In 1986 at the age of 16 Mark Eccleston had an accident in which he broke his neck and severed his spinal cord. He was left paralysed from the chest down and was told he would never walk again.
During his 7 month stay in hospital he was introduced to wheelchairs sports as part of his rehab. Within 12 months of leaving hospital he won a gold medal in table tennis at the national wheelchair games.
It was here where he was introduced to wheelchair rugby, a team game for tetraplegics, and in 1992 he captained Southport to the national championship.
Between 1993 and 1996 he captained Great Britain in two world championship finals and the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics. He was also the first British player to play a season in America for Tampa Bay.
After Atlanta Mark needed a new challenge so he took up wheelchair tennis and in 2002 he became the first British player ever to be NO 1 on the world singles ranking. He was also Britain’s first NO 1 in the world on the doubles ranking, was part of the first British team ever to win the World Team Cup (the Davis Cup of wheelchair tennis) and he won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympics.
MARK IS ONE OF THOSE UNIQUE ATHLETES THAT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL BOTH AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND ALSO AS PART OF A TEAM.
Mark has recently passed his LTA Development Coach Award and is the only tetraplegic anywhere in the world who is a qualified tennis coach
As a speaker he is articulate and passionate. His story is both moving and inspiring as he talks about his determination to deal with such a devastating injury at such a young age and what it took to be one of the best tetraplegic athletes in the world.
MAIN SUBJECT AREAS
Mark is able to tailor his talks to the needs of the clients, he will be both Motivational and inspirational when speaking about his life and achievements