Noel Thatcher

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Noel Thatcher
Education Exhall Grange School
Occupation British paralympic runner
Spouse(s) Yumi

Noel Thatcher MBE is a British Paralympic runner who represented the United Kingdom at six Paralympic Games between 1984 and 2004, collecting a total of five gold medals.

Life and career[edit]

Thatcher, who is visually impaired attended a mainstream primary school where he encountered difficulties with his studies because of his vision. At ten he was sent to Exhall Grange School near Coventry, a specialist school for visually impaired students, and it was here that he developed his athletic skills. Thatcher has said that he was made to run five miles every day for a month as a punishment after he was caught smoking aged twelve, and this helped him to become a proficient runner.[1]

He made his athletics debut at seventeen at a national school championships after being persuaded to attend by a friend, and won a gold medal. He went on to represent the United Kingdom at the Paralympics in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004, winning a total of five golds during that time. His two career highlights are winning gold and setting a world record at Barcelona in 1992, and winning the 5k race in Sydney in 2000, again setting a world record. At the 2004 games in Athens he carried the flag for the Great Britain team at the opening ceremony.[2]

His achievements at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta earned him an MBE in the 1997 New Year Honours for his services to athletics for disabled people.[1][3] He was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.[4]

Away from athletics Thatcher works as a physiotherapist at the Holly House Hospital in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Thatcher met his wife Yumi while studying Japanese at London's School of Oriental and African Studies.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sports Legacy Initiative - News". Vision Charity. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Noel Thatcher". Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.  , Youth Sport Trust
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54625. p. 23. 31 December 1996.
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductees 2009". England Athletics. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 

External links[edit]