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Sebastian Coe was the Olympics hero, who became a Tory Lord and London 2012 chief, and is now trying to buy Chelsea


TRACK and field legend and lifelong Chelsea fan Sebastian Coe is rivalling the Americans once again.

The four-time Olympic medallist, 65, has joined forces with Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium to buy the Blues.

Sebastian Coe is part of Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium to buy Chelsea

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Sebastian Coe is part of Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium to buy ChelseaCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Lord Coe looks to the heavens after pipping East Germany's Jurgen Straub to gold at the 1980 Games

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Lord Coe looks to the heavens after pipping East Germany’s Jurgen Straub to gold at the 1980 GamesCredit: PA

Coe said: “I am certain Sir Martin is the right man to lead Chelsea Football Club into its next chapter.

“He has the vision, acumen and financial backing to ensure our club’s future success, keeping Chelsea Football Club at the top of European football and challenging for trophies.

“But most importantly, like me, he is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and Shed End season-ticket holder.

“This bid is for the millions of Chelsea fans around the world. We love our club and will always put the fans first.”

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Coe’s move comes amid an American power struggle, with baseball baron Tom Ricketts launching the latest bid just 24 hours after former US diplomat Woody Johnson tabled a £2billion offer.

Should the bid be successful, it would begin another chapter in Coe’s extraordinary life.

Coe won 1500m gold at the 1980 and 1984 Games,  became a Tory Lord, then spearheaded the 2012 London Olympics bid, where he was instrumental in getting the Queen to star opposite Daniel Craig as James Bond in a video for the Opening Ceremony.

His personal life has been just as eventful, married twice with four children, Lord Coe has found love again with Los Angeles publicist Sarah Robarts 13 years his junior.

Long-distance legend

Coe was destined to become an athletics star – with his dad Peter taking over coaching duties when he became dissatisfied with his son’s training at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Harriers.

His career took off in 1977, when the then 21-year-old competed in the 800m at the European Indoor Championships in San Sebastián, front-running the entire race and winning in 1:46.54, just short of the world indoor record.

On a world scale though, he truly announced himself at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

And a battle with fellow Brit Steve Ovett – reignited from their cross country days when they were rivals as teenagers – was centre stage.

Coe snatched gold at the Games in Russia in the 1500m, Ovett’s speciality, but he had to settle for silver in his favourite event – the 800m – which Ovett won instead.

A year later, Coe would shatter the 800m world record in Florence with a remarkable time of 1:41.73.

It took sixteen years for it to be broken, but still remains the UK record and makes Coe joint-third with Nigel Amos as third-fastest man ever at the distance.

Lord Coe in action in the 800m heat at Los Angeles 1984

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Lord Coe in action in the 800m heat at Los Angeles 1984Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Victorious Sebastian Coe celebrates winning gold in the 1500m in Los Angeles

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Victorious Sebastian Coe celebrates winning gold in the 1500m in Los AngelesCredit: Allsport – Getty

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was the last Games he appeared in, having not been selected for Seoul 1988.

Like four years prior, he scooped gold in the 1500m – running the last 400m in 52.2 and the last 100m in 12.1 seconds, the fastest-ever finish in a championship final.

Retirement and politics

Coe hung up his spikes in early 1990 with an eye on a different pathway.

He made the surprise move into politics in 1992, when he was elected as Conservative MP for Falmouth and Camborne.

It was a seat he would hold for five years, until he lost out in the 1997 general election.

Lord Coe would return to politics for a short period as Leader of the Opposition William Hague’s chief of staff, having accepted the offer of a Life Peerage in 2000.

However, last month he quit the House of Lords permanently to take up a job working for Czech company Sazka Entertainment AG who will take over running the National Lottery.

In the 1990s, Lord Coe moved into politics and represented the Conservatives as an MP

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In the 1990s, Lord Coe moved into politics and represented the Conservatives as an MPCredit: Reuters
Later, Lord Coe would work as William Hague's chief of staff

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Later, Lord Coe would work as William Hague’s chief of staffCredit: PA:Press Association

2012 Olympics

With a level of understanding of what it takes to stage an Olympics, Coe became an ambassador for London’s 2012, as well as a member of the board of the bid company.

Upon Barbara Cassani’s resignation in 2004, he soon became chairman for the later stages of the bid.

A year later, Coe was stood in front of the International Olympic Committee giving a presentation on why the Games should come to London.

Facing stiff competition from Paris and Madrid, he managed to convince the IOC that his bid was the strongest and London was chosen.

Then, he began planning – visiting the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver to see how the city coped with hosting the event.

While the Olympics in London was recognised as a success, what kicked it off perfectly was film director Danny Boyle’s epic opening ceremony.

A short film called Happy and Glorious was featured, starring the Queen, her corgis, and Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Originally Boyle’s idea, when the Oscar-winning moviemaker proposed the storyline to Coe he immediately took it to his political contact Edward Young, the Queen’s Deputy Private Secretary.

She fell in love with the idea and was seen jumping out of a helicopter in the hilarious clip.

David Beckham and Lord Coe celebrate their winning 2012 Olympic bid

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David Beckham and Lord Coe celebrate their winning 2012 Olympic bidCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Lord Coe carries the Olympic torch ahead of the Games in 2012

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Lord Coe carries the Olympic torch ahead of the Games in 2012Credit: AP:Associated Press

Personal life

A success in his professional life, Coe’s personal life has had its ups and down.

With two failed marriages, he certainly hasn’t had a smooth run when it’s come to romance.

Coe first married Nicky McIrvine in 1990 – just a year after meeting a dinner party.

She supported his move from athletics to politics, until they separated in 2002.

In 2004 it was alleged Coe had an affair with fashion designer Vanessa Lander during their marriage.

The revelation emerged as he was leading London’s 2012 Olympic bid, when she claimed he paid her to have an abortion.

Coe then found love with Carole Annett, who was retail editor at House & Garden for five years and daughter of ex-England cricketer Mike Smith.

But their relationship was marred in scandal when her first husband Andy Annett labelled Coe a “marriage wrecker” and alleged that Coe had an affair with his wife for a year before their split, claims that Coe denied.

Eventually, Coe and Annett would walk down the aisle in 2011. But nine years later they would separate.

“It is with regret that we announce today our separation to separate,” they revealed in a joint statement in 2020.

Lord Coe married Nicky McIrvine in 1990

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Lord Coe married Nicky McIrvine in 1990Credit: Rex Features
Carole Annett and Seb Coe's romance was clouded in controversy with allegations they had an affair

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Carole Annett and Seb Coe’s romance was clouded in controversy with allegations they had an affairCredit: Alamy
Los Angeles-based PR Sarah Robarts is Coe's new girlfriend

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Los Angeles-based PR Sarah Robarts is Coe’s new girlfriendCredit: Getty
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Coe has since found love with Los Angeles-based PR Sarah Robarts, a British-born mother of two who is 13 years younger than him.

Should she share his love for Chelsea, we could well see the pair of them at Stamford Bridge in the director’s seats.





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