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Lawrie McMenemy MBE, Honorary President

lawrie-mmLawrie McMenemy is one of the UK's most successful football managers. He started his career with Newcastle United before moving to non-league Gateshead in the late 1950s. An injury ended his career in 1961, but he moved into coaching and spent three years as coach of the club. 

After spells as manager at Bishop Auckland, coach at Sheffield Wednesday, and manager of Doncaster Rovers and Grimsby Town, winning Championships at both clubs, he was appointed manager of Southampton Football Club in 1973. In 1976 he guided Southampton to FA Cup victory with a 1-0 win over Manchester United. In 1979 he guided the club to the final of the League Cup, reaching another semi-final of the FA Cup in 1984.  Southampton also reached their highest league position in the clubs history finishing runners-up to Liverpool in the top flight in 1984. Lawrie left Southampton in 1986 to join Sunderland AFC as managing director. After two years he left the club. In 1990 he became manager of the England 'B' and U-21 sides.

In 1993 Lawrie returned to Southampton Football Club as director of football.  He resigned his position in 1998 to become manager of the Northern Ireland national team.

Since 2000 Lawrie has concentrated on his role as a Football Association Ambassador and as Chairman of the Special Olympics Great Britain. He is also involved with many other charities, and is a founder member and Life Vice President of the League Managers Association.

Paul Bennett CMS, DMS

paul-bennett Paul Bennett has taught at Solent University for the past eleven years in a variety of subjects including strategy, sports operations and football administration. He obtained his academic qualifications at Southampton Institute following a successful career as a professional footballer. He played a combined total of more than 400 games for Southampton, where he was a member of the FA Cup winning squad in 1976, for Reading, where he captained the side that won the old Division 4 title and was a major contributor to that side playing 11 consecutive games without conceding a goal – still a record. Paul finally completed his professional career at Aldershot before moving into local football. He has supported the introduction of the 'Certificate in Professional Football Management and Administration', and is now responsible for its delivery and development.

Mark Turner BSc, MA

mark-turner Mark Turner is senior lecturer in sport sociology and course leader for BA (Hons) Sport Studies and Business. He holds degrees from Lancaster University (BSc) and the University of Brighton (MA). He also holds the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCTLHE) and is a fully qualified FA level 1 coach. Mark’s main teaching interests are located in the areas of sport sociology and cultural studies. He is a former FA youth cup player for Wigan Athletic and has been a season ticket holder for Manchester City Football Club for over 25 years. As such, his research and teaching are very much underpinned by knowledge and experience of the game both as a player and spectator. Mark is currently studying for his PhD. This project explores the sociology of social movements and fan activism/mobilisation in English football with specific focus on the Safe Standing campaign. Additionally, Mark's expertise focuses on the changing social, cultural and political significance of football goal celebrations and the virtual spaces and places at which football fans are now interacting.

Dr Rory Magrath BA, MA, PhD

rory-magrath Rory Magrath's research interests lay predominantly in gender and sexuality, particularly within football fandom and young athletes. He has conducted research in the youth academy's of professional football clubs, where he has investigated homophobia and inclusivity of sexual minorities among youth footballers. 

Rory is in the final year of his PhD at the University of Winchester, where he is being supervised by Professor Eric Anderson. His thesis focuses on the construction of masculinities among Premier League academy footballers.

Kim Wilcox BSc, MEd, PGCE

wilcox-kim Kim Wilcox holds degrees from University of Gloucestershire (BSc, 1st Class), University of Birmingham (MEd, Distinction) and is a qualified teacher of physical education (PGCE). Prior to taking up her post as lecturer in football at Solent University, she was employed by the Hampshire Football Association. As strategic lead for the Football Association’s Just Play project and recreational participation for adult players, she worked collaboratively with a range of local and national organisations, clubs, and education providers to engage, develop and retain players at grassroots level. She also led the early development of Walking Football within Hampshire and subsequently contributed to advancements in the game at a national level. Her interests lie in the use of recreational and diverse formats of football as a player development tool.


Dr Jim O'Brien BA, MA, MPhil, DPhil

jimobrien Jim O'Brien is senior lecturer in journalism at Solent University. He has taught extensively in higher education in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Greece and Spain; within his expertise he has developed and taught courses in sport and politics, sport and the media, and sport and popular culture. He has also worked as a journalist in the United States.

A holder of degrees from Keele (BA), Portsmouth (MA) and Sussex (MPhil/DPhil) universities, and a qualified teacher (PGCE, Manchester), his primary research interests are based around Spanish football. He is currently working on a major study, 'La Furia Espanola; Football, Politics and the Media in Spain', to be published by Intellect Books. In recent years he has given conference and research papers on 'Comparative Club and Fan Cultures', 'Representations of Football in the Media', and the 'History and Culture of FC Barcelona'. He is a member of both the Association of Journalists in Education and the Sport and Politics Study Group. He is currently visiting lecturer in sport and Spanish culture at the American University of Barcelona.

Dr John Harris BA, PhD, ILTM

johnharrisDr John Harris is senior lecturer in sport and event management at Glasgow Caledonian University. He has published widely in the areas of women's football, sporting celebrity and national identity.

His work on David Beckham has attracted international media attention and he has presented his research at conferences in Europe and North America. John led the early development of the football studies programme at Solent University and has worked as an external examiner for a number of English universities. He has also worked as a consultant with a number of sport and leisure providers.

Dr David Webber, PhD

Dr David Webber Dr David Webber is a senior lecturer in football studies. He holds a first class honours degree in business from the University of Wales, and two masters degrees – both conferred with distinction – from the University of Birmingham in the fields of international political economy and political science respectively.

In 2012, David was awarded a PhD from the University of Warwick in politics and international studies. David’s more recent research continues his original interest in British politics and IPE but develops it to examine the political, economic and cultural changes that English football has undergone over the past 30 years.

With one monograph already under his belt, Global Statesman (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), David is, alongside a number of other articles relating to the cultural political economy of football, currently writing his next book, Modern Football: The Great Transformation of the English Game with Manchester University Press.

A member of the PSA Sport and Politics group and sub-editor of the Football Collective, David has worked with a number of organisations including Liverpool Football Club, the Football Supporters Federation and the Spirit of Shankly. He has made a number of local, national and international media appearances to discuss issues relating to the governance and political economy of football.

Dr Ben Powis, PhD

Image of Ben Powis

Dr Ben Powis is a lecturer in football studies. He holds a first class honours degree in sport studies and a masters degree with distinction in sport and society from the University of Brighton.

In 2017, Ben was awarded with a PhD, also from the University of Brighton, which examined the social experiences of elite visually impaired cricket players.His research interests build upon this field of inquiry and include the sociology of disability sport, the embodied experiences of visually impaired people in sport and physical activity, and investigating the significance of sensuous sporting experiences. His on-going research-which critiques the existing classification systems in visually impaired football and cricket- has received both online and national media attention.

Dr Stefan Lawrence, PhD

Stefan Lawrence, researcher for the Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football ResearchDr Stefan Lawrence is senior lecturer in sociology of sport at Newman University, Birmingham. He was previously senior lecturer in the football programme at Solent University. He holds a BA (Hons) Sport and Recreation Development from Leeds Beckett University (first-class honours, with the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award), MA Sociology from the University of Birmingham (Distinction), and PhD in Sociology of Sport from Leeds Beckett University.

Stefan has published on a number of topics and across disciplines. His research interests include racialisation(s) and racism(s) in sport and leisure, discourses of masculinities in popular culture, critical media studies and football cultures.

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