Skip to main content

Three of UK's Smartest Footballers Meet Three of England's Smartest Kids

Andrew Hardwick left & Jonathan Hollands
Andrew Hardwick, left,
& Jonathan Hollands
Originally published 4 June 2003

For the last year the University of Warwick has run an innovative programme where 14 footballers study the business side of managing league and national football teams. On the other side of the University campus Warwick has hosted the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth which also launched a year ago to provide support for the top 5% of England’s gifted and talented young people. We thought it was time the country’s smartest footballers and smartest young people met - as they were sharing the same campus - and so three of the UK’s smartest footballers will meet three of England’s smartest young people in a photo call at 11.15am on Thursday 5th of June outside the entrance to the new Warwick Business School building on Gibbet Hill Road.

The 14 footballers will have just completed their studies at Warwick Business School. Three of them will present three footballs signed by all 14 footballers on the management programme to three pupils from Campion School, Bugbrooke, Northampton who will be attending the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth’s Summer Schools at the University of Warwick, and Durham at the end of the July. The three young people will be Rhianna Stubbs (Year 7), Joe Swords (Year 9), and Mark Hobbs (Year 10).

Campion School has been particularly active in working with the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Warwick. No less than 18 of its pupils are members of the Academy and 6 will be attending one of the Academy’s Summer Schools this year. Rhianna Stubbs has managed to combine her love of football and the Academy by opting take a course on “Sport and Society” while attending the Academy Summer school at the University of Warwick in July. Press and Parents can find more details on the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and its Summer Schools at

Warwick Business School was commissioned by The Footballers’ Further Education & Vocational Training Society Ltd (a body funded by The Professional Footballers Association), the FA Premier League, the Football League, the FA and The League Managers Association to provide the training programme. It is designed to develop the management skills of footballers who want to take on football management roles. All 15 of the mangers on the pilot programme have passed the course and the success of the pilot programme means that a new programme with another 15 footballers interested in developing formal management skills begins in just a few weeks time.

Andrew Hardwick of Warwick Business School said: "These people are great footballers. They can already access training and support in coaching skills but our programme provides them with the expertise in management and business that they will need to succeed as football managers.”

Photo and Interview Opportunities: The current footballer figures graduating from the course who should be present include: Welsh national manager Mark Hughes, Manchester United’s Brian McClair and Aston Villa’s Stuart Gray, Adrian Boothroyd, Noel Blake, Kevin Dillon, Paul Groves, Brian Laws, Rob Newman, Sean O'Driscoll, Kelham O'Hanlon, Nigel Spackman, Dave Watson, and Kevin Wilson. Also present and available for interview will be League Managers Association Chief Executive John Barnwell, Dr Sue Bridgwater and Andrew Hardwick from Warwick Business School (both are Directors of the Football Certificate Programme at Warwick Business School), a teacher from Campion School and representatives from the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.

Note for Editors: The new intake of football managers on the Certificate Programme will include Tony Adams, Stuart Pearce, Chris Turner, Paul Brush, Kenny Jacket, Neil Thompson, Kevin Blackwell, Glyn Hodges, Keith Curle, Mike Newell, Leroy Rosenior and Stuart Murdoch. Photo and Interview opportunities can be arranged with these managers on Wednesday 11th June 2003. Contact the University Press Office for further details.