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Wednesday 16 April 2014

Lawrie McMenemy MBE, Gary Lewin and Dr Richard Elliott

England physiotherapist Gary Lewin shared exclusive insight into the England football team’s preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with sports scientists and physiotherapists of the future at Southampton Solent University.

Gary gave a guest lecture to Solent University students studying degrees in health and fitness, personal training, football studies, sports studies and sport science and sport coaching and development. With just nine weeks to go to the start of the competition, he set out how the team’s preparations are developing ahead of the June kick-off in Brazil.

As well as exclusive photography and anecdotes of the England squad on and off the pitch during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, he shared some interesting statistics with the students about just what happens behind the scenes in the planning and execution of a major tournament for the England team.

Talking after the lecture Gary said, “Working in professional football is highly pressurised. With everything happening live on TV, every decision we make as a physio team is scrutinised by experts from across the globe; but I wouldn’t change it for the world! These students have very exciting careers ahead of them after graduation and I look forward to working with some of them in the future.”

Gary was first-team physio at Arsenal for 22 years, until he became the full-time Head of Physiotherapy to the England Senior Men’s Football Team in August 2008.

He has been credited with saving limbs and even lives during his career. Gary was first onto the pitch – and possibly saved Chelsea captain John Terry’s life – when John Terry swallowed his tongue after being hit in the face by Abou Diaby’s foot during a corner in the Arsenal penalty area.

Ex-English football manager Lawrie McMenemy MBE, who is also President of the University’s Centre for Football Research which takes his name, was also present at the guest lecture and participated in the authoritative Q&A with the students.

“Our excellent industry contacts enable us to offer opportunities to hear from experts like Gary and to learn about England’s preparations from a man who has been at the heart of the team for more than two decades,” says Dr Richard Elliott, Associate Professor and Director of the University’s centre for football research.

Richard added, “Being at the forefront of the academic study of football, many of our graduates are going on to excellent careers in Premier League clubs.”

If you see yourself working with elite athletes, it’s not too late to apply for one of our specialist sports courses. Visit to find out more.