CHARLIE LESSER, Chair of Trustees
Charlie Lesser is a retired Company Director and has been in recovery since 1989. He has been a Trustee of Sporting Chance since 2000 and has cycled many miles alongside Tony Adams, the founder of Sporting Chance, raising money for the Charity. Charlie is a family man with two children and is committed to his recovery and to giving service to related bodies. Charlie presently chairs the Board and is responsible for overseeing the financial husbandry of Sporting Chance.
Graham obtained a business honours degree from Leeds University in 1972 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant three years later, becoming a senior financial analyst with BICC before starting up Controlaccount in 1980 from the back of a recruitment agency in Holborn. Controlaccount thrived and became an unquoted PLC in 1994 specialising in Medical, University and Telecommunications debt recovery. In 1997 it entered the courier business and is now a significant outsourced receivables management business with a broad cross section of commercial clients. In 2008 Graham sold a majority share of the business to his fellow directors continuing as a committed and partially executive Chairman of the Board. He subsequently became a Board member of the CSA for two years and was involved in a number of other businesses most notably in property development and IT. He currently Chairs three house building companies, is Chief Executive of a leading private hospital in South West London and continues to run a Charitable Medical Foundation which he founded in 2007. He has two boys and enjoys gardening, golf and life.
As a progressive Consultant Psychiatrist, Wayne helps his patients by integrating traditional medical and psychiatric diagnostic techniques with complementary therapies, nutrition and lifestyle changes. From patients with severe PTSD, depression, or schizophrenia, to those battling addiction or suffering early onset dementia, their road to recovery, or quality of life, has been hugely enhanced by Wayne's methods; whilst medication may play a vital role, he often prescribes it as part of a holistic treatment plan. His passion for what he knows can be achieved, coupled with a lifelong love of exercise, sports and nutrition, has led Wayne to becoming a Trustee with Sporting Chance. His meticulous nature, coupled with a career spanning three continents, means that in assessing patients as a whole and in context, they can be assured of an approach that is also sensitive to different cultures, expectations and norms.
Ian landed his first job with a major British newspaper in 1980 as a sports sub-editor on The Guardian. He would go on to establish a CV that included roles as Chief Football Writer of the Independent on Sunday, Football Columnist at The Observer and Chief Football Writer at the Mail on Sunday. Ian was awarded Sports Journalist of the Year in the British Press awards of 2007. Throughout his career in newspapers, Ian has written football books alongside his journalistic work including Season in the Cold (1992), There's A Golden Sky (2012) and biographies on Eric Cantona and Kevin Keegan, as well as being the writer of Tony Adams' autobiography Addicted detailing the alcoholism of the former Arsenal and England captain. Addicted became a best seller, was shortlisted for the William Hills Sports Book of the Year and ultimately gave Tony the capital to set up Sporting Chance in the year 2000. Ian, who has also written for magazines including GQ, Sports Illustrated and Observer Sports Monthly, continues to work as a freelance journalist and author. He is married to Vikki Orvice, the Athletics Correspondent of The Sun and has two children.
DENISE O'DONOGHUE, OBE
Denise is the founder and CEO of Hat Trick Productions, a television production company that has received no less than eight BAFTAS and four International EMMYS since its creation including a personal BAFTA for Denise recognising her Outstanding Creative Contribution to Television. Editorially and commercially Hat Trick is regarded as one of the UK's most successful independents, supplying hundreds of hours of television including "Have I Got News For You". Denise concurrently co-founded 12 Yard Productions, which was subsequently sold to ITV for £35m and she is now Executive Director of ITV Studios, creating and producing Drama, Primetime Entertainment, Factual, Soaps and Daytime programming for terrestrial and digital channels.