Keynote Speaker

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate

Gareth is a BBC pundit and former international footballer playing for his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and both the 1996 and 2000 European Championships. He garnered huge respect from players and critics alike as a calm defender who played football by the book.  Gareth Southgate was born in Crawley, West Sussex, and began his career at Crystal Palace. He became captain and led the club to the 1994 Division One title. After the South London club’s relegation from the Premier League, he moved to Aston Villa for a fee of £2.5 million. In his first season with Villa, he lifted the League Cup and Aston Villa qualified for the UEFA Cup. Southgate played in every Premier League game during the 1998–99 season. He went on to play for Middlesbrough and won the Player of the Year award in his Continue Reading »

Garth Crooks OBE

Garth Crooks OBE

Garth played principally for Stoke City and Tottenham, with whom he was a prolific goal scorer and an FA Cup winner at Wembley in 1981. Throughout his career he was an active member of the Professional Footballers’ Association and was elected the first black chairman of the union. He currently works for the BBC as an expert and outspoken pundit, and presents the occasional political programme. Garth Anthony Crooks began his career at hometown club Stoke City, scoring 48 goals in 147 appearances. He became most famous following a high-profile transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in 1980 – With Crooks leading the line, Spurs won two FA Cups and the 1984 UEFA Cup, won against Anderlecht. He later went on loan to Manchester United and had spells at West Bromwich Albion and Charlton Athletic before a knee injury forced his retirement Continue Reading »

Gary Neville

Gary Neville

Gary is England’s most capped right-back and was Manchester United‘s club captain for five years. He spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford, making him a rare one-club man.  Gary Neville emerged as part of Alex Ferguson’s youth-oriented side of the 1990s and made his senior début for the club in September 1992 against Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup. At United he soon became famed for his no-nonsense defending, during which time he formed a formidable partnership with David Beckham on the right wing. He made his international début in 1995 and was first-choice right-back for club and country for more than ten years to follow. His final professional appearance was against West Bromwich Albion on New Year’s Day 2011, making him United’s second longest serving player in the squad, behind his long-time team-mate Ryan Giggs. During his playing career Continue Reading »

Gavin Hastings OBE

Gavin Hastings OBE

Gavin was one of the outstanding Rugby Union players of his generation–he had 61 caps at full back for Scotland, 20 of them as Captain. As managing director of his own consultancy he handles sponsorship deals to raise awareness of companies by association with high profile sporting events or teams. He became the first player to captain a Scottish schoolboys side to win in England, and in 1985, he captained Cambridge University to victory in the Varsity Match. Hastings has 61 caps at full back for Scotland, 20 of them as Captain. He captained the British Lions on the 1993 tour to New Zealand and has scored 700 points in test rugby. His debut for Scotland was against France in 1986. Gavin kicked 6 penalty goals to give Scotland victory by 18 points to 17. Gavin retired from rugby following the 1995 Continue Reading »

Gavin Henson

Gavin Henson

Gavin is a Welsh rugby union player who has attracted much media attention as part of a Wales national team which achieved Grand Slams in the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008. He has also played for the British and Irish Lions, touring in 2005 to New Zealand but has never appeared at a World Cup. A versatile player, Henson has played in a variety of positions including fly-half, fullback and inside centre. After an extended spell out of the national side, including missing the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he was recalled by caretaker coach Nigel Davies, being included in the squad to play against South Africa. Henson played rugby for his school, Brynteg Comprehensive, in Bridgend, Wales. Despite his Bridgend origins, he joined Swansea RFC at the age of 18. He was presented with the International Rugby Board’s Continue Reading »

Geoff Shreeves

Geoff Shreeves

Geoff started as a booker on the long-running football discussion show The Footballers Show presented initially by Richard Keys, and Geoff went on to produce the show. The Footballers’ Football Show was widely regarded as the main football discussion show at the time and featured an impressive cast of over 500 guests during its run including the late Bobby Moore, FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly and Arsenal Chairman David Dein. As an on-site producer for all live football coverage Geoff became the Match Director’s eyes and ears on the ground for every game, and this was the role he performed until the end of the 1998-1999 season. In 1999 Geoff made the move to reporter alongside Claire Tomlinson on live Premier League and FA Cup coverage for both Sky Sports and Sky Sports News. The deal signing live coverage of Continue Reading »

Gianfranco Zola OBE

Gianfranco Zola OBE

Gianfranco spent the first decade of his career playing in Italy, most notably with Napoli, alongside Diego Maradona and Careca, and at Parma, before moving to English side Chelsea, where he was voted Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 1997 and Chelsea’s greatest ever player. Zola signed his first professional contract with Sardinian team Nuorese in 1984. In 1986, he moved to Torres from Sassari, the oldest club in Sardinia, where he spent three seasons. In 1989, he signed for Napoli in Serie A. He helped Napoli to win the Supercoppa Italiana in 1991 and he made his debut for the Italian national side under coach Arrigo Sacchi in the same year. In November 1996, Zola joined Chelsea for £4.5 million as one of several continental players signed by Ruud Gullit and wore the number 25 jersey, he made Continue Reading »

Glenn Hoddle

Glenn Hoddle

Glenn is a former footballer who became idolised during his time at Totenham Hotspur. He is also fondly remembered for his successful stint as England manager. He started his career at Watford having been a product of their youth academy. In April 1974 Hoddle joined Totenham Hotspur as a schoolboy apprentice, and in the following year made his first-team début as a 17-year-old substitute against Norwich City. In 1987, Hoddle also found himself in the pop charts, with the single Diamond Lights making the UK Top 20 in a duet with Spurs and England team-mate Chris Waddle. Hoddle made his International début in England’s Euro 80 qualifying tie against Bulgaria on 22 November 1979, scoring in a 2-0 win at Wembley. He was also included in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cup squads, playing an important role in the Continue Reading »

Goran Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic

Goran is a retired Croatian professional tennis player and a national hero. He is the only ever player to win a Grand Slam as a wildcard entry. He was a 3 time men’s singles runner-up at Wimbledon (1992, 1994 and 1998), before winning the championship title in 2001.

Gordon Strachan OBE

Gordon Strachan OBE

Gordon played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, as well as the Scotland national team. Prior to Middlesbrough, Strachan managed Coventry City, Southampton and Celtic. Strachan came to prominence at the age of 20 when he was signed by Aberdeen on 1 November 1977.  With the famous Aberdeen team of the 1980s, managed by Alex Ferguson and one of the few sides to break the traditional dominance of the Old Firm in Scottish football, he won two Scottish League titles, three Scottish Cups, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the European Super Cup. In August 1984, Manchester United spent £500,000 to take him to Old Trafford in August. In club football, he played 626 games scoring a total of 138 goals, playing 21 of 25 career seasons in either the English or Scottish top flight. In Continue Reading »

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