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Development & Alumni Relations Office
Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus
Howard Street
S1 1WB

Telephone: 0114 225 4454


Notable alumni

Sheffield Hallam boasts countless alumni who have excelled in their field of expertise. Below are just a few whose names and work you may recognise.


Sean LamontSean Lamont
BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science '02

Shortly after graduating from Hallam, Sean transferred from Rotherham's academy and moved to Glasgow Warriors, where he finished his first season as Glasgow's Player of the Year. Scoring 12 tries from 30 games helped to earn Sean his first Scotland cap, making his debut for the national side against Samoa. With his brother Rory - two years older - also representing Scotland, the two Lamont brothers have gradually built up an enviable reputation. After two seasons at Glasgow, Sean moved to Premiership heavyweights Northampton Saints, where he is a regular feature in the first team. Throughout recent seasons, Sean has been in formidable form, impressing in the heartlands of English rugby with his combination of speed and skill - and imposing figure (6ft 2in and 16½st).

Jason RockettJason Rockett
BSc Urban Land Economics '92

Following a successful playing career at Rotherham United and Scarborough (where he was voted player of the year in 1997 scoring 13 goals), Jason Rockett is now with Sheffield United FC as their chief executive. One of the few players to make the tricky transition from playing field to boardroom, Jason is happy to be back in Sheffield and to the club where he previously worked as a coach at their School of Excellence. Jason studied at Hallam during its Polytechnic era and proudly represented Great Britain in Sheffield's World Student Games in 1991 - winning a Bronze medal.

Jane SmithJane Smith
BSc (Hons) Physical Education 1997

Jane travelled to Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games. She competed in the diving event for Great Britain, along with fellow graduates Mark Shipman and Leon Taylor (see below).

Bright Sodje
Diploma in Combined Studies 2000

Bright Sodje is a former professional rugby league player and is best known for his performances with Sheffield Eagles and Hull Kingston Rovers. As a winger, he had an enviable reputation for scoring tries and was noted for his aeroplane style celebration. He has strong ties to his Nigerian roots and comes from a famed sporting family - his four brothers all play professional football. Now retired, his focus has switched to developing his own sports academy in support of disadvantaged young people in both Sheffield and the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

David Strettle
BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 2005

David Strettle is one of several of our alumni to be selected to play for his national rugby union side, following in the footsteps of Chris Jones and Sean Lamont. David StrettleGraduating in 2005, David was a successful participant in the University's Elite Athlete Programme. This acclaimed support network provides professional and financial assistant to help promising athletes maximise their potential. David wasted little time in stepping from University rugby onto the International playing field, becoming a regular for the England sevens squad during the 2005/2006 IRB World Seven Series. He even made history on his debut by scoring five tries in the first half of England's victory over Papua New Guinea in 2006 - the first achievement of its kind. His contribution didn't go unnoticed and by the start of the 2007 Six Nations tournament, David was playing for the national XV squad. Throughout the standard rugby season, David holds a regular place in the Harlequins squad and is one we can all look out for in the future.

Olympian Leon TaylorLeon Taylor
HNC Business and Finance 2008

Competing in both the synchronised and individual diving events from the 10m platform, Leon Taylor represented his country at three Olympic Games. He remained a member of the Great Britain team for an incredible 16 years and won a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Four years later he won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Athens and is credited with inventing 'the world's most difficult dive'.

Howard Wilkinson
BEd (Hons) Education 1975

Both as a player and a manager, Howard Wilkinson has enjoyed a famous footballing career. As well as managing local teams Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United (with whom he was the last Englishman to win the League title in 1992) Howard has twice been at the helm of the national team as caretaker manager. During his time as technical director of the Football Association, Howard focussed on developments behind the scenes, masterminding the much heralded club academy system. In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam.


Richard CabornRichard Caborn is Britain's minister for Sport and this year helped the London Olympic Bid team win the 2012 Olympic Games. Since the 1970s Richard has held an active role in the Labour Party, whilst maintaining strong links with his hometown (most notably, in 1983 he was elected Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central). As a Sheffield teenager Richard became an engineering apprentice at the city's Firth Brown works, during which time he studied at the Sheffield College of Technology - just one of the former institutions which now form Sheffield Hallam University.

Martin NareyMartin Narey
BA (Hons) Public Administration 1997

Until the summer of 2005 Martin commanded the role of chief executive of the Prison and Probation Service, having worked as former commissioner for Correctional Services and former director of the Prison Service. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2003 and was instrumental in launching the University's Community Justice Portal. He has now taken up the position of chief executive of Barnardo's.

Art and Design

Eric DancerEric Dancer CBE
Diploma in Management Studies 1965

Former managing director of Dartington Crystal, Eric holds the prestigious title of Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Devon. He was awarded a CBE for outstanding service to business and training and in 1999 he received an Honorary Doctorate.

David Mellor
Silversmithing and Jewellery 1951 

David MellorThe late David Mellor was born in Sheffield in 1930 and was the son of a toolmaker for the Sheffield Twist Drill Company. From the age of 11 he attended the junior art department of Sheffield College of Art where he trained in metalwork, pottery, woodwork, painting and decorating.

In 1954 David set up a silversmithing workshop in Sheffield, designing and making silver for the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, the Cutlers’ Company, Southwell Minster, Essex University, and Darwin College amongst others. From the 1960s through to the later stages in his career, David achieved a succession of celebrated milestones including launching his ‘Pride’ range of cutlery, his appointment as a Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts and opening the renowned The Round Building in the Peak District National Park.

David, who retired in 2005, died on 7 May 2009. He was married, in 1966, to the journalist and biographer Fiona MacCarthy, who survives him with their two children.
(Picture courtesy of Pete Hill Photography

Bruce Oldfield OBE
Teaching Diploma 1970's

Bruce Oldfield OBESince opening his landmark store in Beauchamp Place, London in 1984, Bruce has become of the UK's most respected fashion designers. His list of clientele can only be envied by many of his contempories, having designed outfits for leading actresses and celebrities (Jerry Hall, Diana Ross, Catherine Zeta Jones) and royalty (Queen Noor of Jordan and the late Diana, Princess of Wales). Bruce continues to be a significant fundraiser for charitable causes, with a particular allegiance to the children's charity Barnados.

Nick Park CBE
BA Fine Art 1980

In 1990, a unique five minute animated film earned Nick Park his first Academy Award. Creature Comforts was the first of three Oscar-winning titles produced by Aardman Animations, of which Nick is director. The Hollywood blockbuster Chicken Run followed while his two most famous creations, Wallace and Gromit, have this year seen the release of their first full-length feature film, Curse of the Wererabbit. Nick received a CBE in the Queen's 1997 Birthday Honours list for services to the animated film industry.


Andy AkinwolereAndy Akinwolere
BA (Hons) Media Studies 2004

Less than two years after graduating from Sheffield Hallam, Andy Akinwolere joined Blue Peter as their 32nd presenter. Andy had already begun to make inroads into the broadcasting industry, with a regular slot on BBC WM in Birmingham. However, his big break came when he moved to London to work as a runner at CBBC and soon managed to secure an audition for the long-running television programme. Andy had to do several auditions before reaching the final stages which included, amongst other things, belly dancing, trampolining and cleaning the Blue Peter dogs' teeth with beef-flavoured toothpaste. When a tape of the final three auditionees was shown to several hundred children across the UK, Andy was chosen as the runaway winner. Andy joined the Blue Peter team in 2006 just in time for their summer expedition to the USA. Other early challenges included an abseil from the heights of the Humber Bridge and competing in the Dutch sport of canal jumping. (Image courtesy of BBC)

Jacqui OatleyJacqui Oatley
PgD Broadcast Journalism 2003

After securing a start in Match of the Day’s commentary line-up for the 2007 season, Jacqui Oatley is set to become a household name. Jacqui had already won an army of fans with her reporting job on BBC Radio Five Live before securing her MOTD debut in 2007. She is now breaking down barriers having becoming the first woman to feature as a commentator on the UK’s most well-known sports show. A keen footballer herself, it was a life-changing knee injury that encouraged her to take up a career on the sidelines. Retraining as a journalist, she built up invaluable experience with hospital radio, Radio Leeds and BBC London before eventually joining Five Live.


Gervase Phinn
Diploma in Professional Studies in Education: Language Development 1980

Professor Gervase Phinn taught in a range of schools for fourteen years before becoming an education adviser and school inspector. He is now a freelance lecturer, broadcaster and writer, a consultant for the Open University and the Fellow and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Teesside. He has published a series of articles, chapters and books, as well as editing a wide range of poetry and short story collections. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University.


Tessa BramleyTessa Bramley
Diploma Domestic Science

Chef and award winning restaurateur Tessa is patron of The Old Vicarage restaurant on Sheffield's leafy borders. A fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and holder of the coveted Michelin Star Award, Tessa has penned a series of cookery books and also has several TV series to her credit.

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