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.

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Advisor - East Anglia - Field-based

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: To be considered for this position you will n...

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home