WHO ARE YA? Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

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Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

1) Who are ya?

Simon Lansley, 41.

2) Who do you support?

Wolverhampton Wanderers, without question the world’s greatest football club!

3) What was your first game?

Derek Dougan’s testimonial, about 1977 I think. In the old Waterloo Road Stand.

4) What do you do for a job?

Head of Marketing & Communications for the brilliant national charity @Street_League, which uses football to tackle youth unemployment. I’m also founder of @ConnectSport, which seeks to raise awareness of projects which use sport for social development. I previously worked in journalism for 15 years, including as Sports Editor / Editorial Director at The Press Association.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Yes. Manager for Hamilton Panthers Under-6s!!

6) How did you get into it?

Coached my lad’s team for five years.

7) What do you get out of it?

Perspective. Before a certain age, kids are quite happy to just have fun and try to win a match; it’s adults who are obsessed by league tables. Saw too many dads reliving their football careers through their kids, desperate to win the league whatever the cost. I like winning matches more than most – but not at the cost of kids developing and learning not to panic on the ball.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Put the kids first. Make sure they’re always having fun, they’re much more likely to want to learn. I took a lot of pleasure from watching a supposedly ‘weaker’ player grow in confidence through encouragement and guaranteed gametime to become top scorer. Just seeing him and his dad’s pride when he scored was worth all the effort.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Better facilities, better English weather, more support for the embattled club stalwarts, but most of all more patience and positivity from the vocal minority on the sidelines.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Stephen George Bull MBE.

Many thanks, Simon.

Follow Street League on Twitter – @Street_League

Get involved – www.streetleague.co.uk/get-involved

WHO ARE YA? Stephen Hughes, Operations Manager for Street League

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Stephen Hughes, Operations Manager for Street League, with the Mayor of Warrington

1) Who are ya?

Stephen Hughes, 37, Glaswegian, Operations Manager for Street League

2) Who do you support?

The famous Glasgow Celtic – first British team to lift the European cup

3) What was your first game?

Davie Provan’s testimonial against Nottingham Forrest in 1987. Forrest won 3-1.

4) What do you do for a job?

I am the Operations Manager for a football Charity called Street League. We deliver sport/employability Academy programmes that support 16-25 yr old NEETs (not in employment, education or training) and get them back into work, College or national training programmes.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Not any professional clubs. I have played football up to Amateur level in Scotland. Street League is currently looking at working alongside professional football clubs. For me, in Manchester, the two on the horizon are Bolton Wanderers FC and Oldham Athletic FC.

6) How did you get into it?

I applied for the role with Street League.

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s so rewarding getting people back into work, College or national training programmes so that they can achieve their potential.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Be prepared to go above and beyond what is expected of you. Apply yourself in everything you do and no matter what you go on to become, be the best at it.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I would put more commitment into my football when I was around 14/15. Looking back then, I probably had the ability to go on and become a professional footballer but I was easily distracted with other things such as girls and generally having a good time.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I’ve never had a football hero as such. Even growing up my favourite player would change each season. In recent times my football hero would be Henrik Larsson. Not only one of THE best football players ever to grace a Celtic jersey, he was also a remarkably humble human being and was admired by most fans from other clubs as well.

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