Hall of Fame
The University of Nottingham Sport Hall of Fame was first introduced in May 2017 to celebrate and recognise the inspirational sporting achievements of our alumni.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Read More about Dr. Kristan Bromley (Skeleton)
Recognised at speeds of 90mph, British Skeleton Racer, Kristan Bromley represented Great Britain at more than 115 World Cup & Championship races and Four Olympic events during his 20 year career.
Bromley graduated from Nottingham in 1994 with a BEng in Mechanical Design, Materials and Manufacture. His engineering background inspired his sporting career, when working as an aerospace engineer for the British team he bravely nominated himself for the test pilot and two years later, in 1996, found himself representing Great Britain at his first World Cup race.
Bromley’s consistency and attention to detail led to him to compete in four Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City in 2002, Turin in 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. Bromley's best Olympic finish was fifth in the men's skeleton event in Turin in 2006.
He also secured the overall World Cup series title in 2004 and further European Championship golds in 2004 and 2005, as well as a European silver medal in 2009 and a World Cup Series bronze in 2000.
In 2008, he became the FIBT World Champion in Altenberg, Germany. This was Great Britain's first gold medal at the FIBT World Championships since 1965. This meant Bromley made history to be the first slider in its 100 year history to win the Triple Crown, the World Championships, European Championships and overall World Cup titles in the same season.
Kristan combined his passion and intelligence to come back to the University of Nottingham and graduate with a PhD in 1999 with a thesis entitled "Factors affecting the performance of skeleton bobsleds”. After his research, Kristan continued competing as an elite skeleton athlete as well as setting up a sled design and production company, Bromley Technologies Ltd. Kristan raced on sleds he designed and produced with his brother, Richard. Bromley Technologies Ltd has created ground-breaking work in sled design and continues to support athletes from international teams towards Skeleton’s success.
Kristan was involved in producing the sled on which Alex Coomber won a historic bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He also designed the sled on which his fiancé, Shelley Rudman, won silver four years later in Turin & GBR’s first World women’s Championship Gold in 2013 and Dom Parson’s bronze medal in PyeongChang 2018.
In 2015 Bromley announced his retirement from the sport after two decades competing for Great Britain. Living in a non-alpine country, produces difficulties for a Winter Olympic sport but Bromley continues to inspire a nation, develop Team GB and make an international impact on his sport. Team GB women’s skeleton team have now become the most successful nation in Women’s Skeleton.
Watch- Kristan Bromley
Read More about Deryck Murray (Cricket)
Industrial Economics graduate and International Cricketer, Deryck Murray, was vice- captain of the historic West Indies side that won the first Cricket World Cup in 1975, only three years after graduating from Nottingham. Murray was the man who stood between Pakistan and victory in the virtual Quarter-Final of the 1975 World Cup. In chasing the demanding target, Murray, who had a reputation for keeping his cool in tight situations, was quickly running out of batting partners but with 16 challenging overs still left to bat, Murray ensured that he and Andy Roberts maintained their last-wicket partnership to chase down the winning total and help to secure the World Cup for the West-Indies.
The same West Indies team became world-famous as they went on to establish a dominance in Test and One-Day cricket in winning their second World Cup in 1979.
In his career, Murray played for the national Trinidad and Tobago national team as well as playing 62 Tests for the West Indies. He was first selected for the West Indies as a 20-year-old and in his debut series, in 1963, he effected a world-record 24 dismissals. His highest Test score was 91, against India in 1975, when he shared a partnership of 250 runs with Captain Clive Lloyd.
Deryck played in 62 Tests, where he was involved in 181 dismissals and averaged 22.9 runs on his way to winning two Cricket World Cup’s for West Indies.
In one day internationals, Deryck played 26 matches, where he was involved in 37 dismissals and averaged 24.5 runs.
Before starting his degree, Murray joined Nottinghamshire Cricket Club in July 1966 and then Warwickshire CCC where he was a member of the team which won the County Championship in 1972.
In his academic life, Murray selected his degree with the aim of solving industrial relations and personnel problems in work places. It was the confidence he gained at Nottingham University that contributed to his inspiring career on and off the cricket field; serving as diplomat in the Foreign Service of Trinidad and Tobago and as a representative to the United Nations in New York (interposing International for Industrial Relations).
Murray is Chairman of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) advising Member Governments on sport policy issues, particularly related to Sport for Development and Peace and protecting the integrity of sport. In all that he does, Deryck exemplifies humility, dignity and integrity.
Demonstrating his compassion for the less fortunate Murray, as the President of Queen’s Park Cricket Club, helped to organise the T20 match “Rebuilding the Caribbean one over at a time” at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad to raise funds for the victims of the 2017 hurricanes which destroyed lives, damaged homes and left islands devastated. This has become an annual event: for the flood victims of 2018; and continuing for support of whatever future disaster may strike in the Caribbean under the banner of “Cricket with Heart”.
Watch- Deryck Murray
Read More about Liz Nicholl CBE (UK Sport)
Often called the most powerful woman in British sport, Liz Nicholl has been the Chief Executive of UK Sport since 2010, heading up the nation’s high performance sports agency investing in Olympic and Paralympic Sport.
The Nottingham Chemistry graduate was also a talented netball player. Liz won 22 caps for the Welsh international squad between 1975 and 1979, helping them to 6th and 7th place at two World Championships before becoming the Chief Executive of England Netball at just 28 years old. Under her leadership as Championship Director, the organisation hosted the World Netball Championship in Birmingham in 1995.
Championing female sport, prior to joining England Netball, Liz also acted as the General Secretary of the Women’s Inter-Varsity Athletics Board, a forerunner of the organisation we now know as British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).
A move to UK Sport in 1999 saw Liz play a pioneering role in the development of the UK’s elite sport system. As their Director of Elite Sport, she led the work of UK Sport’s Performance Directorate, throughout the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Cycles.
Awarded a MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours List for services to netball, Liz has since been honoured with an OBE in 2006 and a CBE in 2015 for her services to sport.
In 2010, just two years before hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games on home soil in London, Liz was appointed the Chief Executive of UK Sport. Making the final decisions regarding allocation of government National Lottery funds to each sport, Liz played a pivotal role in the drive to reach ambitious medal targets at London 2012. The strategy paid off and with Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis leading the way at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Team GB logged their best performance at a modern Olympic Games finishing 3rd in the medal table.
For the Rio 2016 Games, Liz oversaw a record investment of over £350 million into the preparations. Team GB and ParalympicsGB became the first nation to improve their medal total after a home games – with 67 Olympic and 147 Paralympic podium finishes – placing them both second in their respective medal tables. Olympic and Paralympic golds came from 22 different sports, more than any other nation, demonstrating the depth and diversity of UK Sport’s investment programmes. An astonishing journey from 36th place in the Olympic medal table with just one gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.
After 20 years at UK Sport, Liz will step down in summer 2019 to focus on family and other interests. However, her years within the organisation will be remembered as the years Great Britain confirmed themselves as one of the top sporting countries in the world.
Watch- Liz Nicholl
Read More about Chris Wyles (Rugby)
Chris Wyles’s rugby career is punctuated with achievement and recognition at every level, both on and off the pitch. In a career spanning 10 years, Wyles won 54 caps for USA, captained his country, and represented the Eagles at three rugby world cups.
Born and raised in America, Wyles came across to the UK at the age of 12. Where he later studied Politics at University of Nottingham and this is where his early rugby career began. Supported by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, Wyles played for the University Rugby Club First Team. Alongside this, Wyles embarked on his journey to professional sport at Nottingham Rugby Club where he made 40 appearances for the local championship team.
Following his graduation back in 2006, Wyles went on to have an illustrious career, earning 54 international caps for USA including a spell as captain at the 2015 World Cup. The versatile back has played at three World Cups and represented Team USA in 7’s at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Wyles, who joined the Premiership Club, Saracens, in 2008, made over 250 appearances for the club scoring 67 tries. As of the 17/18 season, Chris holds the record for the most tries scored in the Premiership semi-final rounds with five. Wyles went on to score two tries in the final as Saracens claimed their fourth Premiership title in eight years with a 27-10 win over Exeter at Twickenham.
Off the pitch, Wyles was recently awarded Rugby Players’ Association’s Personal Development Programme Award having founded Wolfpack Lager. The award is given to an individual who has shown outstanding commitment to their off-field development, expanding their knowledge, experience and contacts with a view to their next career.
We now would like to him the best of luck on retirement from the game, life after rugby and in particular his focus on entrepreneurship through his business ventures.
Watch- Chris Wyles
Read More about Campbell Walsh (Canoe Slalom)
Canoeing star Campbell Walsh, competed in the sport of canoe slalom for 23 years and for 19 of those years was a member of a GB team. Between 1999 and 2012 he achieved 20 top 5 places and 11 medals in his 67 major senior international competitions, including being overall World Cup Champion in 2004 and European Champion in 2008. He became an Olympian in 2004 winning the silver medal at the Athens Olympics.
Campbell’s decision to study his degree at the University of Nottingham was influenced by the proximity to the National Water Sports Centre, which was the training base for GB Canoeing. His choice of degree was also influenced by canoeing – he chose Mathematical Physics, primarily because he enjoyed both maths and physics at school, but secondly because there was no laboratory work involved, therefore freeing up more flexible time for training sessions during the week.
Campbell represented Great Britain at both the Athens and Beijing Olympics, winning Great Britain’s third ever medal in canoe slalom, with a silver in Athens. Despite becoming an Olympic medalist, Campbell’s achievement of consistently medaling at major championships between 2004 and 2009 is viewed as a greater achievement by himself. To regularly hit the podium in canoe slalom is quite rare. With so many different courses, gate positions and constantly fluctuating wave features, the sport is inherently open to many variables, and therefore highlights the extent to which Campbell was dominating the world stage at the time.
Campbell officially retired in 2012 having built the foundations of Team GB success at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Campbell remains closely tied to the sport now as a coach at the highest level. It is testimony to Campbell that he continues to inspire the next generation of athletes as British Canoeing continues to grow from strength to strength.
Watch- Campbell Walsh
Read more about Annie Panter (Hockey)
Hockey star Annie Panter earnt over 100 caps for England and Great Britain in an international career spanning a decade and was voted Greatest Sportswoman by her fellow alumni in the University of Nottingham’s Greatest Sporting Heroes Campaign in 2015.
The midfield and defensive player overcame a series of career-threatening injuries to win three European bronze medals and Olympic bronze at the London 2012 games.
Panter caught the eye of the England Under 16 selectors at just thirteen years old. Her first senior cap followed just five years later in 2002 and in 2003, she was part of the bronze medal winning squad at the European Games in Barcelona.
However, a serious car accident later the same year resulted in significant leg injuries and two operations. The recovery side-lined Panter from hockey for over 18 months.
Panter fought back – during her time at the University of Nottingham, supported by the sports scholarship programme, she trained up to twelve times a week to reach her dream of playing at the Olympic Games. Her role in a third place finish at the 2007 European Games in Manchester earnt her the England player of the tournament. A year later she landed a spot in Danny Kerry’s squad for Beijing 2008 where Great Britain finished sixth.
Just as she’d re-established herself, a serious knee injury led to more major surgery and came as a huge blow to Panter’s hopes to appear at a home Olympics. This time, the recovery put her out of action until early 2011 but she remained determined to return to the top level of international hockey.
In her absence, the team had won several international medals and their fitness levels were considered the best in the world. Panter’s Olympic experience earnt her a spot in the training group and after playing a crucial role in another European bronze in 2011 and silver at the 2012 Champions Trophy, she made Danny Kerry’s final London 2012 squad of 16.
Cheered on by a sell-out home crowd in the Olympic Park, the team lived up to their promise; finishing second in their group, they qualified for the semi-finals against Group B winners Argentina. Heartbreak followed – Great Britain were already down 0-2 at half-time and despite a huge amount of 2nd half pressure leading to a 65th minute goal from Alex Danson, it was Argentina who went on to the gold medal clash against Holland.
Overcoming their bitter disappointment, the squad rallied quickly to defeat New Zealand 3-1 to take bronze - only the second Olympic podium finish in history for the Women’s Hockey programme.
Following her retirement in 2014, Panter commented on her incredible journey; “It’s tested me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I feel I have given my all to being the best I could be and to be able to finish my career on the high of winning an Olympic medal in London, with a very special squad, makes me extremely proud and fortunate.”
Remaining closely involved with elite sport, Panter is currently a member of the International Hockey Federation’s Executive Board and co-chairs the Athletes’ Committee. Earlier this year she was also appointed to the UK Sport Board.
Watch - Annie Panter
Read more about Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott (Canoe Slalom)
Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott made history at the London 2012 Olympic Games by winning Great Britain’s first ever gold medal in the canoe slalom event. Best friends since their time at the University of Nottingham and a highly popular team on the international circuit, the pair enjoyed one of the sport’s longest running partnerships spanning nine seasons.
Originally from Aberdeen and Manchester respectively, Baillie and Stott moved to Nottingham in 1997 to study Mechanical Engineering and train at the National Water Sports Centre located nearby at Holme Pierrepont. Starting out as individual slalom kayak athletes, they teamed up to form a canoe slalom doubles crew at the end of 2004.
European and world medals followed; Baillie and Stott won European bronze at their home venue in Nottingham in 2009, followed by a 4th place finish in the individual event and a team event Bronze medal at the World Championships later that year. They added another team bronze medal and a 6th place individual finish at the 2011 World Championships. They were part of the gold medal winning British team in the C2 event at the 2012 European Championships.
Preparations for the home Olympic Games were far from ideal with Stott having to recover from a career-threatening shoulder injury sustained in 2011. In the slalom competition for London 2012 the pair qualified comfortably through the heats to reach the semi-finals, but didn’t have their best run in that stage just managing to secure a place in the Olympic final. Due to having the slowest time, they went first in the final and had a tense wait as their fellow competitors all raced against their time of 106.41.
Ultimately that time could not be beaten, with fellow University of Nottingham alumnus David Florence and his crewmate Richard Hounslow finishing just hundredths of a second slower to take the silver medal in a historic GB one-two. The surprise winners, Baillie and Stott described winning gold as “mad” and collected Great Britain’s first ever Olympic Gold in the canoe slalom event in front of a 12,000 strong home crowd at Lee Valley White Water Centre.
Their London 2012 achievements were recognised in the Queen’s 2013 New Year’s Honours lists, with both being awarded MBEs for their services to sport alongside their fellow Olympic stars.
With Baillie announcing his retirement from canoe slalom in 2013, Stott joined forces with Mark Proctor until also moving away from international competition in 2016. Both remain involved with British Canoeing as part of their legacy, but Stott now studies psychology as well as working as an athlete mentor and coach, whilst Tim works as a software engineer and is raising a young family. They both still work as public speakers and are passionate advocates of the power of sport.
Watch - Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott
Read more about Robert Clift (Hockey)
Hockey star Robert Clift was part of the legendary Great Britain team who won gold at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. In an international career spanning 10 years, Clift won 75 caps for England and represented Great Britain 52 times.
Clift was a regular in the England U21 side at just 18 years old and it was during his second year of an Economics degree at the University of Nottingham that he made his breakthrough into the England Senior squad against France in 1982. He also represented the University 1st XI, narrowly losing out in the 1984 Championship final against old rivals Loughborough.
After graduating, Clift joined Hounslow Hockey Club and his international career went from strength-to-strength. His England team won silver at the 1986 World Cup in London and the 1987 European Cup. The majority of the squad, including Clift, were then selected for Team GB at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
A semi-final win against the Australians set up a thrilling Olympic final against favourites West Germany. As the score line grew to 3-1 in Great Britain’s favour, commentator Barry Davis then uttered his famous line; “Where are the Germans? And, frankly, who cares?”
Team mate David Faulkner described Clift as the ‘Player’s Player’ as he linked play so seamlessly and so fittingly it was Clift in possession as the final whistle blew and Team GB took their first Olympic gold since the Antwerp Games in 1920. The squad arrived back as national heroes and were announced the Team of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.
Clift returned to domestic hockey in spectacular form; in 1989 he won the inaugural Premiership Hockey title with Southgate and in the following season was named National Player of the Year. In 1992 he was selected to captain Great Britain at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where the defending champions placed sixth.
Clift has stayed closely connected with the University of Nottingham as a member of the University’s Sports Board. And, 31 years after his own defeat at the hands of Loughborough, Clift was in the crowd to watch son Ali and his University of Nottingham team defeat Loughborough to take the British Universities and Colleges’ Sport (BUCS) National title.
Watch - Robert Clift
Read more about Dr DENG Yaping (Table Tennis)
Inducted May 2017
MRes Contemporary Chinese Studies
2002Hon DLitt 2013
Widely acclaimed as the greatest female player in table tennis history, Deng Yaping was the top-ranked woman in the world for eight consecutive years from 1991. A naturally attacking player of small stature, she won 18 individual and team titles at either Olympic or world level during her illustrious career.
Dreaming of being a World Champion from an early age, Yaping’s breakthrough came in 1991 when aged just 16 years old she captured the World Women’s Doubles title in Dortmund, Germany. Dominating the sport for the next seven years, her four Olympic titles came from gold in the singles and doubles in Barcelona 1992 followed by retaining both titles in Atlanta 1996. After her retirement in 1997, Deng was voted the Chinese Sports Personality of the Century.
Now a leading figure in the sports world; Deng is a Laureus World Sports Academy Member and has stood on several International Olympic Committee commissions. Dr Yaping sits on the Chinese Olympic Committee and was hugely influential in the promotion of the Beijing 2008 Games. Her legacy continues at the university through the Deng Yaping scholarship programme for talented young table tennis players from China. The first Deng Yaping sports scholar, Jenny Haoyu Liu, was victorious in both the individual and team national university championships in 2017.
Watch - Dr DENG Yaping
Read more about Dr Tim Brabants (Canoe Sprint)
Inducted May 2017
Hon LLD 2009
One of the sport’s most decorated athletes, Tim made history at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by winning Great Britain’s first ever gold medal in canoeing. In a career spanning over 15 years at the top of his sport, Tim won European, World and Olympic titles and competed at four consecutive Olympic Games.
Aged just 23 and still studying for his medical degree at the University of Nottingham, Tim won Team GB’s first ever canoeing Olympic medal at the Sydney 2000 Games in the K1 1000m. After disappointment at Athens in 2004, Dr Brabants took a brief break to complete his medical degree, then returned to training; combining early mornings on the water with long shifts in accident and emergency.
From 2006, Brabants’ form in the K1 1000m canoe sprint event was dominant. Gold in the 2006 ICF Canoe Sprint European Championships in the Czech Republic was swiftly followed by another European title in 2007 in Germany. He won his first World Championships in 2007 and headed to Beijing as the hot favourite for Olympic gold.
Brabant’s victory in the men’s sprint kayak 1000m Olympic final, a race he led from start to finish, was a historic first for British Canoeing. For Tim however, the celebrations were on hold until the next day where he finished 3rd in the K1 500m, winning his third Olympic medal.
Awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to canoeing, Tim went onto compete on home soil at the London 2012 games, where he made his fourth consecutive Olympic final in the K1 1000m, finishing in 8th place.
After official retirement from the sport in 2013, Tim continued his medical career at Queens Medical Centre Nottingham and in 2016 was announced as British Canoeing’s new Chief Medical Officer alongside to his existing role within the International Canoe Federation’s medical committee.
Watch - Dr Tim Brabants