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Matthew Syed

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Matthew Syed

Abbas Syed



University of Oxford

Matthew Syed Matthew Syed

2 November 1970 (age 53) (

Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice, Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

Desmond Douglas , Christina Patterson , Henry Winter

Why you should have your own black box | Matthew Syed | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Matthew Philip Syed (born 2 November 1970) is a British journalist and broadcaster. He has worked for The Times newspaper since 1999.


Syed used to be an English table tennis international, and was the English number one for many years. He was three times the Men's Singles Champion at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships (in 1997, 2000 and 2001), and also competed for Great Britain in two Olympic Games.

Matthew syed closing speaker myth busting apm project management conference 2015

Life and career

Matthew Syed Matthew Syed Voices From Oxford

His father, Abbas Syed, is a Pakistani emigrant to Britain who converted from Shia Islam to Christianity, and his mother is Welsh. He attended the Maiden Erlegh School in Earley near Reading, then studied PPE at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was awarded a prizewinning First.

Matthew Syed QampA with Bounce author Matthew Syed Mumsnet

A right-handed table-tennis player, Syed won many titles, but says that he "choked" at the Sydney Olympics: "when I walked out into the mega-watt light of the competition arena, I could hardly hit the ball."

Syed has worked as a commentator for the BBC and Eurosport, and as a journalist for The Times since 1999. He is a regular pundit on radio and television, commentating on sporting, cultural and political issues. His film China and Table Tennis, made for the BBC, won bronze medal at the Olympic Golden Rings ceremony in Lausanne in 2008.

As a sports writer he won 'Sports Feature Writer' of the Year at the SJA Awards in 2008 and 'Sports Journalist of the Year' at the British Press Awards in 2009. His first book, Bounce, published by HarperCollins, was published in May 2010. It won the 'Best New Writer' category of the British Sports Book Awards (2011). His style has been mocked by satirical magazine Private Eye.

Syed is managing director of a sports marketing company. From 1999, he has worked as a Marketing Consultant for the English Table Tennis Association based in Hastings. He was one of the co-founders of TTK Greenhouse, a sports-related charity.


Syed stood as the Labour Candidate in the 2001 UK General Election in Wokingham coming third in a safe Conservative seat. Syed won a place on the Labour Party's shortlist to succeed Ashok Kumar for the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in the 2010 UK General Election. However, the party selected Tom Blenkinsop, who had worked in Kumar's constituency office for six years.


Matthew Syed Wikipedia