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Wallington County Grammar School

Distinguished Alumni

Should you have any information about those listed or indeed those who are not currently included, please get in touch.  Thanks to our alumni who have already shared information about their peers.

Featured Alumni are those for whom we have been able to obtain additional information either from our alumnus directly or close friends and relatives.

Neil Ardley, musician, author

Douglas Allen, Baron Croham, Senior Civil Servant

Ray Baker, Surrey Cricket player and English and Wales Cricket Board coach

Prof Harold Barlow, Engineer, Pender Chair of University College London, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, 1950–1966, University College London professor

Herbert Barrie, MRCPCH, paediatrician, co-founder of the Neonatal Society and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine

John Cameron, composer, musician and recording artist, wrote theme music for Top of the Pops, orchestrator of Les Misérables

Ryan Cummins, retired county cricketer, (Leicestershire and Northamptonshire)

Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury.  Former investment banker and executive of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games 2012.  For more information click here 

Sunny Edwards, professional flyweight and super flyweight boxer

Norman Long, social anthropologist and Professor Emeritus at Wageningen University, Netherlands

Mark Pallen, Professor of Microbial Genomics at the University of East Anglia, captain of winning team from Imperial College in University Challenge, 1995–96

John Randall, CBE, former President of the National Union of Students, senior civil servant

Malcolm Savidge, former Member of Parliament for Aberdeen North

Michael J Seaton FRS, Professor of Physics at University College London and past President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He also served as a navigator (Lancaster bomber, Bomber Command) in one of the Pathfinder squadrons in the later stages of WW2, leaving the RAF aged 23 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Ivan Tyrrell, psychotherapist, educator and artist, founder of The Therapist journal (now 'Human Givens'), Director of Human Givens College

Philip Wilcocks, CB, DSC, DL, RoyalNavy officer (Rear Admiral)

Chris Woodhead, former HM Chief Inspector of Schools.

Philip Yea, Vodafone Director, British Heart Foundation Chair, Prince Andrew, Duke of York Advisor

Featured Alumni


After leaving Wallington in 1991, David went to university at Southampton to study history, before moving into journalism in 1997, first as a trainee with his local paper the South London Press and then as a sports news reporter for the Evening Standard, Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph. In 2010 he joined the BBC as Sports Editor, covering the world's biggest sports events and most important stories including the London 2012 Olympics and the 2010/2014 Fifa World Cups in Brazil and South Africa. David was lucky to see first hand some of the biggest moments in recent British sporting history - including Mo Farah's double gold medal triumph at the London Games and Andy Murray winning Wimbledon in 2013 - the first Briton to do so in over 70 years. Since leaving the BBC in 2014 David has been working for the Financial Times and has moved on from sport covering first the media industry then defence and security, which involved him doing some reporting from eastern Ukraine on the long running war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as covering the Salisbury poisonings of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. He is now Brexit Editor, overseeing the FT's coverage of the UK's departure from the EU.


Michael Green is Chief Executive Officer of the Social Progress Imperative. An economist by training, he is co-author (with Matthew Bishop) of Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World and The Road from Ruin: A New Capitalism for a Big Society. Previously Michael served as a senior official in the U.K. Government’s Department for International Development, where he managed British aid programs to Russia and Ukraine and headed the communications department. He taught Economics at Warsaw University in Poland in the early 1990s. His TED Talks have been viewed more than four million times, and his 2014 Talk was chosen by the TED organization as one of the ‘most powerful ideas’ of 2014 and by The Telegraph as one of the 10 best ever. In 2016, he was named one of “The 100 Most Connected Men in Britain” by GQ Magazine and one of the NonProfit Times’s “Power & Influence Top 50.” Michael is @shepleygreen on Twitter.

TED Talks:


After leaving Wallington County Grammar School Arnold joined Surrey County Cricket Club and set a new world record only two years after* and joined Sussex County Cricket Club in 1976 until 1980.

His Surrey career statistics can be found here,

*An informative profile of Arnold Long that outlines both his Surrey and Sussex career can be found here,


G.C. (known as Colin) Powell attended Wallington County Grammar School between 1948 and 1956.  At sixteen years of age he cycled to Land’s End with friend and WCGS student, Peter Sealey.  He took a First in Economics at Jesus College, Cambridge, and after a period as the Economic Adviser to the Northern Irish Government, was appointed to the same position by the States of Jersey.

Over the next 50 years he founded and was the long term head of, the Jersey Financial Commission.    He was generally accepted to have founded the Financial industry in Jersey, which is now the Island's main economic driver.

Colin died in 2019 but further details of his distinguished service over 50 years is contained in his obituary from a Jersey newspaper.

His obituary can be found here.


After leaving WCGS, Nick read Art, Economics, Economic History and Geography at A-level, majored in Psychology at University with Philosophy and English subsidiaries, intending to be a clinical psychologist but things didn’t turn out as planned.

Nick started freelancing as a reporter for BBC Northern Ireland, returned to London to present The World Tonight and World at One on Radio 4, moved to BBC2 to present Man Alive and produce documentaries, then straddled radio and TV with Call Nick Ross (a phone-in) on Radio 4, Crimewatch and the launch of breakfast TV, Sixty Minutes (forerunner of the 6 o’clock news) and Watchdog on BBC-1, and then a series of political shows including A Week in Politics (Channel 4) and Westminster with Nick Ross including coverage of the main party conferences (BBC-2) plus a brief stint on Newsnight (BBC-2), a long-running Radio 4 series called The Commission, and a whole slate of lighter programmes including So You Think You Know How to Drive (BBC-1), Nick Ross (a chat show) BBC-2, The Search (BBC-1), Destination Nightmares (BBC-1) and various documentaries and one-offs. Nick also recently worked with the BBC on a season of programmes to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

Job roles include Chairman UCL Jill Dando Institute, non-executive director Imperial College Healthcare Trust, Chairman of the Wales Cancer Bank Advisory Board, president of several charities including HealthWatch, and a Trustee of Crimestoppers, of Sense About Science and of the UK Stem Cell Foundation.  Nick also act as occasional adviser to several institutions such as the Office of National Statistics. 

For more information,


Mark studied nine O-levels, with his strengths being in maths, physics and (perhaps unusually) painting & drawing at Wallington County Grammar School, but he also enjoyed and had an interest in more practical and technical elements.  This led him to not study A-levels but leave school at age 16 and begin his career on a four-year technician apprenticeship scheme, working on the London Underground; during this period he studied towards a Higher National Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. 

We were delighted to welcome Mark to Wallington again this autumn when he shared his amazing professional story with our aspiring engineers in Lower 6. 

Having completed his apprenticeship and spent two years working as a maintenance technician on underground railway systems, Mark decided his future would be more office-based, with a focus on engineering design and projects, putting his drawing skills to good use, and working more with people and project teams; this proved to suit him and be the first of a number of career turning points.  Over the next few years while working, getting married and starting a family, Mark went on to gain a master’s degree, via distance learning, in Engineering Project Management from Loughborough University.

Having moved into project management and completing a number of junior and middle management roles through his thirties, Mark joined US-based engineering and projects company CH2M in 2008. He was a programme delivery manager on the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, followed by the role of strategic projects director on Crossrail.  He later became the CH2M Managing Director for Europe, based in London.

Mark joined High Speed Two (HS2) as Chief Executive Officer in March 2017; he has overall responsibility for the development and delivery of the High Speed Two (HS2) project, which is to build a new high speed railway that will become the ‘spine’ of our national rail network and connect the cities of London, Manchester and Leeds with Birmingham.

Other significant positions and awards include:

•           Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management at University College London and is an

•           Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Association for Project Management.

•           Awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of East London (UEL) in July 2019

Lord Paul Deighton 

At school sport, and rugby in particular, was my great passion. I was lucky enough to be part of a very strong team which resulted in some wonderful friendships and memories.”

Paul has had three distinct careers; in finance, leading the London 2012 Olympics and as a UK Government Minister, and now has a portfolio of non-executive roles.

Graduating in economics from Cambridge University, he spent 27 years in banking, 22 of them at Goldman Sachs where he became a Partner. The first half of his career was spent advising corporate clients, while the second half was focussed on internal leadership and risk management as the firm expanded around the world.

In 2005 he left Goldman Sachs to become the CEO of LOCOG (the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games) and remains the only CEO in modern summer Olympic history to have lasted a full 7 year tenure. In this role Paul was responsible for building the organisation, formulating the plan, raising the money and delivering London 2012. This involved ensuring that venues, transport, security, broadcasting, technology, ticketing, workforce, volunteers, sponsorship, merchandise, ceremonies and the torch relay were all ready for both the Olympics and the Paralympics, and collaborating across a vast array of partners from both the public and private sectors, as well as from the international sporting world.

After the success of the Games, Paul was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen and asked by Prime Minister Cameron and Finance Minister Osborne to join the UK Government as a Treasury Minister in the House of Lords to oversee the delivery of the country’s infrastructure and to attract foreign investment into the UK. He also led the UK’s Banking Reform Bill through the legislative process in Parliament.

Having retired from Government at the May 2015 election, Paul has built a portfolio of business and voluntary positions. He is the non-executive Chairman of Heathrow Airport, Chairman of Hakluyt, a UK based advisory firm and serves on the board of Square Inc, a San Francisco based payments processing company.  Paul served on the Parliamentary committee reviewing the refurbishment options for the Palace of Westminster. Continuing his involvement in sport, he was a board member of the organising committee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and now chairs the audit and finance commission of the IAAF, the international governing body for athletics. He also chairs the governing body of King's College School Wimbledon, one of the UK's leading independent schools.