Our annual OM of the Year ceremony is an event that we look forward to as an opportunity to congratulate the achievements of our wonderful alumni.
Since its inception in 2000, we have honoured OMs across a wide range of professions, including authors, Olympic champions, media personalities, theatre and film directors, gardeners, musicians, national and industrial leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, pioneering doctors, charity and humanitarian workers, and many more from all over the world.
This year, we are proud to introduce to you our next four winners, who have been awarded for their outstanding efforts in their respective fields; James Hildreth, Stephen Batchelor, Surgeon Captain Kate Prior Royal Navy and Rob Wade.
View our full list of OM of the Year winners here.
James is an English professional cricketer who played for Somerset County Cricket Club. He represented England at all youth levels including the 2003–04 Under-19 World cup held in Bangladesh. He made his first-class debut in 2003 and has been a regular member of the side since the start of the 2004 season. Although unfortunate not to receive a senior England call up, James was a substitute fielder throughout the 2005 Ashes series and took a catch to dismiss Ricky Ponting in the first Test at Lord's off the bowling of Matthew Hoggard.
James was born in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, and attended Millfield for 8 years. He finished third in the school's batting averages in 2000, with 30.38 and a top score of 75 not out. In 2002, he was one of three Millfield pupils chosen to play in the annual ECB try-out match, where his 17 wickets taken at an average of 13.05 rated him as the school's joint highest wicket-taker. James was part of the first XI for four years at Millfield, where he captained in 2003 and performed well given the extra responsibility; he finished top of the school's batting averages, his 563 runs coming at 62.55, and trailed only one team-mate in the bowling averages.
James was voted ‘Most Promising Young Cricketer of the Year’ in 2004 by the Cricket Society. He became the youngest Somerset player to score a double century when he made 227 not out in the final Championship match of 2006 against Northamptonshire. He carried this form into 2007 and passed 1,000 First Class runs for the first time, hitting four centuries in the process and winning his County Cap. In the 2007-8 winter he won a place at the National Academy working with the England Development squad.
On 18 April 2009, James hit his highest ever first-class score with 303 not out at Taunton, becoming the youngest Somerset player to score a triple century and only the second Englishman to score over 300 runs in an innings for Somerset, it was also recorded as the earliest triple century in an English season. In 2009 James became the youngest Somerset player to score a triple century when he hit an unbeaten 303 against Warwickshire at Taunton. In 2010/11, James captained the England Lions team that toured Australia and the West Indies, where he was leading run scorer.
James played 715 matches for Somerset Country Cricket and scored over 28,000 runs in the three formats of red and white ball cricket. His batting aggregate ranked him third in the list of all time Somerset batsmen, with his achievements at Somerset being recognised by the opening of The James Hildreth Stand at the Somerset County Cricket Ground on 21 September 2022.
In 1980, shortly after leaving Millfield School, Stephen made his international debut for England Hockey as a 19-year-old. He was a member of the gold winning Great Britain squad in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, setting up Imran Sherwani for that famous goal in the final against West-Germany. Four years earlier he won Bronze at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, as well as silver with the England squad at the 1986 Hockey World Cup. Having played his club career for Southgate and East Grinstead, Stephen amassed 48 England and 66 Great Britain Caps during his 12-year international career before retiring after the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Stephen is now Assistant Head (Liaison) at Cranleigh School. He first joined Cranleigh more than 20 years ago as a sports coach and shortly after joined the Common Room, becoming Deputy Housemaster of Loveday. He then moved from his position as Head of Admissions, which he held for over 10 years, to the role of Assistant Head (Liaison).
Dr Kate Prior
Surgeon Captain Kate Prior is in the British Royal Navy, and a Consultant in Anaesthetics and Major Trauma at King’s College Hospital, London, UK.
“In recent years, my operational military role has taken me to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the humanitarian response in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis and working for the United Nations in South Sudan. Last year, I was the Clinical Director of the Role 2 Afloat medical team embarked on the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the Carrier Strike Group deployment.”
As the Training Programme Director for the Southeast School of Anaesthesia, she is responsible for the training and pastoral care of over 100 civilian and military trainees, including a large number of women. She encourages all her trainees to aim high and make their professional aspirations a reality and, for the female trainees, she exemplifies what a woman can achieve in the workplace, particularly in the male-dominated world of the military. Kate was the recipient of the Medical Women’s Federation Centenary Award for an Established Doctor.
Outside of the hospital walls, she provides pre-hospital care for the military, for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and sporting events as diverse as Tough Mudder, the Bramham International Horse Trials and the London Marathon.
Last year, OM Rob Wade was appointed Chief Executive Officer of FOX Entertainment.
Rob joined FOX in March 2017 and has recently served as President and Alternative Entertainment and Specials for FOX Entertainment.
He has overseen the network’s unscripted slate, including shows such as ‘Lego Masters’, as well as long-running series ‘MasterChef’. He was also responsible for the launch of Fox’s in-house production unit, Fox Alternative Entertainment, producing key titles and generating international formats as part of a $100 million global formats fund.
Rob has been a rising star at the network during the past five years, praised by execs for his fiscal responsibility of his non-scripted slate, navigating the pandemic and keeping key titles on air whilst also finding new ways to fund development.
Prior to joining FOX, Rob was head of Entertainment Development at BBC Worldwide, Executive Producer on FOX’s ‘The X Factor’, NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ and was Head of TV at Syco Entertainment North America.
We look forward to celebrating our OM of the Year Winners at our Brilliance Dinner on Friday 26 May. To book tickets for this evening of celebration, please click here.