To a modern audience, Dean Macey is possibly best known as the presenter of angling shows, such as ‘The Big Fish Off’ and ‘Fishing Allstars’. However, in his younger days, ‘The Dean Machine’ was, of course, a world-class decathlete. Indeed, early in his career, Macey was considered the natural successor to dual Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson, who became his coach. In fact, his personal best of 8,603 points, achieved when winning the bronze medal at the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada in 2001, is second only to the 8,847 points achieved by Thompson when winning the gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 in the all-time list of performances by British decathletes.
Macey announced his arrival on the world stage when winning the silver medal at the World Championships in Seville in 1999 with a personal best of 8,556. points. Sadly, though, in a career ravaged by injury, Macey only achieved a fraction of what, at one point, seemed likely. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, he increased his personal best, slightly, to 8,567 points, but that was still only good enough for fourth place. At the Athens Olympics in 2004, it was a similar story, with sub-standard pole vault and javelin performances leaving him stranded on 8,414 points, once again in fourth place.
Macey did win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, but didn’t have to be at his best to do so. Hampered, not for the first time, by recurring injuries, his winning total of 8,143 points was well below his personal best. In July, 2008, having failed to reach the B qualifying standard for the Beijing Olympics, Macey retired from athletics. At that point, he said, ‘My heart is there, my mind is there but my body has finally given in.’