GB National Para Table Tennis Coach
With an ambition to qualify as an Electrical Engineer and become a Merchant Navy Officer, Neil began studying a City and Guilds Electrical Engineering course with Bridgend College in 1974. During his third year, aged 18, he suffered a life changing spinal injury, which meant spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. During rehabilitation at the spinal injuries unit in Cardiff, and with a real passion for sport, he tried wheelchair table tennis. His natural ability for the game reignited his sporting ambitions.
Following hospital discharge in 1977, Neil sourced local able-bodied table tennis players to help develop his skills. In 1979, he returned to Bridgend College to study Business Studies, progressing to Swansea and completing a HND in Business Studies where he was awarded the Principal’s prize in 1983.
Neil’s table tennis development continued through the Welsh Paraplegic Association, first representing Wales in 1980. He first represented Great Britain in 1981 and retired after the Beijing Paralympics 2008. During his 27 year career, Neil competed at 7 Paralympics winning 7 medals. Neil was also European Champion 3 times and ranked number one in the world. In 2009, Neil became GB Para Table Tennis National Coach. To date, the players under his guidance have won 3 Paralympic Games medals, 7 World Championship medals and 23 European Championship medals.
In 2012 Neil received an MBE for his services to Disabled sport. He is currently coaching the GB Performance players in the Tokyo 2020 cycle.