Global fame, local roots: here’s our rundown of eight sporting stars and stories from ARU cities.
1. David Haye
David Haye is one of British boxing’s most successful boxers of his generation, holding world championships at both cruiserweight and heavyweight and toppling the likes of Nikolai Valuev and Derek Chisora. In 2010 the Hayemaker added another accolade to that list; an Honorary Doctorate of Science for his ‘remarkable success in boxing and for being a role model and inspiration to all’ from ARU.
2. Parker’s Piece
Football as we know it wouldn’t exist were it not for a meeting of minds on this 25-acre green common in central Cambridge. Parker’s Piece is cited as the birthplace of association football. Really! The Cambridge University Football Club Laws as they were known back then, were adopted by the Football Association (FA) in 1863, and the rest is history.
3. Sir Jack Hobbs
A Cambridge native who practised on that very same green was Jack Hobbs. Despite plying his trade as a cricketer in the early 1900s, Hobbs is still thought of as one of the greatest ever to play the game and was instrumental in England clinching a legendary Ashes series in 1926. He became the first cricketer to receive a knighthood in 1953 and even has a pavilion at Parker’s Piece named after him.
4. Goldie Sayers
Goldie Sayers is one of Britain’s greatest javelin exports, and has the world record to prove it. She's competed at five World Championships, three Commonwealth Games and three European Championships, and even claimed bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Last year, Goldie delivered a talk at ARUs Cambridge campus as part of our Excellence in Sport lecture series.
5. Les Reed
Another recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from ARU is Southampton FC’s Executive Director of Football, Les Reed. Once on the books at Cambridge United, Reed is widely regarded as one of English football’s biggest contributors. He has served as technical director of the FA, and is the brains behind The Coaching Manual, an online resource for football coaches used on ARU’s BSc Coaching for Performance in Football course.
6. Louis Smith, MBE
A Peterborough native, this three-time Olympian has amassed two silvers and two bronze medals, to add to his plethora of World and European Championship accomplishments. A busy mantelpiece, you’d think. The gymnast even won Strictly Come Dancing! He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to British sport with an MBE and an honorary degree from ARU in 2013.
7. Luke Chadwick
Born in Cambridge, Luke Chadwick came through the ranks at Manchester United, graduating from the academy famed for producing the likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, the Neville brothers and their class of ’92 cohorts. After spells at clubs like West Ham United and Reading, Luke made a return to his hometown in 2014, turning out 30 times for Cambridge United. Roy of the Rovers stuff.
8. The Sport and Exercise Sciences department staff at ARU
While not all born and bred in Cambridge, Chelmsford or Peterborough, the Anglia Ruskin sports staff can certainly be considered sporting heroes of their regions. Bravo.
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