One of the world’s most inspirational athletes is set to share his inspirational journey as part of a Leeds Beckett University annual guest lecture series.

Derek Redmond, forever remembered for one of the most celebrated Olympic moments in history, will deliver his Carnegie Conversations guest lecture on Wednesday 15 April at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

By the late 1980s and early 90s Derek Redmond had established himself as one of Britain’s leading athletic stars, yet it was his now iconic moment at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona which sealed his place in the history books. A favourite for the gold, Redmond was just 150metres into the 400m semi-final when his hamstring snapped and he fell to the ground. Staggering to his feet through the excruciating pain, he knew it was all over, but he was determined to finish the race. He began to hobble on in agony while his father, Jim, broke through security and ran onto the track to help him complete the final 250 metres to the finish line.

The emotional and inspirational footage continues to be seen the world over some 21 years on, and was featured in a TV commercial for Visa Go World, the official sponsors of the 2008 Olympics.

Since retiring from athletics, Derek has played basketball for England and professionally for the Birmingham Bullets and has played competitive rugby union for Coventry RFC and Stow RFC. He is also a respected coach and advisor for international athletes.

The Carnegie Conversations lectures are free and open to the public with forthcoming speakers in this year’s series including Irish restaurateur and Great British Menu judge, Oliver Peyton, and former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman, David Dein.

Leeds Rhinos legends Jamie Peacock MBE and Jamie Jones Buchanan launched the series in January as they shared their individual journeys, reflected on the Rhinos Challenge Cup success in 2014 and looked ahead to the 2015 season.

The second guest lecture in the Carnegie Conversations series took place on Wednesday 4 February at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and saw cricket commentator Dave Callaghan in conversation with proud Yorkshiremen Andrew Gale and Dickie Bird as they explored Yorkshire’s journey to lifting the County Championship in 2014.  In the lecture ‘The Yorkshire Way’, the trio looked at the role of a captain in a team’s success and the difference an umpire can make.

National Union of Teachers (NUT) General Secretary Christine Blower then presented Leeds Beckett’s annual Winifred Mercier public lecture, ‘Standing up for Education’, before Al Allaway, CEO of CAB Studios gave his lecture which focused on customer experience in the hospitality sector.

The Carnegie Conversations series, supported by FrontRow Legal and now in its third year, is themed ‘Inspirational Journeys’ with each speaker chosen for the journey which has led to the influential positions they now hold within their respective careers. Previous speakers in the series have included England rugby union head coach Stuart Lancaster, Baroness Sue Campbell, sports psychiatrist Steve Peters and 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb.

All of the lectures are free but places are limited. Please book by visiting 


For further details please contact Mark in the Communications team at Leeds Beckett on 0113 812 3021 or email


Notes for editors:

  • Leeds Beckett University was previously Leeds Metropolitan University.
  • Leeds Beckett University has around 32,000 students and just over 3,000 staff.
  • The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University is Professor Susan Price and the Chancellor is Sir Bob Murray CBE.
  • Leeds Beckett’s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie.
  • Leeds Beckett University is the only university in the UK to have achieved both the Customer Service Excellence standard, Investors in People Gold and the RoSPA Gold medal.
  • The Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) showed that the proportion of Leeds Beckett 2012/13 graduates in work, further study or both six months after leaving university was 93.7%.