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King's Notable Alumni Athletes

King's College London has a proud history with athletes from a wide range of sports having studied here on their way to achieving success in their chosen discipline at a professional, national or international level.





King's Sport Hall of Fame

King’s College London Alumni Association and King’s Sport have partnered to develop the King’s Sport Hall of Fame.

This event has been organized to recognize the importance of sport in past and present university life.

160 people have been identified so far from 12 different sports who have both qualified from King’s or its constituent Colleges and who have represented their country. 18 alumni were inducted into the hall of fame during the inaugural event.




Selection process and categories

A panel of six has accumulated much historical and current information of the contributions of past and present students to the sporting life of their Colleges, Hospitals and University which now make up the current King’s College London.

Every one to two years, those honoured will be inducted under three categories. 

If you would like to nominate someone to be considered for the Hall of Fame please email

Significant playing achievement

Alumni or students who have achieved national or international recognition having represented their country in competitive sport and have brought credit to King’s and its alumni by having done so. These will be both current and historical.

Dame Katherine Grainger Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian.

  • Born 1975
  • British rower
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Law at King’s College London, 2013
5 Olympic medals
  • She first won silver at the Sydney Olympics (2000) in the woman's quadruple sculls.
  • In Athens (2004) she won silver in the coxless pairs.
  • In Beijing (2008) she won her third silver medal in the quadruple sculls.
  • At the London Olympics (2012) with Anna Watkins she broke the Olympic record as they qualified for the double sculls final in which they won the gold medal.
  • At the Rio Olympic Games (2016) with Victoria Thornley, and after a two-year break from the sport, Katherine won a silver medal in the double sculls.
  • Katherine has won eight medals at the World Championships between 1997 and 2011 of which six were gold medals.
Other achievements

Katherine was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE)in 2017. She is also the current Chair of UK Sport, the Patron of King’s College London Alumni, a Fellow of King’s College London and has served as Chancellor of bothOxford Brookes University and the University of Glasgow.

Dina Asher-Smith Fastest British woman in recorded history.

  • Born 1995
  • British 100m and 200m sprinter
  • BA (Hons) in History at King’s College London, 2017
2 Olympic medals
  • 2016 Olympic bronze 4x100
  • 2020 Olympic bronze 4x100
Three World championships medals
  • One Bronze (4x100m) in Moscow, 2013
  • One Silver (4x100m) in London, 2017
  • Two Silver (100m, 4x100m) and one Gold (200m) in Doha, 2019
Five European championships medals
  • One Gold (200m) and one silver (4x100m) in Amsterdam, 2016
  • Three Gold (100m, 200m, 4x100m) in Berlin, 2018
Two commonwealth medals
  • One Bronze (200m) and one Gold (4x100m) in Gold Coast, 2018
British competition
  • British record holder in the 100m with 10.83 secs (2019)
  • British record holder in the 200m with 21.88 secs (2019)
  • Four British 100m titles (2015, 2018, 2019, 2021) and one British 200m title (2016)
Other achievements

Dina is a Fellow of Kings College London and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent for her ‘exceptional and inspirational athletic career’.

    Bill Treadwell
  • Born 1939
  • British Rugby Union player | Position: Hooker
  • Dentistry at Guy’s, 1962
  • Played for Guys Hospital, United Hospitals, Wasps, Surrey, London Counties, the Barbarians and England.
  • He played for Wasps for 16 years.
  • Three caps for England Rugby Football Union 1966 – 67, Debut against Ireland at Twickenham.
  • President of Wasps in 1994 for three years and has been inducted into the Wasps Hall of fame.
Other achievements

Bill was the RFU dental surgeon providing dental inspections for insurance cover for the first Rugby World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and was the official dentist to the RFU for 31 years.

Since his appointment he has been at all of Twickenham’s major matches and has used his precise dental skills to suture any players with bleeding wounds.

He continued to examine the teeth of the England touring sides and made hundreds of white mouthguards with the England Rose.

For more than 20 years he also looked after the British & Irish Lions squads and made their red mouthguards with the Lions badge. In the amateur days Treadwell was often the only person on the field with any medical knowledge.

As a result, he has sutured countless players over the years.

    Bill Treadwell
  • Born 1952
  • British rower
  • Dentistry at Guy’s, 1975
GB & England
  • 1970 represented GB in 4-, World Championships, Lake Ioannina, Greece.
  • 1973 represented GB in 4- at European Championships, Moscow.
  • 1976 represented GB in Lightweight 4- FISA World Championships
  • 1977 represented GB in Lightweight VIII at FISA World Championships – winner– first gold since 1948 Olympic Games.
  • Competing for Guy’s won Hospital Bumps 1972, 73 & 74.
  • Won Boston Marathon 4- division 1972, 73 & 74.
  • 1974 set record 110 mile row, Oxford to London – Guinness Bookof Records.
  • 1974 qualified at Henley, Visitors Challenge Cup.
Coaching & Masters
  • Won numerous FISA Masters events.
  • Coached UL Crews to Henley wins every year.
  • Won Nordic Masters coxless IV.
Other achievements

1971 lost in the final of the Thames Cup at Henley to Harvard USA.

1973 won Stewards Challenge Cup at Henley with University of London BC.

1974 competed at Henley in the Goblets and Ladies Plate losing by one length in the final.

1976 elected Captain of University of London BC.

1977 won the Thames Cup at Henley and 10 International Regatta Wins.

1978 won IV’s Head of the River Race.

Elected Life President of Upper Thames Rowing Club.

Won Masters Division at Head of the Charles Regatta in 2016, 2017 & 2018.

    Bill Treadwell
  • Born 1931
  • British Rugby Union player | Position: Hooker
  • Dentistry at Guy’s, 1954
Coaching & Masters
  • In South Africa Nic played for the University of Cape Town, Western Province and Natal putting aside the opportunity to play for the Springboks to pursue education at Guy’s.
  • In England he played for Guy’s Hospital RFC, Harlequins, Middlesex and London Counties.
  • Won five caps for England between 1953 and 1955.
  • Winning debut for England in a Five Nations against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park 17 January 1953.
  • Played for the Barbarians.
  • Included on the Honours board at Rovers.
Other achievements

Nic is one of most revered administrators in World Rugby. He was the President of Natal Rugby Union (KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union) when the team won the Currie Cup for the first time in the competition’s 100-year history.

He became a senior administrator in South African rugby, representing South Africa as a Director on the International Rugby Board for the Rugby World Cup.

Nic played a key role in persuading the British Rugby unions, France, New Zealand and Australia to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

My final lasting memory in those days of an emerging South Africa was waking Nelson Mandela late at night to debate the fate of the Springbok emblem.
Nic Labuschagne

    Bill Treadwell
  • Born 1924
  • British rower
  • Medicine at KCHMDS, 1950
  • Raced in a single shell at the very young age of eight years.
  • Francis stroked the KCLBC coxless IV that won the Wyfolds Challenge Cup at Henley for KCLBC in 1946.
  • 1947 Grand Challenge Cup(Thames RC).
  • 1948 Wyfold Challenge Cup(Thames RC).
  • He is a member of both Leander in Henley and the Cambridge Rowing Club, Boston, USA.
  • He has competed for Cambridge Rowing Club in 15 Heads of the Charles River as a single sculler.
  • His last HOCR was in 2008 at the age of 84 years.
  • He was awarded a commemorative row over at HRR in 2016 by Sir Steven Redgrave.
Other achievements

Francis fled German occupied Belgium to England in 1940 which is documented in his book ‘Last Boat from Bordeaux’.

He joined the Royal Air Force in 1943 and became a pilot. Francis Emigrated to USA in 1950 where he trained as a psychiatrist and served for 25 years as General Director of McLean Hospital, in Boston.

Francis has a building dedicated in his name and has been appointed General Director Emeritus. In 1991 he received the Presidential Award for Leadership in Psychiatry by the National Association of Psychiatric Health systems.

In 2008, French President Sarkozy awarded him the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour which was upgraded in 2018 by President Macron to the National Order of the Legion of Honour.

    Bill Treadwell
  • Born 1893
  • Irish Rugby Union player | Position: Lock/2nd row
  • Medicine at Guy’s, 1920
  • Played seven times for Ireland 1920–21.
  • Debut Vs England at Lansdowne road 1920.
  • Captained Ireland for 4 games.
  • Captain of Guy’s Hospital RFC for three years.
  • Captain of the United Hospitals RFC.
  • In one season, he captained Ireland, United Hospitals, Surrey and Guy’s.
  • President of Guy’s Hospital RugbyFootball Club 1943 (Centenary season)to 1951.
Other achievements

William became Medical Superintendent of Guys Hospital (1st July 1948) and served there for many years. In 1961 he was appointed Governor of Guys and was Chairman of the Nursing and Nurses Education Committee.

William also played water polo for Guys for which he was also awarded a half-Blue at Cambridge.

    Bill Treadwell
  • Born 1856
  • British Rugby Union player | Position: Full back/Centre
  • Medicine at Guy’s, 1882
  • 12 caps for England from 1875 to 1881.
  • Debut Vs Ireland at The Oval.
  • Captained England five times, notably in the first ever match against Wales.
  • Played for Guy’s Hospital RFC and Blackheath Rugby club, joining his brother Fred .
  • Accredited with developing the drop kick and the pass.
  • Like his brother Frederick Stokes, he went on to become the President of the Rugby Football Union from 1886 to 1888.
Other achievements

After qualification as a doctor he served as house surgeon and Resident Obstetrics House Officer at Guy’s, and then for 30 years was in general practice at Blackheath.

For a number of years he was honorary surgeon to St. John's Hospital, Lewisham.


    Thomas Christie
  • Born 1927
  • British rower
  • Medicine at KCHMDS, 1949
  • Learned to row at King’s and considered a natural oarsman.
  • He became one of the outstanding oarsman of his era which is evidenced by his success at Henley and International Regattas.
  • Won the Wyfold Challenge Cup (King’s College BC) 1946.
  • Won the Grand Challenge Cup (Thames RC) 1948.
  • Won the Stewards Challenge Cup (Thames RC) 1948.
  • Represented Great Britain in a coxed IV at the Olympic Games, London, 1948.
  • Won the Silver Goblets & Nickall’s Challenge Cup (Thames RC) with ASF Butcher 1949.
  • Won the Silver Goblets & Nickall’s Challenge Cup (Thames RC) Winner with Bywater 1950.
  • Won the Silver Medal in a pair, British Empire & Commonwealth Games, Vancouver, 1954.
Other achievements

After a period of study in the USA, Tom was appointed as a consultant anaesthetist with a special interest in Intensive Care Medicine to the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton.

He was the consultant on-call and actually in the unit on the evening of October 12th 1984 when the IRA blew up the Grand Hotel. Tom looked after those most seriously injured.

    Ronald Cove-Smith
  • Born 1899
  • British Rugby Union player | Position: Lock/2nd row
  • Medicine at KCHMDS, 1922
  • He represented Old Merchant Taylors and King’s College Hospital RFC.
  • Represented the England national rugby union team in 29 tests (1921–29).
  • Captain of England on seven occasions.
  • As captain, he led England to the 1928 Grand Slam.
  • He finished on the winning side in 22 of his 29 England matches.
  • Inducted onto the World Rugby Museum Wall of Fame in 2001.
  • Captained British Lions four times in 1924 on tour of South Africa..
Other achievements

Ronald was a talented sportsman, excelling at swimming and water-polo, winning halfblues in each. Ronald was also a renowned English physician and led a distinguished medical career and served as a vice president of the British Medical Association.

Prior to his international rugby and medical career, he was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards in 1918–19.

    Elspeth Whyte
  • Born 1926
  • British athlete, shot put and discus, and lacrosse player
  • Queen Elizabeth College, 1949
  • Representing London, Elspeth won both the discus and shot at the 1948 UAU (Universities Athletics Union) Championships, the shot being in a new record 34ft (10.36m).
  • At the WAAA (Womens Amateur Athletics Association) Championship in 1948, Whyte finished second to Bevis Reid in the discus.
  • Represented Great Britain in the Shot and Discus at the London Olympics in 1948.
  • British Women's Shot Champion and record holder (1963).
  • Personal Bests: SP– 10.755 (1948); DT– 33.64 (1948).
Other achievements

During her time at London University, Whyte played lacrosse and was a member of the Reigate Ladies Club.

After winning honours with the South in 1949, was selected to play for England against Ireland, in Liverpool, the following year.

Elspeth was also President of the Queen Elizabeth College Athletic Union.

    Edith Thompson
  • Born 1877
  • British hockey player
  • King’s College London, 1895
  • Captained King’s College Hockey team.
  • Established her sport's first weekly journal in 1901.
  • Edited ‘Hockey Field’ for nearly two decades.
  • Became President of the All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA) in 1923, a position she held until 1929.
  • Manager of England team, between 1922 and 1930.
  • ‘Hockey as a Game for Women’, published in 1904.
  • Her contributions added to the status and popularity of hockey for women, positively influenced public perceptions of female sporting activity and increased opportunities for participation.
Other achievements

Edith has been awarded both an OBE 1919 and CBE 1920. During World War One she served with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), before becoming Controller of Inspection of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps.

In World War Two Edith worked at the headquarters of the Women's Land Army and then as a liaison officer to the Children's Overseas Reception Board in South Africa.

She served on the Executive of the Society for the Overseas Settlement of British Women, the Council of Bedford College, University of London, and as a member of the International Federation of University Women.

She was also a municipal councillor of her home town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, serving as mayor for eight years.

    Leigh ‘Dick’ Roose
  • Born 1877
  • Welsh football player | Position: Goalkeeper
  • Medicine at King’s College London, 1900
  • Professional footballer 1901–12.
  • Represented 14 clubs including Stoke, Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa.
  • 24 caps for Wales.
  • Debut vs Ireland.
  • Won the British Home Championship in 1907.
  • Named in Daily Mails world 11 team.
Other achievements

Roose joined the British Army on the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France and Gallipoli.

He returned to London and enlisted as a private of the Royal Fusiliers in 1916 and then served in the First World War on the Western Front, where his goalkeeping abilities resulted in him becoming a noted grenade thrower.

He was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery on the first occasion he saw action. Roosefought and died in the battle of the Somme.

    Thomas Harry Gem
  • Born 1819
  • British tennis player
  • Law at King’s College London, c. 1840
  • Major Gem was a member of the Leamington Spa Real Tennis Club, which today, can still be found in its original location in Bedford Street.
  • Began his quest to make tennis a game that anyone could play –and so the sport of Lawn Tennis was born.
  • Leamington Lawn Tennis Club is officially recognised as the world’s first lawn tennis club and was founded in 1872 by Major Harry Gem, some three years before the sport was even introduced to Wimbledon.
  • In 1875 Major Gem published a set of laws of the game.
  • The first tournament was organised in 1876, and in 1881 the first Open, named ‘The Annual Leamington Lawn Tennis Tournament’.
Other achievements

From 1841 he practised as a solicitor in Birmingham, becoming a magistrate's clerk in 1856. Gem was also a journalist and wrote several pieces of drama for local publications.

He rose to the rank of Major in the 1st Warwickshire Rifle Volunteer Corps. He is recorded as having won a bet by running the 21 miles from Birmingham to Warwick in under three and a half hours.

    Carlos Bertram Clarke
  • Born 1918
  • West Indian cricketer: Leg break and googly bowler
  • Medicine at Guy’s, 1944
  • Came to England with the 1939 West Indian team.
  • Took 87 wickets, six of them came in the three Tests Vs England.
  • A regular in the wartime British Empire XI. Appearing in 100 matches.
  • He played 49 times for Northamptonshire (1946-49) taking 44 Championship wickets in 1946 and a further 83 in 1947, including 7–120 against Yorkshire at Wantage Road – a performance that earned him his county cap.
  • He played 18 times for Essex taking 58 wickets in 18 matches.
  • In total he took 333 first-class wickets.
  • His later cricket was for the BBC – having been an early contributor to the Caribbean Service. He played on for them until he was 70, taking an estimated 3,000 wickets, and still won the First XI Bowling cup in his final season.
Other achievements

Carlos became a GP in Pimlico, London. He was awarded an OBE in 1983 for his community work amongst West Indians in London.

    Alfred Allport
  • Born 1867
  • British rugby player, rower and boxer
  • Medicine at Guy’s, 1886
  • Represented London International College School team, Sutton RFC, Guy’s Hospital RFC, Blackheath RFC and England.
  • Captained Guy’s Hospital Rugby Football club.
  • Earned five caps for England Rugby with his debut against Wales in 1892.
  • Won Triple Crown with England in 1892.
Other achievements

Proficient in other sports, including rowing and boxing, Alfred was part of the Thames Rowing Club VIII that won the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley in 1893.

As an amateur boxer, he fought in and won several gymnasium championships and was the heavyweight champion of Guy's Hospital.


Commitment to sport 

Staff, alumni or students who have brought sustained enthusiasm and commitment to King’s sport which has enabled their sport(s) to survive and thrive.

    Professor David Cooper
  • Born 1939
  • Heart surgeon, immunologist and philanthropist.
  • Medicine at Guy’s, 1886
Impact on sport
  • He has supported both the King’s rowing club and Guy’s Hospital Rugby Football Club extensively.
  • For both clubs he has endowed bursaries which have facilitated the continuation and perhaps survival of the Clubs.
  • For GHRFC, the endowment is in the name of Emeka Eguatu, a fellow medical student at Guy’s who is now Professor of Surgery in Kenya & in 2015: established the Emeka Eguatu fund which includes financial support for equipment and at least two bursaries per year. These have supported individuals of both men’s and women’s rugby ever since.
Wider impact

David was present at the first heart transplant in the UK (1968) and was a member of the team that initiated the heart transplant program at Papworth Hospital (1979).

He is also credited with developing a clinically used hypothermic perfusion device to store donor hearts. After 17 years as a surgeon-scientist, David decided to concentrate on research.

He is a pioneering xenotransplantation researcher with a major aim of discovering a solution to the organ shortage for clinical transplantation. He is now Director of the Center for Transplantation Sciences at Harvard Medical School.

He was Director of Studies in Medicine at Magdalene College, Cambridge (1972–80). The Royal College of Surgeons of England appointed him to a Hunterian Professorship (1983), Arris and Gale Lectureship (1988), Amott Lectureship (2002), and awarded him the 1997 Jacksonian Prize and Medal.

David has published 850+ medical and scientific papers and chapters, has authored or edited 11 books, and has given more 300+ invited presentations worldwide.



Sporting clubs  

Clubs which have nurtured their sport, achieved national prominence and spawned multiple internationals (or persons fulfilling criteria for admission into the Hall of Fame).


Guy’s Hospital Rugby Football Club Guy’s Hospital Rugby Football Club, representing medics and dentists of Guy’s Hospital, in Southwark, is accepted by the Rugby Football Union and the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest rugby club in the world and therefore the first Rugby football club, with a foundation date of 1843.

GHRFC were founder members of the Rugby Football Union. On 26 January 1871, they sent representation to a meeting of twenty-one London and suburban football clubs that followed Rugby School rules.

It was resolved unanimously that the formation of a Rugby Football Society was desirable and thus the Rugby Football Union was formed. Guy’s Hospital was represented on the founding committee by J. H. Ewart, one of thirteen places on that original committee.

In the nineteenth century Guy’s produced many international players, with much success in the Inter-Hospital Challenge Cup. However, it was in the 1920s and ‘30s that Guy’s reached its zenith and was arguably the most formidable team in the land especially when under the captaincy of the Irish national captain W.D. Doherty. One notable victory in 1922 over London Hospital was watched by King George V.

In total Guy’s have now won the United Hospitals Challenge Cup 33 times. The club has produced no less than 44 internationals including British Lions. Twenty-two of these have been for England, including two England captains, and others for Ireland (two, including one captain), Wales (six, including one captain), Scotland (three) and South Africa (two).