The Progress 1000: London's most influential people 2017 - Champions: Sport

Johanna Konta had a glorious run at Wimbledon: Getty Images


Johanna Konta

Wimbledon Semi-Finalist

The British No.1 cemented her place in the world’s top 10 thanks to a glorious first half of the season. Konta won the biggest title of her career, the Miami Open, in March and made a stunning run to the Wimbledon semi-finals before being beaten by Venus Williams. On the back of that, Konta began July at a career-high No4 in the rankings but she has since struggled and her season was eventually cut short by injury.

Philip Brook

Wimbledon Chairman

Brook has once again overseen another successful Wimbledon in which 473,372 people made it through the turnstiles over the course of 13 days of on-court action. Finances at the All England Lawn Tennis Club are rosy with the new £70 million retractable roof for No.1 Court set to be completed in time for the 2019 tournament. Brook boasts a tennis background prior to his role, having captained his team at Cambridge University and subsequently Yorkshire.

Tim Henman

Four-Time Wimbledon Semi-Finalist

The former British No.1 remains a seemingly permanent institution at Wimbledon. More than his four Wimbledon semi-final appearances during his playing days, he is key behind the scenes at the third Grand Slam of the year as chairman of the sub-committee that helps decide wildcards, the daily order of play and which pushed for Ilie Nastase’s ban from this year’s event.

Chris Kermode

Executive Chairman, ATP

The boss of the men’s game is a former player who turned to coaching in retirement before starting a promotion and events company. He returned to the game and was the tournament director of the annual Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club and then managing director of the end-of-year ATP World Tour Finals. But since 2014, he has been in charge of overseeing the men’s tour globally.

Andy Murray

Double Wimbledon Winner

A third Wimbledon title may have eluded Murray this summer having been curtailed in the build-up and throughout the tournament by a hip injury but his climb to world No.1 in 2016 was awe-inspiring, closing the gap on a previously gargantuan points differential between himself and Novak Djokovic for that honour. The 30-year-old, set to become a father for a second time, had hoped to continue to battle with Djokovic and the rest of the “Big Four” — Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal — this season but is unlikely to play again in 2017 because of a hip injury.


Hannah Cockroft

Wheelchair Racer

Since first appearing on the global scene as a teenager in 2011 at the World Championships, Cockroft has never suffered defeat. The para sport scene has changed immeasurably since then. Back in Christchurch six years ago, she competed in front of just 100 people in contrast to crowds of some 30,000 in London this summer. At London 2017, she won triple gold in the 100, 400 and 800 metres in the T34 class, taking her career world titles to 10 in addition to five Paralympic golds.

Seb Coe

IAAF President

The boss of athletics governing body the IAAF has endured a tricky spell at the helm of the sport since taking over in 2015. After revelations of widespread doping in Russia and corruption within the IAAF itself, Coe has worked to steady the ship in the lead-up to London 2017, a return to the stadium he in effect built by bringing the Olympics to London five years earlier. The championships were a success, drawing impressive crowds, but Coe faces pressure to keep athletics relevant particularly in light of Usain Bolt’s retirement.

Jonnie Peacock

Paralympic Champion Sprinter

Jonnie Peacock (Robert Wilson Contour: Getty Images)

The world’s fastest para athlete announced plans to take a year out from para athletics after storming to gold this summer over 100 metres in the stadium where he first made a name for himself at London 2012. With a capacity to peak on the biggest stage, he is a two-time Paralympic and now world champion on the track all shortly after his 24th birthday, overcoming previous injury problems in the intervening years to stay at No.1 in the world.

Niels de Vos

UK Athletics Chief Executive

De Vos has pledged to keep athletics at the London Stadium, claiming in an interview with the Evening Standard that it belongs to athletics and not West Ham. The no-nonsense chief executive of UK Athletics was championships director for London 2017, surviving a potential board coup to hold on to power.

Mo Farah

Distance Runner

Sir Mo has now stepped away from the track after taking gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5,000m at the World Championships this summer. The Londoner — arguably Britain’s greatest-ever athlete — just missed out on his trademark double gold at major championships, having done the track double at Olympic, World and European level, and will next race at the London Marathon in April.

Laura Muir

Middle-Distance Runner

Muir has been labelled as having the speed of Kelly Holmes and the endurance of Paula Radcliffe, two of Britain’s most heralded and successful athletes. The 24-year-old won double gold at the European Indoor Championships in March and in London missed out on bronze by .07 of a second. She already has a host of British athletics records to her name.


Eddie Hearn


The 38-year-old has become one of the biggest players in the boxing promotion scene, with Anthony Joshua currently the jewel in the crown of his Matchroom operation. The business was set up by father Barry, who transformed the fortunes of both snooker and darts. Hearn Jr has done something similar with British boxing with a tie-in with Sky Sports until 2021 for a stable of fighters that includes Kell Brook, James DeGale and Anthony Crolla.

Anthony Joshua

World Heavyweight Champion

Anthony Joshua (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

The Londoner is the IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight champion of the world after knocking out Wladimir Klitschko, the long-time dominant force of men’s heavyweight boxing, in a pulsating contest in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium in April. He will fight again in October against Carlos Takam.


Barney Francis

Managing Director, Sky Sports

Joined Sky in 1999 and has worked his way up through the ranks to become the UK’s highest-profile sports broadcast executive. Francis was responsible for making Sky the leading football broadcaster and was also behind the channel’s deal that ensures every Formula One race being shown live until 2024. Yale-educated Francis has also secured extensive coverage of rugby union and international cricket.

Simon Green

Head, BT Sport

Appointed in 2012 to supervise the creation of BT’s own sports channels in a bid to rival Sky’s dominance, Green has overseen the securing of rights for exclusive Champions League coverage, plus a share of Premier League games. Has called on the Premier League to allow broadcasters more off-the-pitch access to clubs and players and has the stated aim of allowing armchair fans to “see, hear and feel” the action.

Gary Lineker

Television Presenter

After a distinguished football career, Lineker joined the BBC and quickly rose up the corporate ladder, replacing Des Lynam as football anchorman and presenter of Match of the Day. A keen golfer, he has also fronted the Beeb’s Masters and Open coverage and in 2015 was appointed lead presenter of BT Sport’s Champions League broadcasts.


Chris Froome

Tour de France Champion

Froome made history in July when he won the Tour de France for a fourth time with a third successive win in cycling’s blue-riband event. He then won the Vuelta a Espana in September, making him only the third cyclist in history to do that double in one season, alongside Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault. He will be aiming to emulate both men along with Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain as a five-time Tour winner in 2018.


Rory McIlroy

Former No.1 Golfer

McIlroy may not have won a Major for three years but he remains one of the biggest draws in golf. After a dire start to this year’s Open — in which he dropped five shots in the opening six holes — he remarkably recovered to end the four-day event in a tie for fourth. Seven strokes off event winner Jordan Spieth, it was a case of what might have been. Despite no tournament wins in 2017, he has still banked £1.5 million in winnings alone this year.


Adam Peaty

Olympic and World Champion Swimmer

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Adam Peaty became a household name by winning Britain’s first gold of the Rio Olympics and further cemented his reputation with a series of stunning performances at July’s World Championships in Budapest. He twice beat his own world record for the 50m breaststroke on his way to winning gold and now boasts the six fastest times in history over the distance. In his other event, the 100m breaststroke — in which he won gold in Rio — he holds the 10 quickest times ever.


Simon Bazalgette

Chief Executive of the Jockey Club

Bazalgette is one of most powerful men in British racing as the Jockey Club, based in London, runs 15 of the 60 racecourses in Britain including Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom and Newmarket. In January, he came under fire for proposing to shut down Kempton but insists money raised from the potential closure will bring wider benefits. Right or wrong, London will always be indebted to his family: his great-great-grandfather was Sir Joseph Bazalgette, who designed the capital’s sewer system.

Formula One:

Chase Carey

Chief Executive, Liberty Media (F1 owners)

Took over as the head of the Formula One Group this year from Bernie Ecclestone. This Irish-born American’s background is in broadcasting, where he has worked for News Corp, DIRECTV and 21st Century Fox. Is desperate to catapult the sport into the 21st century and was instrumental in bringing the Formula One circus to the streets of central London this summer for the F1 Live event.

Lewis Hamilton

Triple World Champion

Lewis Hamilton (AFP/Getty Images)

Having lost his world crown to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg last year, Hamilton has high hopes of getting it back. Three wins in a row after the summer break were crucial and he leads the standings with four races remaining. It’s not all been plain-sailing, though. Following his failure to attend an F1 Live event in London in July, his name was booed by a section of the crowd thronging Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. But he followed up that PR gaffe days later with a record-equalling fifth victory at the British Grand Prix.


Alistair Kirkwood

Managing Director, NFL UK

Oversees all commercial operations, including television rights deals and the staging of NFL International Series games in the UK. Three games were staged at Wembley and Twickenham last year, with a combined attendance of 242,367, while four are being staged in the capital this autumn. Kirkwood’s background is in finance and marketing and he previously worked for Hilton Hotels and various telecoms start-ups.