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ALUMNI - Find out about past students of Parrs Wood



Dr Tom Shearer - Research Fellow and Lecturer in Mathematics and Materials Science at the University of Manchester.
Tom attended Parrs Wood from 1999-2006 before obtaining a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics and a PhD in Applied Mathematics at the University of Manchester, where he now works as a lecturer and research fellow. His research is focused on understanding how the microscopic structures in biological soft tissues affect their mechanical properies.


Lucy Powell - Labour MP for Manchester Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Education.

After attending Parrs Wood Lucy studied for A-levels at Xaverian College. She read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and King's College London, gaining a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Lucy Powell joined the Labour Party at the age of 15.


Sophie Hannah - Award winning author

Sophie Hannah, 44, has published five collections of poetry. Her award-winning psychological crime fiction, out in 32 languages, includes the nine-book series featuring detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse.


Tom Ralston - Project Manager Eclipse Staging Services

Tom attended Parrs Wood from 1997-2004. He graduated from the University of Derby with First Class Honors in Sound, Light and Live Event Technology in 2007 and began his professional career training as a Project Manager with dbn Lighting in Manchester. In 2011 he moved to Dubai and works as a Project Manager for a live events technical supplier, heading up the stage lighting and video for the likes of One Direction, Lady Gaga, Gary Barlow, Justin Beiber, Bruno Mars, Michael Buble and many more.

In May 2014 Tom was awarded the Middle East Young Achiever of the Year Award.


Robert Malies - Humanitarian Aid Worker
Attending Parrs Wood from 1994 - 2001 he went on to study Engineering at Cambridge University and MIT. Following this he worked as a Structural Engineer in London and Madrid on a variety of projects including the 2012 Olympics Aquatic Centre.
Since 2011 Robert has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (a.k.a. Doctors Without Borders) as a Logistician, working in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad, assisting populations affected by conflict, epidemics and healthcare exclusion.


Adam O’Riordan- Poet, was born in Manchester in 1982. He attended Parrs Wood High School before reading English at Oxford University. In 2008 O’Riordan became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection In the Flesh (Chatto and Windus) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. He is Lecturer in Poetry Writing at the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.


Steve Bent - Photographer, died on Christmas Day 2011 aged 53, covered the biggest foreign stories of the last 30 years for a host of Fleet Street newspapers; probably his most hair-raising exploits came in Iraq, where between 2003 and 2008 he lived and worked almost non-stop. Born in 1958 he attended Parrs Wood High School before heading to Blackpool Photography College.


Marvin Brown - Actor

Attended Parrs Wood High School from 1991-1996. Marvin then studied at the Arden School of Theatre in 2003 for four years.
Mainly working in television he has appeared in 'Outlaws', 'Coronation Street', 'Shameless', 'Spooks' and 'The Accused'.


Kay Stoler (nee Brooks)


Left Parrs Wood High School in 1977. Studied a secretarial course at Fielden Park College until end of 1979 then worked at Manchester Royal Infirmary in their Department of Medicine. Took up a three year contract at The Johannesburg General Hospital in South Africa in 1981 and never left South Africa.

Neville Edwards-attended Parrs Wood between 1995 – 2000. Trained and achieved Professional Chef’s Diploma in 2004, and went on to work for Gordon Ramsey at his flagship restaurant Aubergine in Knightsbridge, London. Achieved NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Safety & Health making him, at 26, the youngest qualified Health & Safety Consultant in the UK. He will be working on the London 2012 Olympics as a Senior Communications Officer dealing with all aspects of safety and security during the main Olympics and Paralympic games. In late 2012 he will begin studying for a Masters Degree in International Disaster Management at Leicester.

Nick Speak (born November 21, 1966) is a former Lancashire and Durham batsman, who played first-class cricket from 1986 to 2001. After a number of years as a regular member of the strong Lancashire team of the early to mid 90s, he left to captain Durham.

Colonel Danny F. Tilzey

Attended Parrs Wood between 1973-1978

Danny F. Tilzey is currently a Colonel in the United States Army, with
an amazing career record. He is the youngest Colonel in the United
States Army (in terms of career years) in his year group. He has been
consistently selected early for promotion.

CLICK HERE for a biography.

Lisa Nandy - Labour MP for Wigan and Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

She graduated from Newcastle University in 2001 with a degree in politics and obtained a master's degree in public policy from the University of London. She has worked in the voluntary sector, as a researcher at the homelessness charity Centrepoint from 2003 to 2005, and then as senior policy adviser at The Children's Society from 2005,[1][7] where she specialised in issues facing young refugees, also acting as adviser to the Children's Commissioner for England and to the Independent Asylum Commission.


Ben Williams - Professional Footballer

Attended Parrs Wood in the 1990's

Plays as a goalkeeper for Colchester United. He started his career as a Manchester United trainee, where he made a few pre-season appearances. Since leaving Old Trafford he played for both for Crewe Alexandra and Carlisle United before moving to Colchester.

Andrew Murray - English professional golfer

He turned professional in 1972. He played on the European Tour from the 1979 through to 1995. Murray has since worked as a commentator and analyst for the BBC.

Danny Webber - Professional Footballer

Attended Parrs Wood High School in the 1990’s. He is now a striker for Portsmouth.
Webber started his career at Manchester United, where he made his debut as a substitute in the League Cup during the 2000-01 season. The following season, he made his first start in another League Cup game for Man Utd but was loaned out to Watford, where he scored two goals in five League appearances. A second loan spell in the season at Port Vale game him another four League games under his belt. 2004-05 he was transferred to Sheffield United for a fee of £500,000 helping their promotion to the premier League. He signed for Portsmouth in 2009.


to see fly
past of
Red Arrows

Red 10 - Flight Lieutenant Steve Underwood.
Flight Lieutenant Steve Underwood AFC (43) with the Red Arrows as Red 10. Steve was born and raised in Manchester, attending Parrs Wood High School. Since joining the RAF in 1979 Steve has flown both helicopters and fast jets in a variety of operational roles. Steve began his RAF career flying Puma and Wessex helicopters, followed by a secondment to The Sultan of Oman Air Force, where he instructed on the Huey.
On his return to the UK Steve transferred to fixed-wing flying and became an instructor on the Central Flying School (CFS). Steve was then selected to fly the Harrier GR5 (and subsequently the GR7) on No. 1 (F) Squadron. In 1996 Steve returned to CFS instructional duties, this time on the Hawk with 19(F) Squadron, RAF Valley. Here Steve specialised in combat and low-level tactics.

Stephen Threlfall - Director of Music at Chethams School of Music

He studied 'cello at the Royal Northern College of Music.

For a number of years he was Sub Principal cellist with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and also played with many of the country's other leading orchestras.

He became Director of Music at Chetham's in 1995.

Judy Shekoni - starred as Precious in East Enders.
Judy was a student at Parrs Wood in the nineties. She studied Drama as one of her GCSE options and acting was something she always wanted to do.
Before starring as Precious in East Enders Judy starred in Hollyoaks and whilst working for Carlton I- TV interviewed Tom Hanks. Before that she was modelling for Elle and Cosmopolitan magazines. She has worked in Dubai, New York and Copenhagen doing catwalk shows and photographic shoots.

Ruth Sheldon - Champion Chess Player
Ruth Sheldon became England's No.3 woman Chess player. Her first national success was first place in the strong London U12 championship ahead of all the boys, and in 1993 she won the gold medal at the World Girls' U14 Championship in Slovakia.
Whilst at Oxford University Ruth was a regular on the England women's team for several years, and again won gold at the 1998 World Girls' U18 Championship in Spain.

Hannah Pool - Fashion Editor and Author
Fashion Editor with The Guardian and Author of
'My Father's Daughter'

Tell us about YOU

If you are an ex-student of Parrs Wood, no matter how far back, and would like to let us know what you are doing now please email the WEBMISTRESS.
Include the years you attended Parrs Wood and a picture if possible.



Recent Alumni

imageDean Fagan

Attended Parrs Wood 1999-2004. Went on to study Performing Arts at Stockport College. Actor and DJ. Currently playing Luke Britton in Coronation Street.

image Joe Darrington
Joined the RAF after leaving Parrs Wood - Has completed basic training and is now at Chicksands for a 16 month specialist training period.

Lewis Montrose

Professional Footballer - Attended Parrs Wood

2000 - 2005. Began his career at Wigan Athletic with spells at Cheltenham Town, Chesterfield and Wycombe Wanderes. Now plays for York City.

Holliday Grainger Actress - Attended Parrs Wood 1999 - 2006. Primarily active in television but over the past couple of years, she has moved into films. She has appeared in 'Where the Heart Is', 'Waking the Dead', 'Merlin', 'Demons'.


Holliday has gained a First Class Honours Degree in English Literature / English Language. She began her degree studies at Leeds University, but due to hectic filming schedules, she finalised her studies through the Open University.

Additional info. and updates - most recent film role:
playing Estella in Mike Newell's forthcoming Great Expectations

Recent roles also in films: Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Bel Ami.
Also plays Lucrezia Borgia in The Borgias television series.(Showtime - Sky Atlantic)

Studied at Parrs Wood from 1995-2000 . Graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a: B.S.c (First Class Honors) in Computer and Network Technology
Currently studying at Trinity College Dublin for an M.Sc in Computer Science (Networks and Distributed Systems). I will be starting a PhD in Policy Based Network Management within the Computer Science Department of Trinity in October.

imageCongratulations to Matt Crampton who won a silver medal in the Cycling team Pursuit at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006!
Matthew attended 1997-2002 and took up cycling in Year 9.

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