(function(w,d,s,l,i){w[l]=w[l]||[];w[l].push({'gtm.start': new Date().getTime(),event:'gtm.js'});var f=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], j=d.createElement(s),dl=l!='dataLayer'?'&l='+l:'';j.async=true;j.src= 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id='+i+dl;f.parentNode.insertBefore(j,f); })(window,document,'script','dataLayer','GTM-PVZZ2FB');

Latest News

Morecambe Scholars Attend Darkness & Light Resilience Talk With Joe Thompson

Morecambe Scholars Attend Darkness & Light Resilience Talk With Joe Thompson

Morecambe Football Club Scholars recently engaged with an LFE Life Skills ‘Darkness & Light’ resilience talk delivered by former professional footballer Joe Thompson at Lancaster & Morecambe College.

Joe moved from Bath to Manchester and was signed to Manchester United’s Academy at the age of nine and stayed at the club until being released at sixteen-years-old. Joe did not let this set back diminish his dream of becoming a professional footballer, as Rochdale FC recognised his footballing ability and determination and signed him as an Apprentice Professional. Joe further backed up the club’s decision to sign him as he went on to win the EFL Apprentice of the Year Award. Joe’s footballing journey also saw him play for Tranmere Rovers and Bury before returning to Rochdale where he finished his career.

Joe experienced high points during his football career which brought fantastic memories, but also saw him deal with life adversities, including a battle for his life. Joe is now a public speaker, presenter for MUTV, BBC Co-commentator and delivers his adversity & resilience sessions for LFE and Football Academies. In 2019, Joe received the Tom Finney Award in recognition of his work and contributions to football.

Scholars listened intently as Joe described the adversity and challenges he faced when growing up, which included being released from Manchester United’s Academy at sixteen. Joe described his determination to successfully achieve his ambition of becoming a professional footballer. He then went on to describe and illustrate how, at just twenty three years old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer and the treatment he underwent. Joe discussed the personal, family and professional tolls he endured and his happiness at going into remission and his subsequent return to playing. Joe’s return to football was to be curtailed again as his cancer returned for a second time. Joe retired from the game he loved at just twenty nine years old as the intense treatment his body had endured meant he was no longer able to perform to the demands of the professional game.

A Morecambe Scholar said: “Joe’s story was emotional and so realistic to what can happen in football and life. From the story, we realised that things could change very quickly which can leave huge issues to deal with. We discovered that being a high performer and footballer is not just about footballing ability but also our mental and psychological application. Listening to Joe’s diagnosis and recovery puts life in perspective and showed how he got himself back on track after his adversity. He also does not take things for granted and was grateful for his family. Joe conveyed a message of never giving up and being strong in adversity. Joe also encouraged us to think about others and how they might be feeling and to offer support if needed. Joe encouraged us to practice goal setting and continually look to self-develop to support our future careers and lives.”

Morecambe Football Club Head of Education, Gary Kelly, said: “Joe delivered a top quality presentation which detailed how he dealt with set backs in his football career, coped with severe adversity in life and how he has successfully risen above the challenges he has faced throughout his life so far. It was a great example for the scholars of overcoming adversity and how goal setting, focus and determination can be used in order to achieve goals and create lifelong memories.”

Joe’s story provided scholars with a perspective that should drive them on to achieve to the best of their abilities. Joe asked the scholars to recognise that life and their careers can change at any moment and not to take the opportunities they have for granted. Scholars are always encouraged to realise what a great opportunity they have with all aspects of their Apprenticeship programme and to make the most of it to forge their own successful careers and lives.

We constantly refer to a key aspect that Joe discussed in his presentation which supports players mental health and psychological application. “If you can look at yourself in the mirror and say you have given everything you have, it can provide you with a great inner satisfaction of having given your best no matter how things turn out.”         

The activity is part of the players Life Skills programme which supports scholars’ careers and personal development. The activities can also provide players with a toolkit which can support their resilience and application to succeed, which they can draw on in times of adversity. The reality that a career in football can be short lived and that alternative career pathways need to be planned for are essential for players to understand.

Other General News

Joe Thompson Helping Future Generations Through Cancer Battle

Joe Thompson Helping Future Generations Through Cancer Battle

“I never wanted to be known as a great or a good footballer. That was always a part of my..

General News
Assessment Trials 2024 | Player Registration Open

Assessment Trials 2024 | Player Registration Open

Player registration for the 2024 Assessment Trials is now open. This year’s trials are set to take place over three..

General News
Reading's Spencer Turns Pro

Reading’s Spencer Turns Pro

Current LFE apprentice Shay Spencer has signed his first professional contract with Reading. The midfielder has penned a one-year deal…

General News