August 19, 2019, by Charlotte Gauja
Over 30 Years of Success for London based University of Nottingham Alumni Club, Nottsborough FC
Nottsborough FC, an alumni club born out of the graduates from UoN and Loughborough over 30 years ago are still enjoying success both on and off the pitch.
The London based club, formed in 1988, enjoyed one of their most successful seasons last year, winning five trophies including two league titles. This success isn’t new to Nottsborough FC, who have won a total of 45 trophies since joining the Southern Amateur League in London in 2001.
The club, littered with UoN graduates ranging back to the late 80s now has six successful teams. The first team play in the top division in the Southern Amateur League, playing in the most competitive amateur league in London. The 2s, 3s and 4s aren’t far behind, regularly winning leagues and trophies in the leagues below whilst the two veteran teams, still offer UoN alumni from the 80s the chance to play football regularly at a good level in the Veterans League.
Nottsborough FC’s biggest successes comes from winning the Surrey Premier Cup, a cup filled with semi-professional teams that Nottsborough FC has managed to add to the trophy cabinet twice in the last four years, narrowly losing in the final last season. In 2008/2009 Nottsborough also had six players in the Southern Amateur League team that represented England in a European tournament in Italy. The team was unbeaten in that tournament, keeping a number of clean sheets throughout as the England amateur team held their own on the world stage.
Nottsborough FC, originally formed 30 years ago between two former University of Nottingham and Loughborough University students. Formed through the desire to continue the University football club offer of high-quality football, using fantastic facilities, playing at a good level but also enjoying a strong social element, Nottsborough FC was born, with many of the original players still involved in the club today.
The club founders are still heavily involved in running the club today, having grown the club from one to six teams. The club is spearheaded by former UoN Mens Football Captains, Jonathan Hill and Dave Hallam who donned the then mighty light blue Umbro kit at Highfields back in the late 80s and are now the Club Chairman and first team coach having been involved in the club for over 30 years.
Nottsborough FC have over 50 alumni currently on the books of the club, ranging from the late 80s to graduates in recent years including James Bramley, former UoN Sports Officer 2015/16 and a strong cohort of UoN graduates from the 2002-2008 era.
The club is welcoming to all graduates and has recently started recruiting cohorts of players from the University of Bath, Lancaster University, University of Edinburgh and Durham University to name a few. Brian Williams, the Club’s Director of Football and one of the original players graduated from Swansea University, and was part of the Swansea BUSA (now BUCS) winning university team, winning the national championship back in 1970. Brian was selected for British Universities, playing against Germany under the guidance of former England International Bill Slater, the only amateur to ever win an England cap. The University football link runs through the club, from players to coaches and directors, university football is the heart of where everyone’s story began.
As well as being successful on the pitch, many of the club have gone on to great things off the pitch, working across a range of sectors including Sport, Marketing, Banking, Finance, Events, Tech and Teaching to name a few.
Most notably, club chairman and UoN German with French alumni Jonathan Hill was Commercial Director of the FA during the Sven era filled with the golden generation from of 2004 – 2009. Jonathan worked closely with the players and staff, travelling with the team to Germany for the 2006 World Cup. Not stopping there, Jonathan was also the Commercial Director of Wembley Stadium and is now Chief Executive of the global Laureus Sport for Good Charity, working with some of the world’s biggest names in sport including Roger Federer, David Beckham and even Jackie Chan.
First Team Manager Dave Hallam isn’t shy of off field success, working his way to a Senior Manager at Accenture UK. He then founded international business The Structure Group, now with over 250 staff and offices in London, San Francisco and Houston before setting up another successful company, Slate. Dave’s story has come full circle with his daughter a current student at the University of Nottingham.
Former UoN Men’s FC captain, 2000 – 2004, Alex Gardner and Nottsborough FC 4th team captain for over 10 years, has contributed significantly to both Nottsborough FC but not ended up doing too badly in his career. Head of Story Lab UK, Alex Gardner has enjoyed a varied and successful career and has recently started contributing to the Nottsborough FC academy bringing a new born boy to the world just last month. He joins a strong cohort of UoN Graduates from 2000 – 2004 who have all started contributing to the Nottsborough FC Academy and will no doubt be attending a University of Nottingham open day one day.
Having operated since 1988 Nottsborough FC has a thriving network of over 200 business professionals with players across a range of sectors. All members are part of a Nottsborough Linked In group and regularly support each other with career opportunities.
How to get involved
Nottsborough are constantly recruiting new players. Although they have a strong heritage from UoN and Loughborough they are increasing their scope and keen to recruit players from other universities. They offer an extension of University football, combining their enjoyment of winning football matches and trophies with a strong social element. Providing UoN footballers with a support and career network in London, what’s not to like?