Thursday 22 December 2016

A gold-winning athlete from this summer’s Rio games was honoured by her home city – by becoming the 20th person to receive a Sheffield Legends star outside the Town Hall today.

Former High Storrs pupil Grace Clough, aged 25, won Paralympic gold in the mixed coxed fours rowing team in Rio in September and was in Sheffield today (Thursday 22 December) for the unveiling.

Grace, whose parents still live in Sheffield, was born with a condition called Erb’s Palsy, where the nerves in the shoulder are damaged during birth, and only took up rowing after attending an event at EIS in the city. Her family and friends will be at the event.

Grace said: “I am so proud to be named as one of Sheffield’s Legends.

“Looking down the list of ‘stars’, I still can’t quite believe I have been honoured and linked to such amazing people. It is such a special event to top off what has been the best, and certainly most memorable, year of my life. The dream just keeps getting better and better”.

Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We are incredibly proud of Grace and her fantastic achievement and all of our Olympians and Paralympians who competed in Rio. What is so pleasing is that none of our phenomenal athletes have forgotten their city roots and continue to have proud associations across the city, training, living and working here.

“Sheffield is truly a city of sport and our Sheffield Legends reflect the part they play in our city’s formidable reputation.”

Grace Clough has never let her impairment stop her sporting career and played basketball for Yorkshire Under-16s before captaining her varsity team, as well as playing football while studying for a sociology degree at the University of Leeds.

In 2013, she saw an advert for a ParalympicsGB SportsFest in Sheffield where she was talent-spotted, and, by the end of the day, had three sports vying for her services.

She was asked to go on a two-week training camp in Spain and then invited to train full-time with the rest of the squad.

At the start of 2014, she made the move to become a full-time athlete and it has proved to be hugely successful, winning two world championship gold medals in 2014 and 2015, setting world record times alongside Daniel Brown, Pamela Relph, James Fox and Cox Oliver James.

She made her Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 – and helped the British boat successfully defend their title, watched by her proud parents.

Away from sport she graduated from the University of Leeds with a first in Sociology and is now doing a masters degree at Oxford University.

More information about the Sheffield Legends can be found at

The current list of Sheffield Legends:

  • Gordon Banks – England’s World Cup winning goalkeeper
  • Sean Bean – internationally-renowned actor
  • Joe Cocker – internationally famous musician
  • Lord Sebastian Coe – Olympic medal winner and Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Derek Dooley – Sheffield footballing legend with both United and Wednesday
  • Dame Margaret Drabble – internationally respected novelist and critic
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill – Olympic Champion heptathlete
  • Professor Barry Hancock – leading cancer treatment specialist
  • Brendan Ingle – trainer to world champion boxer
  • Def Leppard – top-selling rock band
  • Nick Matthew – World squash champion
  • David Mellor – internationally-acclaimed designer
  • Michael Palin – famous film and television personality
  • Steve Peat – champion downhill mountain biker
  • Helen Sharman – first British astronaut
  • Joe Simpson – renowned mountaineer, author and motivational speaker
  • Joe Scarborough – one of Sheffield’s finest artists
  • Michael Vaughan – one of this country’s most successful cricket captains
  • Clinton Woods – world champion boxer