Loughborough University FC History
Earliest records of Loughborough Men’s football date-back to 1919-20 side, under the name of Loughborough Technical Institute and guidance of Principal Herbert Schofield based in town. In 1920 it became a college of Technology, with the football side winning its first silverware on record in the Northern Junior Cup in 1922.
Loughborough Men won their first University Championship in the 1938/39 season and the Leicestershire Senior League in 1940, after the war they returned to winning ways in the University competition (UAU) in 1947, 1948 and 1949.
Loughborough Men’s Football was transformed beyond recognition under Herbert Schofield’s leadership until 1950. In the 1950s Loughborough won the UAU in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957 and 1959. Many Loughborough Football graduates and staff also started to carve extremely successful Coaching roles in the Professional Game – a trend that continues to this day. The 1960s saw even more success with wins in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1969. In 1966 Loughborough became a University and also competed in the Leicestershire Senior League Division Two until 1972.
The 1970s was an extremely important decade for the Club. Three more University titles followed in the 1970s, and former student and then lecturer, Mike Holliday, took up the reigns of Head Coach, a role he would continue into the mid-90s. Early signs of Mike’s rein included an away victory over a Manchester United XI. The side waited 35 years for a return to non-league football, entering the Midland Combination for the first time in 2007-08. After silverware in their first season in the shape of the League Cup, in 2009 Loughborough won promotion as champions to the Midland Football Alliance.
Loughborough then began to establish themselves in the Alliance finishing 13th in 2009/10 and 4th in 2010/11. Head Coach Tom Curtis left to take over as National team coach of Antigua & Barbuda towards the end of that season and the club appointed Stuart McLaren as the new head coach for the 2011/12 season. McLaren’s first term ended with a 5th place finish in the Midland Football Alliance and victory in the League Cup, the club’s highest ever honour. The League Cup was retained in 2012/13 as the side equaled their highest ever league finishing position in the Midland Football Alliance of 4th.
As well as playing in the Midland Football League, Loughborough has a strong football programme with 4 teams competing in the top 3 levels of BUCS leagues, Premier North and Midlands Competitions.
Former players include Bob Wilson, Bradley Pritchard (Former Leyton Orient), Robbie Simpson (MK Dons), Leon McSweeney (Former Northampton Town & Leyton Orient), George Williams (Mk Dons & Former Barnsley). Other former players and staff are littered throughout the Premiership and EFL, in a coaching and support staff capacity including Tony Strudwick, Rob Hulse, Paul McGuiness & Kieran McKenna (All current or former Manchester United), Sam Erith (England & Manchester City), Nathan Gardiner,(Tottenham Hotspur), Matthew Prestridge (Sheffield United), Matt Reeves (Leicester City) & Eric Ramsay (Shrewsbury Town).
With the appointment in December 2014 of Stuart McLaren as the Stirling Albion Manager, Loughborough University FC appointed Michael Skubala in the new role of Performance Manager for the Loughborough Football Programme. Michael came to Loughborough with an excellent reputation and understanding of university football having already won a silver medal for GB at the World University Games as the GB Universities Assistant Coach. He is also the youngest ever appointed national coach for the FA, where he was formerly the Assistant National Futsal Coach and now Head Coach. With the restructuring of the football programme the Scholars struggled in the 14/15 season with former manager John Duncan coming on board in December to manage the squad. The season finished with Loughborough in 20th place avoiding relegation due to ground restrictions on a team in Division 1.
The 15/16 season saw the appointment of Head Coach Karl Brennan. Now a university lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Karl came with a great pedigree as a former Leicester City player and Loughborough student as well as former assistant at Quorn. Assisting Karl was Ricky Nurse, in a season of transition with a number of strong performances against top 6 sides but disappointing results against lower opposition in the league the Scholars finished in 14th position with a record of W16 D9 L20.
The 2016/17 saw the Scholars have one of their most positive starts to the MFL season in a number of years. A very new look young squad with only 14 returners from the 15/16 season in a 30 man performance squad finally achieved a league position of 18th which was a disappointment.
With many players graduating from their degrees the new squad players started the 2017/18 campaign under Karl, with Mark Jackson as Assistant. After 10 games into the season Karl Brennan stepped down due to family and work commitments. With the Scholars on 4 points after 10 games, former student Alex Ackerley took over with current first year student Jamie Hawthorne until the end of the season.
The 17/18 season also saw the appointment of Richard Allen appointed as Director of Football, in January 2018.
Richard joined from the FA where he has been head of Talent ID. He comes with an extensive knowledge of academy football with previous roles as Head of Academy at QPR and Head of Recruitment at Tottenham.
Progressing onto the 2018/19 season Alex Ackerley has been given the role of Head Coach continuing to work alongside Jamie Hawthorne. The season sees 4th year student Matty Crookes named as captain with 5 new players joining the squad ahead of the season and university term.