Tony studied Visual Arts and graduated in 1989. He was a member of Pendle College.

Prior to the Games, Channel 4 issued a design tender to disabled artists to create a design to celebrate Channel 4’s involvement and commitment to the Paralympics. The winner of this tender was Tony Heaton who graduated from Lancaster in Visual Arts in 1986 with a BA (Hons) degree in Visual Arts (Sculpture). More information about Tony's work is available on his website.

Tony’s art installation formed part of the ‘Big 4’ outside the corporation’s Horseferry Road headquarters – the design of which celebrated Channel 4’s involvement and commitment to the Paralympics. The piece ‘Monument to the Unintended Performer’ brought together three elements in addition to the Big 4: the first based on the classical Greek sculpture Discobulus, the discus thrower, evoking the spirit of the Olympics; the second element, a circle, representing the wheel of the international symbol of access; and lastly, the introduction of gold, silver and bronze considers hierarchy.

Tony said: "I wanted to use the structure of the Big 4 as one of four elements that would fuse together to form a new cohesive piece - which would provoke thought and celebrate Channel 4's involvement and commitment to the Paralympics. The subtext of the piece is the assertion that disabled people are almost always the object of scrutiny and curiosity."