Robin Herd CBE (1939-2019)
It is with great sadness that I must pass on the news that our alumnus and benefactor, Robin Herd CBE, died earlier this week aged 80.
An Honorary Fellow of the college, Robin came up to St Peter's to read Engineering Science in 1958. From Oxford, he then went on to join the Royal Aircraft Establishment, working on the Concorde project.
It was in motorsports, however, that he found his calling and in which he enjoyed both a long and distinguished career. In 1965, he joined the newly-formed McLaren Formula 1 team, where he helped design their first ever car, before eventually going on to work for automotive engineering company Cosworth. In 1969, Robin co-founded Bicester-based March Engineering with Max Mosley, Alan Rees and Graham Coaker. The team went on to compete in over 200 Grand Prix between 1970 and 1992, winning three races. March also enjoyed success in Indycars, winning the prestigious Indianapolis 500 five years in a row between 1983 and 1987.
The mid-1990s saw Robin make the switch from motorsport to football, as he became the owner of Oxford United, helping them win promotion to Division 2 in his first season in charge.
The latter part of his life was overtaken by a long battle with cancer, but he nevertheless made time to return to St Peter's, filming a special documentary in Canal House in which he spoke about his journey from the world of aeronautical engineering to the pinnacle of motorsport.
We send condolences to his family.
Mark Damazer CBE
Master, St Peter's College