are the latest to be honoured with induction to the University’s sporting Hall of Fame alongside three Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

On Friday 29 November 2019, sporting achievements were celebrated amongst alumni, staff and sporting guests at the annual Hall of Fame dinner, held at the West Park Teaching Hub on the University campus.

Fellow Hall of Fame member and former 5000m world record holder, Dr David Moorcroft OBE, presented the awards and invited the Hall of Fame inductees to share highlights of their impressive careers.

They joined 59 existing members in the Hall of Fame. Liza Burgess, Sarah Hunter MBE and Barry Middleton were inducted in the Performance category, whilst Ben Titley and John Trower were recognised for their contributions to Performance Coaching. This year two new categories were introduced. Jez Green became the first inductee in the Performance Support category and our first Sports Leader to be inducted was Baroness Sue Campbell CBE.

L-R: Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison, Jez Green, John Trower, Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Sarah Hunter MBE, Barry Middleton, Liza Burgess and Dr David Moorcroft OBE.
L-R: Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison, Jez Green, John Trower, Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Sarah Hunter MBE, Barry Middleton, Liza Burgess and Dr David Moorcroft OBE.

Liza Burgess has been at the forefront of Welsh women’s and international rugby for three decades, playing 87 times for Wales. She has participated in 6 world cups and was recently recognised in the World Rugby Hall of Fame. She graduated from Loughborough with a degree in Education and Physical Education in 1987 and went on to become a star of women’s rugby union. She continues to pursue rugby as a coach and has recently taken on roles as Assistant Forwards Coach to Gloucester-Hartpury and is BUCS Senior Women’s Academy Head Coach.

Sarah Hunter MBE has been capped for England Rugby over 100 times and she captained the team to win the World Cup in 2014. Sarah is the first woman to be put on a full-time contract with RFU. Alongside her position with the Red Roses, Sarah is a coach and number 8 on the Loughborough Lightning Rugby team. She gained a Sports Science and Mathematics degree in 2007 and was awarded an MBE for services to the sport in 2015.

Barry Middleton is the most capped player in the history of GB and England Hockey. He has over 430 caps and has scored 119 goals for GB and England. He has played in four Olympic Games and a plethora of World Cups, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. The alumnus, who graduated in 2008 with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science, has been named in the world team of the year three times and was nominated for the FIH World Player of the Year in 2018.

Ben Titley has coached many swimmers to Olympic and World Champion success during his swim coach career. He is currently the Head Coach of the National Swim Centre of Ontario, Canada, and was formerly the Head Coach of Loughborough’s Swim Centre. As well as a former member of staff, Ben has a degree in Physical Education and Sports Science (1999) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Science (2007) from the University. He has also been Head Coach for the Rio 2016 Olympic team and Women’s Head Coach at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

John Trower has coached many successful athletes in track and field – including fellow alumnus and Hall of Fame member, Steve Backley. John has attended every Olympic Games since 1992, taking on a variety of roles in commentary, coaching and management, as well as Deputy Team Leader for GB Athletics at the Beijing games in 2008. John graduated from Loughborough in 1979 with a degree in Education and Physical Education and was based in the area as a coach for many years.

Jez Green graduated from Loughborough in 1994 with a degree in Sports Science and Recreation Management and left the University in 2002 following a stint with the LTA on campus. Jez is best known for working as Andy Murray’s Physical Conditioning Coach, a role which he held for seven years. It was in 2002 that Jez began working with his first top 50 senior players. He now works exclusively with Alexander Zverev, a top 10 player who recently won the London ATP Masters.

Baroness Sue Campbell CBE is a former university lecturer. She also has an Honorary Degree from Loughborough. Sue has held roles with organisations such as UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust. During her stint with UK Sport, she presided over Team GB and ParalympicGB’s performance at London 2012. She was appointed Head of Women’s Football with the Football Association in March 2016 and was appointed to her current role as Director of Women’s Football in January 2018.

The Hall of Fame now boasts 66 members including Lord Sebastian Coe KBE, Paula Radcliffe MBE, Sir Clive Woodward OBE, Andy Robinson OBE, Dr Bob Wilson OBE, James Gibson MBE and Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE.

L-R: Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison, David Bunker, Rex Hazeldine, Rod Thorpe and Professor Chris Harwood.
L-R: Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison, David Bunker, Rex Hazeldine, Rod Thorpe and Professor Chris Harwood.

Also recognised with the first-ever School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) Distinguished Alumni Awards were David Bunker, Rex Hazeldine and Rod Thorpe. Professor Chris Harwood presented the awards to the trio who have worked tirelessly over their careers to improve facilities on campus, services offered by the School and the Sports Development Centre and even Halls of Residence.

Of greatest significance to the University has been their impact on numerous student-athletes. They were all Head coaches and Directors of a specific sport on campus and have all made pioneering academic contributions to the fields of physical education, coaching and sport science.

Their dedication to the University has continued into their retirement. They have been instrumental in setting up the Loughborough Sporting Club and the Hall of Fame, and so it was fitting to recognise their contributions at the Hall of Fame dinner amongst many of their former students, colleagues and friends.

Many congratulations to our new inductees and award recipients.

Photographs of the event can be viewed online.