September 20, 2019, by Charlotte Gauja

Memories of playing for the University – Jonathan Hill, Men’s Football 1st team captain 1982

When I went to Nottingham University in September 1982 I had just spent 9 months in Stuttgart, Germany working, learning German but most importantly playing football for ASV Botnang, scoring 30 goals for their first team, six in one game.

When I went to the Nottingham Uni team trials I was told by the then Coach, John Bramley, “Go play football for Willoughby Hall and if we hear good reports we may get you back”. Nottsborough stalwarts Mark Swift and Derek Wile (who 22 years later were joint best men at my wedding) played in the same trial match and walked straight into the Willoughby first team.

Three weeks later I was walking 10 yards behind the then first team captain  who was chatting to a mate of his saying he was struggling to get a 4th team together for the next day. So I played my first game for Nottingham University. By the last game of the first term (Manchester Uni away 2-1,)I was playing with Swifty and Del Boy in the 1s and I never left the team, becoming captain in my second year and in my fourth year being voted club captain in absentia in my year out again in Stuttgart. And so the spirit of Nottsborough was quietly born, a London -based an alumni club born out of the graduates from UoN and Loughborough. In that final year we won the Midlands Uni League for the first time, beating Loughborough into second place (although in 4 years we never beat them).

We all left in either 1985 or 1986. In September 1986 I bumped into them in Covent Garden and we knew we knew each other and then worked out why. We went for a pint and 4 days later the first Nottsborough training session took place in Old Street.

In the summer of 1986 I had also bumped into three lads on the beach in the south of France where I sold cold drinks to hot English holiday makers. They were giving windsurfing lessons. All three joined us in that training session and with half from Nottingham and half from Loughborough the die was cast.

The songs of Nottingham (“she wore a yellow ribbon”) and long trips in coaches to Bangor for UAU games instilled a love of beer, football, music and above all comradeship that would never leave us – and because of Nottsborough never has. John Bromley may have been right in his assessment of my footballing skills that day at the trial but I’m glad I was in the right place in the right time on that walk as a story started there which is still going on, now 37 years later……

The future for Nottsborough FC

Nottsborough FC new goal is to become the best amateur football club in London. They have big plans in the future to develop their offer to both a women’s and junior team as well as the potential to invest in a plot of land to have their own all weather pitch and club house in London.

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?

If you are interested in joining Nottsborough FC, please email the Director of Football Brian Williams or First Team Coach David Hallam.

For more information, check out Nottsborough FC’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In accounts.




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