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The History of Old Millfieldian of the Year

The OM of the Year awards were introduced in 2000 to acknowledge and reward OM brilliance in achievement across a wide range of fields. Since its inception, we have celebrated international sportsmen and Olympic champions, media personalities, theatre and film directors, musicians, doctors, charity and humanitarian workers, and many more, all over the world - the list is long and impressive.  

This year, we have celebrated four more Old Millfieldians at our first-ever Brilliance Dinner, who have been recognised for their achievements since leaving the school: Professor of Experimental Medicine, Peter Openshaw, actress Rose Leslie, England and Premier League footballer, Tyrone Mings and Formula One driver, Lando Norris. 

 

Peter Openshaw (1962-67 MPS/67-71; Day) 

Peter Openshaw is a professor of experimental medicine, studying how the immune system protects against viral infection but also causes disease. After leaving Millfield, Peter attended Guy's Hospital Medical School where he studied physiology, with a specific focus on the respiratory and cardiac systems. He published several papers as a medical student, notably on the diving reflex. Peter was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his services to medicine and immunology. Peter attended the dinner and was presented his award by fellow OM, and host for the evening, Andrew Castle. 

 

Tyrone Mings (2009-2011; St Anne's) 

Tyrone Mings attended Millfield for Sixth Form between 2009-2011. After beginning his career at non-league club Yate Town, Tyrone is now captain of Premier League Club Aston Villa, and made his international debut for England against Bulgaria in October 2019. Off the field, Tyrone has gained a reputation for charitable and generous acts. In 2017, he started 'The Tyrone Mings Academy', which looks to provide better football opportunities for children across the Midlands and South West. A video was sent in from Tyrone expressing his gratitude for the award, which was played to those in attendance. His father, Adrian Mings, attended the event to collect his son’s award in his honour.

 

Rose Leslie (2000-2005; Warner) 

Rose Leslie attended Millfield from Year 9 to Upper Sixth between 2000-2005. She is most famous for her roles as Gwen Dawson in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey and Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. While at Millfield, she discovered a passion for acting, and departed the school for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after finishing Sixth Form. Rose was unable to attend the event but sent in a video voicing her appreciation of recognition from the Millfield community. 

 

Lando Norris (2006-13 MPS/13-15; Great) 

Lando Norris was brought up in Glastonbury and attended Millfield for nine years, joining Millfield Prep School in Year 2 before departing Millfield in Year 10. Lando started kart racing as a pupil at Millfield Prep School, aged seven. After his first couple of seasons racing in junior single-seater championships, he was placed firmly on the motorsport map. In September 2018, it was announced that he would drive for McLaren in the 2019 Formula One World Championship, making him the youngest British driver in the history of Formula One when he made his F1 race debut in Australia in March 2019, at the age of 19. He finished 11th in the drivers' championship standings in his debut season, and ninth in 2020, where he claimed his first podium. He finished last season in sixth position, claiming four podiums and his first pole position in the process. Lando is now in his fourth full season in Formula 1 with McLaren and has agreed to extend their partnership through to the end of 2025. Lando’s grandfather, John, and grandmother, Mary, attended the event to collect the award while Lando raced in the Monaco Grand Prix. 

View the photos from the Brilliance Dinner here. 

 

2020 Award Winners 

Adwoa Aboah (2005-10; Southfield) 

Adwoa is a fashion model and activist. Recognised as a ‘Next Generation Leader’ on the cover of TIME Magazine and alumni of the prestigious Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Adwoa is a globally renowned figure. Celebrated for her roles in the film and fashion worlds, as well as her outspoken and dedicated activism for young women and girls, she founded Gurls Talk, a platform which provides resources and a safe space for young women to discuss mental health. Adwoa is currently one of the global faces of Rimmel and Swarovski, as well as a Global Nike Ambassador. 

 

Galahad Clark (1983-89 MPS/89-94; Shapwick) 

Galahad is a seventh-generation cobbler. His ancestors founded Clarks shoes, and he is now the driving force behind Vivobarefoot, which makes shoes with the same range of movement and sensation as if wearers were barefoot. Galahad is on a mission to battle the industry’s super brands through sustainable innovations. The company's manufacturing processes run with minimal impact on the environment. 

 

Jonathan Joseph (2007-09; St Anne's) 

Jonathan is a professional rugby player who represents England at international level and Bath Rugby in the English Premiership. Jonathan joined Bath from London Irish in 2013 and has a total of 208 Premiership appearances, 54 England caps (17 tries), as well as two for the British and Irish Lions (one try). He won two Six Nations championships with England in 2016 and 2017 and played in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and 2019 Rugby World Cup final. 

 

Joanna Perry (1969-70; MPS/70-74; Day) 

Joanna is a chartered fellow of the Institute of Directors and a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Joanna studied Economics at Cambridge, Churchill College. She went on to work for the international accountancy and consultancy firm, KPMG, in New Zealand where she very quickly became a partner. In 2011, she was awarded Membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to accounting. 

 

Previous OM of the Year winners include: 

 

Jenny Barraclough OBE - British film and television producer and BAFTA award winner. She was one of the first female TV producers. 

Michael Hayman MBE - Entrepreneur, broadcaster and author. He is a co-founder of Seven Hills, a campaigning communication consultancy. 

David Heath CBE PC - Former MP for Somerton and Frome and Deputy Leader of House of Commons. At the age of 31, David was the youngest ever leader of a county council. 

Sharon Hendry - Award-winning journalist and author with 20 years experience on British national newspapers, specialising in campaigns. 

Helen Glover - Helen Glover MBE is a British professional rower and a member of the Great Britain Rowing Team. Ranked the number 1 female rower in the world in 2015–16, she is a two-time Olympic champion, triple World champion, quintuple World Cup champion and quadruple European champion 

Keith McAdam - Emeritus Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, who has devoted a lifetime to fighting serious diseases all over the world. 

John Sergeant - English TV and radio journalist and broadcaster. He was the BBC's Chief Political Correspondent from 1992 to 2000. 

Ella Eyre - British singer and songwriter. She is known for her collaborations with Rudimental on their UK number-one single "Waiting All Night" (2013), which won the 2014 Brit Award for British Single of the Year. 

 

The Old Millfieldian Society goes from strength to strength with OMs around the world meeting regularly, sharing expertise and advice, mentoring recent leavers and returning to the school to support our current students. It really is an incredible, dynamic network which continues to grow and flourish. 

Click here to discover all our OM of the Year winners to date.