After leaving The Perse, Steele trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and served as an army officer for 6 years. He then became a professional rugby player, playing over 400 first class games and receiving various honours.
Once his playing career was finished, Steele turned his hand to coaching, successfully leading Northampton Saints to becoming European Champions in 2000. He served on the England Rugby Board during the successful World Cup campaign in 2003, and was appointed as CEO of UK Sport in 2005.
Whilst at UK Sport, Steele was responsible for developing high performance sports and delivering medal success for Team GB. His tenure spanned the Beijing games and the lead into London 2012, where Team GB achieved unprecedented success.
In 2012, Steele took up post as Group Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust in order to further the Olympic legacy, and currently leads an ambitious change programme as Executive Director of Sport at Loughborough University. He was also the Chairman of the English Institute of Sport from 2013 to 2021.
John received an OBE in 2021 for his services to sport.