Dr Ian McPherson OBE : SMN Advisor

In terms of sporting memories, Ian was born and brought up in Glasgow, where he was not a supporter of either of the well-known "Old Firm" teams but of one sadly now forgotten by most people, Third Lanark. Ian remembers his excitement as young boy of being given a knitted bobble hat in the red and white team colours but also that the team went rapidly downhill soon afterwards, going from third in the First Division in 1960/61 to eleventh in the Second Division in 1966/67 when they went bankrupt. As a true psychologist, Ian attributes the fact that he has never supported another team to this painful early experience!

Previously Director of the National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU), the agency established by the Department of Health in England to put policy into practice and best practice into policy and prior to that Director of the National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE), Ian has a longstanding interest in improving mental health and mental health services. Ian then went on to become Chief Executive of the Mental Health Providers Forum (MHPF), the representative body for voluntary sector mental health provider organisations in England.

A Clinical Psychologist by professional background, Ian worked as a practitioner, researcher and trainer for 13 years, before moving into service development and management.  He then had 9 years as Director of Mental Health for two large NHS Trusts before taking up his post with NIMHE.

Martin Polley: SMN Advisor

Growing up in West London in the 1970s, and living equidistant from Chelsea, QPR, Fulham, and Brentford football clubs, I rejected glamour and chose Griffin Park, then home to a Fourth Division side that had its glory years forty years in the past. My favourite - and less favourite - sporting memories have come from following the Bees for all this time, including the FA Cup quarter-final trip to Anfield in 1989, the promotions of 1978, 1992, 1999, 2009, and 2014, and, on the downside, the three Wembley visits that have ended in defeat, and Marcelo Trotta's heart-breaking penalty miss against Doncaster Rovers. Now, writing in January 2015, Brentford are in the play-off zone in the Championship, their highest league position in my 50 year life. Could these memories all be surpassed by a promotion to the Premiership? Or will it all end with another frustrating trip to Wembley?

Martin is an academic sports historian based at De Montfort University in Leicester, where he is Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture and a Professor in History. He previously taught at the University of Winchester and the University of Southampton. Martin has written widely on many aspects of sports history. His books include Moving the Goalposts: a history of sport and society since 1945 (1998), Sports History: a practical guide (2007), and The British Olympics: Britain's Olympic heritage, 1612-2012. He is interested in the interplay between sport, memory, health, and oral history.

Maurice Hamilton: SMN Advisor

My father had everything to do with my love of motor sport as well as having a considerable influence on my association with Sporting Memories.

He took me to see the 1954 Tourist Trophy - then a major international motor race - on the Dundrod road circuit in the hills above Belfast. I was immediately hooked by the sight, smell and sounds of a sport that would become an all-consuming passion.

After leaving school and failing miserably at various professions, it seemed to me that there had to be a way of making a living while being involved in motor sport. I moved to London in 1970 in order to be closer to the centre of the racing action.

By sheer good fortune, I found I could write, my enthusiasm for the subject helping smooth out the rough edges of stories and reports that gradually improved through hard experience and the lessons learned from writers I admired. One thing led to another with roles as motor sport correspondent for The Guardian, then The Independent on its launch in 1986, followed four years later by two wonderful decades with The Observer. My role as a freelance also embraced feature writing for magazines worldwide, writing books and doing race commentary for BBC Radio.

During this time, my father remained my biggest supporter, quietly proud of his son's achievements and offering constructive advice as a keen race fan. When commentating - and as a diversion from thinking about millions of listeners at the other end of the microphone - I would assume I was talking solely to Dad and ask myself: ‘What does he need to know now?' If I failed in that, I would soon hear about it the following day.

When dementia set in during his 80s, I discovered my father had perfect recall of races we had attended together, and long before that when he was a boy. Chatting about events in the past seemed to bring a wonderful sense of calm and contentment to his otherwise confused and increasingly frustrated state. He passed away in 2008.

When I later learned about Sporting Memories, the concept made perfect sense. I get great satisfaction from writing about experiences gained while attending more than 500 Grands Prix around the world. If these can also be put to good use through Sporting Memories, then the pleasure is multiplied several times and, coincidentally, foster happy memories of a wonderful man.

Maurice is an award-winning writer for leading British newspapers, having worked with The Observer, The Guardian and The Independent; His reporting of F1 has seen him as Grand Prix editor for Racer magazine; editor of the Autocourse Grand Prix annual; and Commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live. He has been a full-time Formula One journalist since 1977, and has attended over 500 Grand Prix as a working journalist. He has also written more than 20 books on F1. Maurice is a regular contributor of F1 memories, read more here

Norrie Gallagher: SMN Advisor

Brought up in the Celtic tradition, my strongest memory is of their great centre half and captain Billy McNeil towering above the Dunfermline defence at a corner kick late on to power a header into goal to give Celtic a 3-2 in the Scottish Cup Final of 1965 [their first trophy since 1957] "Caesar", as he was known, was a most apt nickname. At every corner kick in the opposition box, anticipation among fans rose as "Big Billy" would puff out his chest and stride forward from the halfway line.  Jock Stein had only recently become  manager. The rest as they say is history.

Norrie has worked in education and social work for nearly 40 years. Having practiced in a variety of settings, he has specialised in supporting people with dementia and their families in the community during the past 15 years.

Norrie has spent the last 2 years within a Comic Relief partnership developing sporting reminiscence with people with dementia and other additional needs, in weekly groups within community and care home settings. Norrie is now continuing to develop the work with CACECumbernauld and the University of West of Scotland.

Charlie Murphy : SMN Advisor

On the wall facing my bed is a framed photograph, taken in 1936. It's the official photograph of the Irish Junior International Soccer Team prior to their match with Scotland, at Grosvenor Park Belfast. A packed stand of, predominantly cap-wearing, supporters, looks on.  In the back row of the team photograph, just before two team officials, stands the man who was to become my father - Patrick Kevin Murphy (known as Paddy). Ireland won the match by 4 goals to nil. The match report, which I was very kindly given after my father's death in 1996, speaks of the key contribution to the successful outcome of the match by one of the Irish defenders, the ‘rufus-haired' Murphy. If truth be told, I had to go to the dictionary to discover that ‘rufus' is an old fashioned word for red! Today I still have the physical ‘cap' which my father received for that game.

Despite, or perhaps because of, a postgraduate qualification in Statistics and Operations Research, Charlie's career has been predominantly in the voluntary and charitable sector. Prior to leaving Northern Ireland for Scotland in 1989, Charlie helped to develop the first Science Shop in the United Kingdom. A ‘Science Shop' offers third level students (and sometimes academics) an opportunity to undertake a project with a community or voluntary group, across any academic discipline (the first science shop - wetenschapswinkel - started in the Netherlands). In Scotland Charlie worked for 13 years as a Fieldworker with the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at the University of Stirling. Here he developed and delivered training courses in reminiscence and life story work and also undertook evaluations of dementia services. Charlie has written for both academic and practitioner audiences on hearing the views of people with dementia in the evaluation setting. Although he left DSDC in 2005 Charlie continues to deliver life story and reminiscence training on a freelance basis. He is also currently employed as a development officer with Age Scotland.

Dr Michael Clark : SMN Advisor

Michael is a supporter of West Bromwich Albion.  Being raised in the region in the era of the ‘3 degrees' - Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendan Batson - and that wonderfully stylish team they played in, there was no other choice of team to follow.  His fondest memories of following the team have been less about successes in a season (der!!) and more about the joys of following the team playing entertaining football where it seemed almost every game would end 4-3.  It was just that you could never be sure which team would have the 4.

Michael has worked on undertaking research and promoting better evidence informed policy and practice development at local, regional and national levels.  He has worked and researched in a range of health and social care settings, including mental health care, learning disabilities, elderly care, and primary care.

Dorothy MacLauchlan : SMN Advisor

Dorothy MacLauchlanWhen I was asked what my favourite sporting memory was, recollections of being made goalie in the school hockey and netball teams came flooding back.  Not the happiest of times and the sole reason for my position was because I was  the tallest in the class!! It was certainly not for any sporting prowess as we could always be guaranteed to lose!

My association with the project is more to do with little nuggets of experience picked up during 40years working in the voluntary sector.

The roles have been varied - from managing community based family support projects; working in residential dementia care; development work with carers' organisations; to my current post as Almoner for the Merchant Company of Edinburgh where it is a welcome change to be administering the distribution of money rather than trying to find it! During many of these posts I worked with volunteers as well as paid staff and over the years hope I have gained a little understanding of what works and what doesn't.

Work has always been a passion for me but I also take great delight in all things musical having for many years been a member of the Glasgow Phoenix Choir.  Nowadays two little grandchildren could easily fill each and every day  -  if I had the stamina! 

Hári Sewell : SMN Advisor

At Tarrant Primary School in Jamaica Hári  marvelled at the athletic prowess of Wainsworth "Rocking Head" Smalls.  He was the dominant 100m sprinter at Boys Champs, the national schools championship which had the air of a Jamaican Olympics.  He recalls going to his first Boys Champs and fizzing with excitement as he witnessed a forerunner to Usain Bolt  Smalls lived up to his expectations and more as he opened up distance between himself and the rest of the field, who were performing as mere schoolboys.  Perhaps Rocking Head Smalls was the inspiration for Hári himself becoming a 100m sprinter in his late teens.

Hári is currently director of HS Consultancy, an organisation that provides organisational development and change management support health and social care, particularly in mental health. HS Consultancy has a particular expertise in equalities.  Clients have included the Department of Health, national Mind, NHS trusts and local authorities around the country. 

A social worker by background, Hári is passionate about social justice.  He is a published author of books, chapters and articles, mainly on equalities and race equality in mental health.

Gregor Henderson : SMN Advisor

I started supporting Celtic from the age of six when i was living in Elgin in the north of Scotland. My favourite player was Tommy Gemmell. After the triumph of Lisbon in '67 I pestered my Dad to take me to Parkhead. In 1968 we went to  Glasgow to stay with family friends who lived in Lenzie. My Dad surprised me by presenting two tickets for Parkhead to see Celtic play Dunfermline Athletic. It was a great afternoon, and a 3-1 victory sealed my joy. However this was surpassed when we went back to my Dad's friends house that evening. I was playing in the kitchen when my Dad said we have a special visitor to see you. Tommy Gemmell walked in came up to me shook my hand and patted me on the head. I was literally speechless! As it turned out, he lived two doors down from my Dad's friend. He signed my programme, which I still have today. The memory stays with me forever. Its not every day you get to meet one of your heroes. A true gentleman.

Gregor works as an adviser on mental health and wellbeing to a number of UK and overseas Government Departments, public, private sector and NGO organisations. Gregor writes on mental health and wellbeing, public health, social and public policy issues and lectures across the UK, Europe, and Internationally.

Part of Gregor's current work is in London advising the UK Government on public mental health and wellbeing policy and delivery.

Gregor is also a policy adviser to Mental Health Europe and an adviser to a Scottish Government funded project on culture, wellbeing and public health at Glasgow University ( Gregor also provides advice and support to a UK children's mental health charity, the Place2Be providing emotional and mental health support in schools.

From 2008 - 2010, Gregor worked as the national lead on public mental health and wellbeing for the National Mental Health Development Unit in London (

From 2003 - 2008, Gregor was the Director of the Scottish Government's innovative and now internationally renowned public mental health programme, the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing (

Previously the Director of the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Gregor's main interests are in combining policy, research evidence, practice and people's lived experience to help transform the way people, communities, services and societies think and act about mental health and wellbeing.

David Shiers : SMN Advisor

David can recall his very first trip to Old Trafford as a 4 year old to see a league match in pre-Munich 1955.  I can remember standing with my dad and his neighbour waiting to go through the turnstiles - everyone wore peak caps.  But at the same young age this was balanced by the thrill of going to watch Wigan play rugby league and being enthralled by Billy Boston bursting through the tackles.   By my early teens I was attending every Man U match - the Busby era was under way.  Two memories stand out - being in the Stretford End to see Man U play Stoke City and a 17 year old Georgie Best playing opposite a 49 year old Stanley Matthews.  The other memory was getting Dennis Law's autograph whilst he was driving golf balls in Heaton Mersey driving range.

David, born, bred and qualified in Manchester, became a GP in North Staffordshire in 1980.  He had no special interest in mental health until his personal involvement as carer to a daughter with schizophrenia from the mid 90s.  From early complaints David eventually got a ‘put-up or shut-up' opportunity to more constructively help shape a radical service redesign based around what he felt was lacking in his daughter's early experiences of care.  He became a key contributor to the development of the WHO Early Psychosis Declaration (2004) and subsequently led the UK`s National Early Intervention in Psychosis Programme (2004-10).

Retiring earlier this year and now the proud owner of a senior rail card, David continues to engage with the Royal Colleges of Psychiatry and General Practice on a number of initiatives which promote the importance of primary care in tackling the early physical determinants which set these young people on a pathway to premature death, up to 25 years lost mostly due to cardiovascular and respiratory disease.