Chris Hoy’s masseuse was a founding member of Simply Red


Chris Hoy
Chris Hoy

By Cara Sulieman

OLYMPIC champion Sir Chris Hoy has revealed his former masseuse was a founding member of 1980s pop band Simply Red.

The sporting legend made the revelation in the latest episode of hit BBC show Would I Lie To You.

Members of the opposing team were asked to guess which celebrity had a connection with Sylvan Richardson – a bass guitarist and sports masseuse.

And although Hoy’s fellow panellists – Ronni Ancona and David Mitchell – put on a convincing show, the opposing team correctly identified him as the ex-Simply Red band member.

“Nice hands”

When the cyclist was asked what type of guitar the musician used to play, he seemed to falter and admitted: “I wasn’t a big fan of Simply Red at the time, no offence to Sylvan.”

But it was Richardson’s hands that tipped off Gabby Logan, Danny Wallace and Lee Mack to his true identity.

Gabby Logan asked if she could look at them before declaring that they were “nice hands”.

Comedian Danny Wallace was also convinced and said: “I think Gabby’s cracked it, you need good strong hands for playing the guitar and good strong hands for massage.”


The musician found fame with Simply Red in 1985 when he was just 20 years old.

But just two years later after two albums and several world tours he became disillusioned with the music industry and left the band.

He moved to New York where he studied composition with renowned the composer and teacher Edgar David Grana.

Sylvan later moved back to the UK in 1990 and has been heavily involved with the music industry behind the scenes ever since.

Always interested in anatomy

Among his many projects he was the musical director for the girl band Cleopatra – who reached number three in the UK charts in 1998 with their hit ‘Cleopatra’s Theme’.

But Sylvan – who also plays classical guitar and the drums – also found time to train in sports massage and has worked at the Squash World Open in Cairo last year as well as with Hoy.

He told the Squash Site earlier this year that he tried to split his time equally between his two professions.

He said: “I’ve always had a relationship with anatomy and physiology, stemming from my Kung Fu work and I guess my time is split roughly equally between this and music projects.

“I’ve been training for massage for about 10 years now; I’ve been doing it professionally for four.”

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