Mike Bentley

School Days: 1990-1991

Mike Bentley was the closest thing Grange Hill could boast to Linford Christie. An extraordinarily gifted athlete, Mike had the world at his feet - quite literally, and a talent classmates could only dream of.

But Mike had reached a point in his life where he tired of making sacrifices for sporting prowess. As a sixth former, Mike wanted the life his friends enjoyed and the lovely Georgina Hayes only helped him realise there was more to life than personal bests. This did not go down well with his demanding father, Mr Bentley was a pushy parent and perhaps was trying to impose the opportunity he never had on his son. To make things worse, Max Hargreaves saw Mike as a marketing tool for Grange Hill. Mike was shy and retiring; he didn't care much for publicity and would never boast about his achievements. But just as he was becoming a normal teenager, Mike was given the opportunity of a lifetime; and this he could not refuse.

REASON FOR LEAVING: Left for a sports academy in the US after being headhunted by a talent scout.

ROMANCE: Mike became friendly with Georgina Hayes, but was slow to cotton on to her attraction. Eventually they paired up. Mr Bentley resented her presence and blamed her for Mike's rebellion.

Series 13 Mike becomes Robbie's best mate. When he starts seeing Georgina, Mr Bentley is furious that she is distracting him from training. Mike stuns Max by announcing he won't run for the school any more; Mr Robson introduces Mike to a personal friend - Linford Christie - who helps change his mind. On a lads' night out, Mike & co. witness a glassing at a pub; Mike is terrified he might be implicated in the attack. In the court case that follows, Mike and Robbie give evidence against the thugs responsible.

Series 14 Cecile, a talent scout from the USA, spots Mike and offers him a place at a sporting academy in the States. After much soul-searching he takes the place and bids farewell to Grange Hill, leaving Georgina to fall into the arms of Don Jenkins.

ASSOCIATES: Robbie Wright, Max Hargreaves, Georgina Hayes, Trevor Cleaver.

CURRENT WHEREABOUTS: Looking ahead to London 2012...

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