Sir John Robert Madejski OBE

Fellow of the Year 2013

Sir John Madejski OBE, DL is Chairman and Director of eight companies worldwide.

His most high-profile position is as Chairman of Reading Football Club. In 2006 he led the club into the English Premier League for the first time in its 140-year history, and again six years later, both times as Champions of the League.

This well-known philanthropist was knighted for charitable services in 2009. He is a significant benefactor to the Royal Academy of Arts in London and has funded a new garden at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and a gallery at the Museum of Reading. He has also funded The John Madejski Academy in Reading, an inner-city academy, which he says is the best that he has ever done.

Since becoming Chairman of Reading Football Club in 1990, he has changed the club beyond all recognition. All of the club’s best seasons in its history have come under Sir John’s Chairmanship and although he sold a controlling share in the summer of 2012, he remains Chairman and will eventually become Life President.


In the business world he made his mark as a founder of the multinational Auto Trader brand. He sold his stake in 1998 however he remains an active businessman across diverse areas such as the leisure industry, media, property and manufacturing.

He is Deputy Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire in 2000, a Freeman of the Borough by Reading Borough Council and an Honorary Fellow of Henley Management College. In December 2007, he was made an Honorary Doctorate of Literature at University of Reading and instated as their Chancellor.


SBID received nominations for many outstanding individuals as possible recipients for this year’s Fellowship Award and the nominee panel considered all applications carefully. The Fellow will be a person whose actions have enhanced the creative world.

Nominations for the 2017 Fellow of the Year are now open.

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Past Winners

Fellow of the Year 2015

Theo Fennell

Jeweller – Silversmith

Fellow of the Year 2014

Bill Kenwright CBE

Theatre and Sport

Fellow of the Year 2013

Sir John Robert Madejski OBE DL


Fellow of the Year 2012

Liam O’Connor


Fellow of the Year 2011

Robin Gibb CBE


Fellow of the Year 2010

Mark Wilkinson OBE

Cabinetry Craftsman