Chris Coley has been well known in Gloucestershire sporting circles since his days at Cheltenham College and has played cricket, rugby and even football for Cheltenham. Wearing his cricket hat, he was in the Cheltenham side that won the National Knockout Final at Lord’s against Stockport and has been an active playing member of MCC and Gloucestershire Gypsies.
He has been actively involved in sports quizzing since the late 1960’s, appeared three times on the BBC’s Brain of Sport programme hosted by Peter Jones in the early 1970’s, and has previously published six quiz books. For ten years in a previous life he taught English at Stout’s Hill School, Uley, where his most celebrated and indeed gifted pupil was a certain Stephen Fry!
On “retiring” from teaching, he became marketing manager at Gloucestershire CCC and then set up his own sports sponsorship/ corporate hospitality business in Cheltenham, very much specialising in racing and shooting in conjunction with his brother Ian, who attended six Olympic Games, as either coach or manager of the British Olympic clay pigeon shooting team. He is still very much involved with the Cheltenham Cricket Festival as it has evolved over the years, but his main sporting passion now is horse racing.
He has been involved for the past twenty years as an owner with over 150 winners so far and is now the business partner of Fergal O’Brien, the much respected local trainer.
Paul Clixby is a sporting beta male, although he did keep a clean sheet for Forest Town Juniors in the 1965 Frederick Freer Cup final at Field Mill (no One Call Stadium nonsense in those days). On his one appearance on the hallowed turf at Trent Bridge, he took one for a lot, bowling filthy off-spin, and was padded up to bat next when the groundsman called the match off, because there was a miniscule chance of rain, and the next day’s game was way more important. So Paul never got to see his name on the big scoreboard, summing up his sporting life.
Following Mansfield Town, Notts Cricket and Worcester Warriors over the years has meant more relegation dogfights than championship honours, but has enabled him to develop an awareness of the arcane and the absurd in sport, which he has used to his advantage in quizzes over many years.
His recent association through Chris with Fergal O’Brien’s yard has introduced him to some of the nuances involved in placing horses in the right races, such as the quality of the lunches at Ludlow.