About me

More About Me


Holding the 2012 Olympic Torch.
Coaching the winning Oxford University team at the Oxford v. Cambridge Water Polo Match, 2010.

I have been involved in a wide variety of sports all my life. I was an international competitor at Modern Pentathlon, representing GB in the World Junior Championships in Bratislava in 1966. I have been the National Team Manager in two different sports. I was manager of the GB Modern Pentathlon Team from 1973 to 1983, including the team that won the Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976.

In those Olympics I was closely involved in what the Observer newspaper ranks as the greatest scandal in the history of sport – the Onischenko Affair. A reasonably accurate summary of the whole business can be found in the Guardian newspaper – here. I intend to post my own account of the scandal here in the future.

I was Manager of both the England and GB Water Polo Teams from 1988 to 1991. I have also been closely involved with swimming, as a Masters swimmer, as a coach, and as a commentator at swim meets. I was also a commentator in major water polo championships for the BBC on Grandstand, and, later, for Sky TV. Until December 2005, I also coached the Reading Water Polo team, promoted in 2001 to both the Premier Division of the London League (having won the First Division title), and to Second Division of the National League (having won the Third Division title). The team then went on to win the London League Premier Division in both 2002 and 2003. During my visits to the to the USA as Visiting Professor at Miami University, I have enjoyed coaching both High School (Talawanda) and University (Miami) water polo teams. From 2006 to 2012, I coached the Oxford University Men’s Water Polo Team.

I still enjoy swimming and running. I combine two of the major activities in my life in an interest in the Philosophy of Sport. In 1980 I started the Reading Sports Aid Trust in collaboration with Reading Borough Council, and remain a Managing Trustee. It is a charity which assists Reading sports people in need who have the potential to improve to a higher level.

Other University Activities

I was Head of the Department of Philosophy from 1993 to 2005, and Head of the School of Humanities from 2002-2005. I was a Committee Member, first as Assistant Secretary, then Secretary, of the University of Reading AUT (Association of University Teachers) during the 1970s. From 1977 to 1997, I was Warden of Whiteknights Hall at the University of Reading, and I was involved in a wide variety of Committees concerned with student residence. I was also on various University committees concerned with sport and grounds.

Other interests

I am keenly interested in all the arts, but specially classical music and opera. I write occasional opera reviews for a number of journals, including Opera magazine, Auditorium magazine, and several newspapers. I am a supporter of a number of music organisations, including student opera in Oxford, Les Azuriales Opera and youth orchestras in SE Asia, including Siam Sinfonietta, and the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra.

I very much enjoy travel, and have travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, North America and South East Asia, and have also visited Central and South America. I travel frequently to the US, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. I live in Oxford.


1956-63 Whitgift School (Victoria Scholar)

1963-69 Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (Open Scholar)

1969-72 Assistant Lecturer, then Lecturer, Moral Philosophy Department, Glasgow University

1969-71 Assistant Warden, Queen Margaret Hall, Glasgow University

1972-2005 Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Reading

1977-97 Warden, Whiteknights Hall, University of Reading

1993-2005 Head of Department of Philosophy, University of Reading

2001-2011 Fellow of Eton College.

2002–2005 Head of the School of Humanities, University of Reading

2012-present Governor, The Whitgift Foundation and Whitgift School


My partner, since 1990, is David Benz, who is a researcher in the Oxford University Department of Zoology, which he joined in 2006. He worked in the Biodiversity Institute in the Department of Zoology since 2012. He has now started a DPhil at Oxford University, sponsored by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Forestry Commission. He is a member of St Edmund Hall, Oxford University.