Neil was a very talented rugby player at a young age however in his early teens he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and lost a substantial amount of his field of vision. In the first year of his degree at Newcastle University he completely lost his sight. Undeterred he took 6 months out to learn braille and returned to University to complete his law degree. He then pursued a career in telecoms after leaving university and in 1991 undertook an intensive one year MBA at Cranfield which had never been done before by someone who was blind. In 1992 he founded a national charity Blind in Business to help blind youngsters into employment. The charity has raised several million pounds since its inception and each year now helps more than 100 blind graduates into jobs and works with many schools for the blind in the UK in raising employment expectations. In 2002 Neil was awarded an OBE for his services to charity and to telecoms. Neil is still a Trustee of Blind in Business, but it is his community spirit and his desire to always try to help others, even in the face of his own difficulties, which is truly inspirational. He is never one to take a back seat and will always volunteer his time if he feels it will make a difference. Last year he became a Governor of his daughters' school and Secretary of Chesham Swimming Club where both his daughters train. He is grateful that both are helping his daughters achieve their ambitions, both academic and sporting.