Sponsorship deal underlines Macey's status

Dean Macey's days of shelf-stacking and working as a part-time lifeguard to make ends meet were formally consigned to the past yesterday as the 21-year-old world decathlon silver medallist announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Asics worth an estimated £180,000.

Dean Macey's days of shelf-stacking and working as a part-time lifeguard to make ends meet were formally consigned to the past yesterday as the 21-year-old world decathlon silver medallist announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Asics worth an estimated £180,000.

But as the brightest new star in the British athletics firmament spoke in the trendy setting of the Design Museum at London's Butler's Wharf, his words confirmed that, while you can take the boy out of Canvey Island, you can't take Canvey Island out of the boy. And what's more, the boy doesn't want you to.

Dean Macey still lives in his family home with his parents, still sees his mates in the pub - "they don't ask to buy me drinks, although they ask me if I should be downing them quite so quick, that's for sure" - and is still, well, Dean Macey.

To label Macey as an overnight success following his success at this year's World Championships in Seville would be an exaggeration. First, because the decathlon competition took two days, but more importantly because this is an athlete who has already spent five years working to reach the point at which he finds himself.

However, since his dramatic arrival into the public eye - "this time last year I was nowhere" - he confesses that it has taken a while for the measure of his achievement to sink in.

"I sit down and think about it from time to time, and it sends shivers up my spine," he said. "I kind of overshot my mark." What he now faces, as the Olympic year looms, is expectation - from the media, the great British public, and, most of all, himself.

"My own expectation is bigger than anyone's," he said. "I've never had expectation on my shoulders before. If I blow it big time or thrive on it, I don't know. But I've got no worries at the moment. My life is great - no other way of putting it."

He plans to do one more decathlon before the Olympics, perhaps in Gotzis, perhaps in Tallence. Then it's on to Sydney - and while he is wise enough not to assume that a medal will be his, he is heading for a target points score which, he believes, will make a medal automatic. Having achieved 8556 points in Seville, Daley Thompson's British record of 8847 points must be in Macey's thoughts.

"At this stage of the year last year I was nowhere near as fit as I am now," said the man who could barely drag his frame to the post-event press conference in Seville as he carried ankle and elbow injuries. "And I can see 150 to 200 points possible improvement just in terms of technical improvements I can make."

Macey can call upon the expertise of Steve Backley, Britain's European champion, when it comes to improving his javelin throwing. Backley, another Asics athlete, clearly admires many of Macey's qualities. "I think Dean and I are pretty normal people," Backley said. "We are lucky in that we are in a position to achieve big ambitions. I know what it's like - once you get a sniff of it you say to yourself 'Done it once, now do it again.' But we've chatted a lot and his attitude is brilliant."

In the meantime, Macey is aiming to change as little as possible in his day-to-day routine. "If something works for you, why change it?" he said.

One thing may have to change after yesterday's announcement, however - Mrs Macey is likely to be expecting some housekeeping money froms her son.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015