Explore the captivating life story of Sir Dave Brailsford, the new Manchester United board member

Explore the captivating life story of Sir Dave Brailsford, the new Manchester United board member

Ciku Njuguna
updated at February 3, 2024 at 1:03 PM
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Sir Dave Brailsford is credited with turning Great Britain’s Cycling Team into the most successful British team in all sports at the global and Olympic levels. After eleven years of leading the Ineos Grenadiers to become one of the world's best performers, Brailsford recently accepted a new role on the board of Manchester United. Dig in for an insightful deep dive into the life of Manchester United’s latest boss, Sir Dave Brailsford.

Dave Brailsford is pictured cycling. On the right, he is shown speaking at a conference.
Dave Brailsford cycles near Overijse on July 4, 2019. On the right, he speaks during the 102nd Giro d'Italia 2019 conference. Photo by Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP, Justin Setterfield.
Source: Getty Images

In January 2024, news of Brailsford's latest role at Manchester United was received with joy and sadness in equal measure. However, reports suggest that the former amateur cyclist, who spent over a decade at the helm of Ineos Grenadiers, will retain both jobs. Scroll down for more on this developing story and details of Sir Dave Brailsford’s famed marginal gains theory.

Sir Dave Brailsford’s profile summary

Full name

Sir David John Brailsford



Date of birth

29 February 1964


59 years old as of January 2024

Zodiac sign


Place of birth

Shardlow, Derbyshire, England




John and Barbara Brailsford




University of Chester

Sheffield Hallam University


Former INEOS Team Principal, Manchester United board member

Net worth

$1 million - $5 million

Sir Dave Brailsford’s brief bio

Born on the 29th of February 1964, Sir Dave Brailsford’s age is 59 years old as of January 2024. His zodiac sign is Pisces.

A graphical bio of Sir Dave Brailsford, Manchester United’s newest board member.
Team INEOS' manager, Dave Brailsford, speaks during the 102nd Giro d'Italia 2019 press conference in Bologna, Italy, on May 09, 2019. Photo by Justin Setterfield.
Source: Getty Images

He was born in Shardlow, a village in Derbyshire, England. His parents, John and Barbara Brailsford, moved the family to Deiniolen, in Caernarfon, North Wales, when he was two. Being English and growing up in a Welsh community often left him feeling like an outsider, which would later fuel his thirst for success.

He acknowledges his father's role in moulding him into a hard-hitting leader in sports. Speaking to The Diary of a CEO, he said

"My father grew up in a foster family. It was tough enough, and I think that affected who he was. He became very driven to make his own way. That was one of his deep-seated values. He pushed hard and was always about being professional, working hard and making your own way. He drilled that into us, and we lived it."

Sir Dave Brailsford’s family

The INEOS Team Principal has a daughter with his partner, Lisa Buckle. According to the Sun, Bucle was a director of his dissolved company, Brailsford Ltd. It is unclear whether Lisa is Sir Dave Brailsford’s wife.

Geraint Thomas receives a champagne flute from team manager Dave Brailsford during a cycling event at the 105th Tour de France 2018
Team Sky's yellow leader jersey Geraint Thomas and Dave Brailsford celebrate with champagne during the 105th Tour de France 2018, on July 29, 2018, in Paris, France. Photo by Pool - Tim de Waele.
Source: Getty Images

Various tabloids report that Dave Brailsford's daughter, Millie, may have been born in 2004 or 2005. While recounting the cost of his obsession with winning, the Winning Expert disclosed to Steve Bartlett that he spends 220 days out of a year working. He also spoke about losing time with his daughter, saying,

"I have got Millie, my daughter, who I love to bits. Since she was born, I have been involved in sports and at some point soon, I will stop and spend more time. Yet, when thinking, why am I doing all of this? A lot would be. I would like her to be happy. I would like her to have whatever she can have."


He attended school at Ysgol Brynrefail in North Wales until the age of 16 when he enrolled at the University of Chester, where he studied sports sciences and psychology. He later went on to study business at Sheffield Hallam University.

Sir Dave Brailsford’s cycling career

Before Brailsford began chasing his Tour de France dream as an amateur cyclist in Saint-Etienne soon after leaving Ysgol Brynrefail. His journey to France began with £700 ($880 as of January 2024) in savings, his bike and a destination in the French Alps, which his father had recommended. Scroll down for Sports Brief's comprehensive deep dive into the professional trajectory of the Englishman at the helm of British cycling.

Dave Brailsford rides a bicycle on a street during Team INEOS' rest day.
Team INEOS' manager Dave Brailsford cycles during the 106th Tour de France rest day on July 22, 2019, in Nimes, France. Photo by Chris Graythen.
Source: Getty Images

Great Britain cycling team

When did Dave Brailsford join British Cycling? In 1998, he became an advisor for the Great Britain cycling team. Before his appointment to his current capacity in 2003 as the team's performance director, he held the programme director position.

Informally known as the marginal gains guy, Brailsford’s role as Great Britain’s performance director led the team to significant victories in the Olympics and Tour de France. At the time, Dave Brailsford's theory of marginal gains and its advantages began to gain traction in various sectors.

His first significant success was recorded in Athens during the 2004 Olympics with two gold medals. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Team GB won eight gold medals, four silver medals, and two bronze medals. The British Cycling Team cemented its title as a gold medal factory during the 2012 London Olympics when they won eight gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.

Team Sky

Team Sky is one of the most dominant cycling teams in the world. According to British Cycling, David began voicing plans for its creation in 2007, two years before the pro-cycling squad was launched. On February 26, 2010, Brailsford, the team's performance director, unveiled its squad and plans to become the first British Tour de France winners within five years. According to various sources, the team has won 322 races, including eight Grand Tours and six of the last seven Tours de France.

Dave Brailsford poses with an award outside the Buckingham Palace during an Investiture ceremony
Sir Brailsford poses after receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at the Buckingham Palace on February 28, 2013. Photo by Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool.
Source: Getty Images

Ineos Grenadiers

In 2010, INEOS took ownership of Team Sky, changing its name to INEOS Grenadiers. Brailsford retained his position at the helm of the team. The Brailsford theory of marginal gains remained at the forefront of the team's performance. At the time of writing, the Grenadiers have won 7 Tour de France titles, 2 Giro d’Italia and 2 Vuelta a España victories.

Manchester United

In addition to cycling, David was a football player nicknamed Vialli, who played for the Westminster Casuals team. According to the latest news of Sir Dave Brailsford's Man United job, his primary role is to audit the club's football operations.

Frequently asked questions

Some of Sir Dave Brailsford’s achievements include a Commander of the Order of the British Empire title and the award of the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire for his services to cycling. Here are more interesting facts about the latest addition to Manchester United's leadership.

Dave Brailsford cycles with a member of Team Sky, a British professional cycling team
Dave Brailsford (front) cycles with a member of Team Sky, a British professional cycling team, during a training camp on January 24, 2011. Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis.
Source: Getty Images

1. What is Sir Dave Brailsford doing now?

At the time of writing, David has assumed his position on the board of Manchester United. Reports by Global Cycling Network reveal that as of January 20, 2024, he had resigned from the Grenadiers.

2. How much is Sir Dave Brailsford’s net worth?

According to IdolNetWorth, the 2019 BBC Sports Personality's Coach of the Year award winner's net worth ranges between $100,000 and $1 million. Other publications estimate his worth between $1 million and $5 million.

3. What is Dave Brailsford's most famous quote?

Known for his approach to performance, David Brailsford has inspired each team to significant success with his unique approach to success. Sir Dave Brailsford’s book Here is one of his most famous quotes, also called the 1% improvement rule or the principle of aggregate marginal gains.

Sir Dave Brailsford, a British cycling coach and former performance director of British Cycling
Team Sky's former performance director, Dave Brailsford, gave a talk during the 2017 Leaders Sport Performance Summit at The Oval on November 6, 2017, in London. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst.
Source: Getty Images

Final word

Sir David Brailsford is one of the most influential personalities in sports. His entry into football spells fortune for Manchester United players and fans.

READ ALSO: Ranking! Who are the 20 best cyclists in the world right now?

Sports Brief prepared a comprehensive ranking of the best cyclists in the world. Cycling is regarded as one of the most popular sports, with millions of professional cyclists around the world. Click on the link above for a full-ranked list of the sports' top performers.

Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.