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Peter Elliott

Job: Athlete

Born: 1962

College: Rotherham College of Arts and Technology, 1979-1882, 1995-1996.

Studied: City and Guilds carpentry and joinery, health studies, GCSE maths Peter Elliott was one of our best middle-distance runners. He won Commonwealth 800m bronze (1986) and 1,500m gold (1990), 800m silver World Championships (1987) and 1,500m silver in the 1988 Olympics. He is now the athlete services manager at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

I had two stints at Rotherham. In my first, I had some very good teachers who had practical as well as academic experience and were very good at explaining things in a practical way.

They were also very colourful. I wouldn't want to embarrass any of them, but one in particular had an expression that is folklore in Rotherham:

"There is a big difference between farting and splitting your arse." It was used when what you were supposed to produce did not quite meet expectations. You have to remember he was teaching craftsmen, so the language would be colourful at times.

During my second stint I had an excellent maths teacher, but I don't think the science teacher knew what to make of me.

As a result of my time at college, I can hang a door and add up, and dissecting a worm comes in handy, so it must have helped.

I started out as a young apprentice with British Steel, then went to the Olympic Games. Not many world-class athletes held down full-time jobs too.

After my second stint at Rotherham, I went to university. But that's another story.

Peter Elliott was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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