Hall of Fame
Known as: Rob, Grandad
Time Active: 2008 - 2016
Position: Outside Hitter/Setter
Bio: Rumoured to have been at the club since the dawn of time itself, Rob was arguably one of the greatest leaders to pass through its ranks. Taking up the position of Club Captain in 2013, Rob oversaw substantial growth within the club, starting the 2nd teams, a move which helped triple membership figures. On top of this Rob was witness to one of the best seasons in 2014/15 when both 1st teams won their respective leagues, a success that he played a key role in for the Men’s 1sts as starting outside hitter. A keen attendee of socials, Rob also displayed a remarkable knowledge of cheesy pop music, an attribute that remained firmly on display at every visit to Lizard Lounge. Rob’s energy and enthusiasm for Volleyball was unprecedented, and he can take full responsibility for moulding the University of Bristol Volleyball Club into the undoubted powerhouse it is today. It will take one hell of an individual to surpass his achievements as Club Captain.
Known as: Celly
Time Active: 2008 - 2015
Position: Outside Hitter/Middle/Opposite
Bio: Almost as permanent a fixture in the Volleyball club as the sport itself, Celly was one of the most proactive club members to grace the halls of SEH. Playing pretty much every position on court with inevitable success, Celly was a key member of the Ladies 1sts for the entirety of her degree. Off-court Celly confirmed her love of moving around positions by, at varying points across the years, being Social Sec, Ladies Captain, HEVO Officer and now Alumni Sec. Celly was also a keen advocate of the Volleyball socials, regularly tearing up the dancefloor with her pre-choreographed routines. Celly worked hard to be the friendly face for many freshers and her enthusiasm for all aspects of the club will remain in the memories of the club for a long time.
Known as: The John House
Time Active: 2012 - 2018
Bio: Taking over as Club Captain from Rob Pennifold was no easy task and finding someone who even came close to sharing the same level of dedication and excitement towards the sport was always going to be tough. Fortunately John did this with ease. The amount of time this man spent in the hallowed sports hall will never be surpassed by another human being. Whether he was coaching a complete beginner or competing against the best players in the country, he put in the exact same amount of effort, and loved every minute of it.
After finishing his degree, he then did a masters, then not wanting to leave took up a two year role as the Sport and Student Development Officer. Here he applied his knowledge of being a club captain to the wider sporting community and also did an incredible job at this. His legend will live on with the 10 foot banner of him up in the sports hall and the everlasting #WeAreBristol hashtag.
Known as: Big Mike, Michaels, Big Value
Time Active: 2012-2020
Position: Middle/Opposite/One-time Libero
Bio: As the tallest and most northern player to grace the Bristol volleyball scene since records began (circa 2012) Michael was a permanent and easily findable fixture of the club for 8 years. The second half of the notorious volleyball double act of himself and other hall of fame member John House, holding up the kind of volleyball and height based relationship that put Brangelina to shame, Michael was one of the most iconic and loveable members of the club for almost a decade.
Having made the transfer from football early on following a disastrous debut, he quickly settled into the club taking on roles as treasurer, men’s captain, coach and indeed club captain for two glorious years, steering the great ship to previously unknown heights of success. Known colloquially as ‘Big Mike’ it was only 4 years into his career that the club discovered he didn’t like the nickname, instead returning to his given name (and loud formal on court call) of Michael, a testament to his unassuming and apparently adorable personality. A formidable middle and later opposite for the 1st team, Michaels enormous dustbin lid hands (great for blocking and allowing him to set with such poise and grace) and love of the three metre line tormented every opposition, a feat made all the more impressive by him appearing to perform in a pair of school shoes from 2006.
The club truly owes Michael a great debt and it is testament to his hard work and infectious enthusiasm for the sport that the club continued to grow under his tutelage, becoming the powerhouse it is today. Michael Wilsher, the loveable northern rogue, deserves his place as one of the greatest individuals the club has ever seen.