Lecturer in Football Business and Media

After achieving a First-Class degree in BA (Hons) Football Studies from Solent University in 2018, Connor moved to the University of York and obtained a Master of Arts degree in Culture, Society, and Globalisation at Distinction. Upon completion, Connor started a PhD at the University of Ulster in the Sociology of Sport in 2019.

Since then, Connor has published research in several globally recognised peer-reviewed journals, as well as presenting research at numerous international conferences. Connor has also occupied a teaching role at the University of Ulster before joining UCFB in 2022.

Connor’s research interests primarily relate to sport, active spectator cultures, disability, and other social issues including ‘race’ and racisms.

Find out more about Connor
Area of expertise
  • Sociology of Sport
  • Disability studies
  • Sociological theory
  • Sport Media
  • Qualitative research methods
Teaching and research interests
  • Politics of sport and media
  • Sport fandom and activism
  • Social inequalities and discrimination
  • BA (Hons) Football Studies
  • MA Culture, Society, and Globalisation
  • PhD Sociology of Sport (Ongoing)
Publications and research


Penfold, C. and Cleland, J. (2021) ‘Kicking It Out? Football Fans’ Views of Anti-Racism Initiatives in English Football’, Journal of Sport and Social Issues. doi: 10.1177/01937235211067190

Penfold, C. and Kitchin, P. J. (2020) “Will it ever be completely safe to be in a crowd again?”: the return of disabled supporters to football stadiums during COVID-19, Managing Sport and Leisure. doi: 10.1080/23750472.2020.1850325

Conference papers

Penfold, C. (2022). ‘At the end of the day, we haven't got a choice’: Barriers to inclusion in English football fandom for disabled people. The Future of Football. Solent University, England – 29 June.

Penfold, C. (2022). ‘We suffer things that just wouldn’t happen to non-disabled fans’: Disabled people’s experiences of discrimination and exclusion in English football fandom. 5th Annual Sport and Discrimination Conference, University of Sunderland, England – 22 June

Penfold, C. (2021). The disabled supporter as an activist for social inclusion in the English Football League. International Society of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Conference, Anglia Ruskin University, England – 8 April

Penfold, C. (2021). Disabled supporters, activism, and inclusion in English football. Football in Lockdown: Power in Unity Conference, Football Collective, Online – 21 May

Penfold, C. (2019). A critical examination of football fans’ views towards Kick It Out efforts in tackling racism in English football. 4th Annual Sport and Discrimination Conference, Solent University, England – 19 September

Penfold, C. (2019). Kicking It Out: Football fans’ views on anti-racism initiatives in English football. British Sociological Association Sports Study Group Postgraduate Research Conference, Oxford Brookes University, England – 5 September

Penfold, C. (2019). Challenging the state of anti-racism policy in English football. Football Collective International Conference, Sheffield, England – November 28

Penfold, C. and Kitchin, P. J. (2019). Football. A game for all? Festival of Social Science Research, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland – November 6

Penfold, C. (2017). The Manifestation of Rivalry and Collective Identity: A case study involving the fans of Oxford United and Swindon Town football clubs. Football Collective International Conference, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland – November 1

Expertise in industry
  • Sociology of Sport
  • Disability studies
  • Sociological theory
  • Sport Media
  • Qualitative research methods
Contact Connor
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