I wonder if Liverpool FC's chief executive Rick Parry has time to reflect on his own contribution to GB's sensational achievements in the cycling events in Beijing?
There's no doubt that Lottery funding has played a huge part, but equally significant is the mere presence of the Manchester velodrome, which Parry did much to create. In the late 1980s Parry was chief executive of a very small operation trying to win the Olympics for Manchester. Two bids failed before success was achieved in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, by which time Parry had moved on to become chief executive of the Premier League before moving again to Anfield. It was those early planners - Parry, Sir Bob Scott, and the then leader of Manchester City Council, now MP, Graham Stringer, who started the process which saw the velodrome built. It was Manchester's statement of intent, a symbol of their ability to deliver a world class facility. Now that same facility is delivering world class competitors, among them bronze medalist Steven Burke who was brought up in Lancashire and would never have taken up cycling if it hadn't been for the presence of this sensational track on his doorstep.