A superb all-round talent, Denise has progressed to the highest world-class at the heptathlon, her highest accolade to date the Olympic gold medal she won in Sydney.
She achieved a best of 5277 points in her first year at the event in 1989.
She was Britain's woman athlete of the year in 1996, when she was Britain's only female Olympic athletics medallist, 1997, when she took the World silver medal, and in 1998, she won gold at both the European and Commonwealth Games. In 1999 she won the World silver medal with 6724 points, just 12 points short of her Commonwealth record.
In Sydney, the recurrence of an Achilles tendon meant that her completing her event was doubtful, but she showed great courage and earned her hugely deserved gold medal. She was awarded the MBE in the 1999 New Year Honours, and gave birth to her daughter Lauren in April 2002.