Greatest Sporting Heroes


After hundreds of nominations and votes, on Thursday 5 February 2015 we crowned The University of Nottingham's Greatest Sporting Heroes. 

Congratulations to Brian Moore, Anne Panter, Vaughan Parry Williams and the 1959-1961 men's hockey team, the winners of these coveted titles.

Watch video highlights of the amazing night at Lord's Cricket Ground, and see the winners accepting their awards below. 




Greatest Sportsman

Brian Moore

Brian Moore is a former England and British and Irish Lions rugby hooker. Moore represented England from 1987 and 1995, winning a total of 64 caps, making him one of the most capped English players. Moore played in three Rugby World Cups and was a member of the England side which won Grand Slams in 1991, 1992 and 1995. In addition, Moore also went on two British and Irish Lion tours, winning five test caps.  

A popular figure, Moore was voted Ruby World Player of the Year in 1990. Since retiring, he has been a prolific and sometimes controversial commentator and analyst of the game with the BBC, and has been nominated for a number of sports journalism awards.  



Greatest Sportswoman

Anne Panter

Before retiring in early 2014, Anne Panter was a member of the England and Great Britain hockey teams. During her career, Anne won 108 caps for England and Great Britain. She was part of the teams that won bronze medals at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 European Championships and also played in the silver medal winning team at the 2012 Champions Trophy competition. In addition, Panter competed in two Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. 

Panter’s achievements are all the more impressive as she overcame serious injuries resulting from a car crash and a two-and-a-half year lay-off to compete at the highest level. In 2014, Panter was elected to represent world cup hockey players’ interests on the International Hockey Federation’s Athlete’s Committee, a mark of the high respect in which she is held.  


Greatest Team

1959-1961 Men's Hockey team

The 1959-61 men’s hockey team is one of the most successful teams in the University’s history. Dominating the University Athletics Union (UAU) Championships during the early 1960s, the team won the Championship title in 1960 and 1961 and were virtually unbeaten in all of their matches during this era.

Bolstered by their university success, many members of the team went on to play hockey at local, national and international levels. One player who went on to international success was John Land, who played in the Great Britain hockey squad at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and is the University’s first known student Olympian. 





Greatest Coach

Vaughan Parry Williams

Vaughan Parry Williams joined the University of Nottingham in 1976 as Assistant Director of Physical Recreation, becoming Director in 1990, a post which he held until his death in 2009.

He passionately believed students should achieve their sporting potential as well as thrive academically. Many of our world-class sportsmen and women were inspired by Vaughan, and the Vaughan Parry Williams Coaching Fund was set up in his memory.

As well as playing international rugby with the Bahamas Vaughan coached the University’s squash and rugby union sides. He took the rugby team to two Universities Athletic Union (UAU) finals at Twickenham in 1984 and 1986 and between 1983 and 1992 he helped the men’s squash 1st and 2nd teams at Nottingham win a remarkable 13 UAU titles. Vaughan was also heavily involving in an administrative capacity in student rugby; n 2014 an award was set up in Vaughan’s name by the Student Rugby Football Union to reward his outstanding contribution. 



University of Nottingham Sport

David Ross Sports Village
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 87000