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Former head of The FA shares sports industry insights with students

Former Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick discussed his successful career during a special talk at Liverpool Hope University.

Mr Barwick, who grew up near Hope Park campus in Childwall, is currently chairman of the Rugby Football League, and a former head of BBC and ITV Sport.

During his three-year spell as head of The FA he worked with three England managers – Sven Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello - and oversaw the completion of the new £789 million Wembley Stadium and the long-running 'Respect' Campaign. 

The 65-year-old addressed a packed-out lecture theatre for 90 minutes; discussing his early life, A-level studies and University before recalling his rise to prominence as a sporting administrator.

Students were able to take part in a Q&A session afterwards, as he shared tips on working in the sports industry and the habits of successful people.

“I didn’t expect to get into University and I didn’t apply,” he said, during the session hosted by Hope alumnus and LLS founder Jordan Wright.

“If I had my way I’d have studied English Literature but I went through clearing because I hadn’t applied initially. My A-Levels were a lot better than I thought. In fact, when they arrived I thought they were someone else’s results at first.

"Although it wasn't my first degree choice, Economics worked out well for me in the end."

After graduating Mr Barwick began a career in journalism, progressing from local newspapers to the BBC.

“I always wanted to be a reporter but my dad was a policeman and my mum a shop assistant so we didn’t have anyone we could call for advice or a way into the industry," he said.

“I applied everywhere and got knocked back by everyone including the Liverpool Echo, who I now write a weekly column for.

“I’ll be writing about this talk in it soon.”

Speaking afterwards Mr Barwick described his deep affection for Liverpool Hope.

He said: I was thrilled with the response to the talk. Hope is very much a part of my background; I played football on the pitches here when I was at Junior school and walked past this wonderful place every day.

"The students were interested and engaged. I think this is a great University and a great Campus.

"I’ve had a successful career and want to give something back by speaking to young people and hoping they take something from it."

Published on 25/10/2019