The recent Textile Services Association (TSA) Spring Conference lined up Linford Christie OBE as keynote speaker and motivator par excellence. He is undoubtedly Europe’s greatest ever 100 metre sprinter. He was the first European to run sub 10 seconds and the first man in history to hold the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles in the 100 metres. His fastest time, 9.87 seconds, recorded when he won the 1993 World Championship in Stuttgart, was the European record for nearly 30 years.

Linford remains one of the most decorated British athletes of all time, winning an amazing 24 medals before the end of his 17-year career. Among numerous awards bestowed upon Christie was the 1993 ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year’ and ‘European Athlete of the Year’.

Rounding off the conference, Christie revealed himself to be highly competitive in his athletics career; that he hasn’t run in years; and, rather likes ‘relaxing’. However, he said, he is always there for the young generation athletes he coaches and mentors so that free time on the couch is often spent on the phone giving encouragement to them.

Asked whether he thought he could have beaten Usain Bolt he replied: “You should ask him whether he thinks he could have beaten me.” His point being that in his day there would have been no stopping to draw an imaginary bow or slowing down to see who is behind him, he was so focused on what he was doing. What a race that would have been.

• Find out more about the TSA. its work, membership and check on the TSA Cost Index at The full conference report is published in the June UK edition of LCN