|Education||Exhall Grange School|
|Occupation||British paralympic runner
Life and career
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.
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.
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. He was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
- "Sports Legacy Initiative - News". Vision Charity. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Noel Thatcher". 2012.youthsporttrust.org. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE" (PDF). London Gazette: Issue no. 54625 (HM Government of the United Kingdom). 31 December 1996. p. 23. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Hall of Fame Inductees 2009". England Athletics. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2012.