UCFB is delighted to announce that former Leeds United manager Simon Grayson and former Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare will be the first Executive Guest Speakers of the 2018/19 academic year.

Grayson, whose most recent role saw him take the reins at Bradford City, will address students at UCFB Etihad Campus on Monday 24th September, and Shakespeare, who’s playing career included over 100 appearances for West Bromwich Albion, will appear at UCFB Wembley on the Wednesday 26th September.

Simon Grayson

Before starting out at Blackpool in 2005 and going on to become a serial promotion-winning coach, Grayson’s playing career began at boyhood club Leeds United. However, it was his five-year spell at Leicester City where it really took off. Making nearly 200 appearances, Grayson won the League Cup in 1997 at the old Wembley Stadium. A move followed to Aston Villa in 1998 where he made a number of Premier League appearances, before then joining Blackburn Rovers in 1999. A number of loan moves added further experience to his CV, before a permanent move to the Lancashire coast and Blackpool saw him make over 100 appearances for the Seasiders. Initially named caretaker manager, he took the reins full-time at Bloomfield Road in 2006, guiding the club to promotion from League One via the play-offs.

After keeping Blackpool in the division, Grayson dropped down a league to take over at Leeds in 2008. After losing in the play-off semi-final that season, he took the Whites up to the Championship the following season.

His next task was at Huddersfield Town, again earning the club promotion to the Championship via the play-offs after just three months in charge. A spell at Preston North End followed where, again, he took the club up to the Championship in 2015, beating Swindon 2-0 in the play-off final at Wembley. Roles at Sunderland and Bradford have since followed.

Craig Shakespeare

Shakespeare is well known for his role in helping Leicester City to a historic Premier League title win in 2016, acting as assistant to manager Claudio Ranieri. When Ranieri was dismissed the following season, Shakespeare was installed as caretaker and then permanent manager. After leaving the Foxes in October 2017, Shakespeare joined Everton as part of Sam Allardyce’s back room staff. After helping Allardyce steer the Toffees away from relegation and to an eighth place finish, he left the Merseyside club at the end of the of 2017/18 season. Shakespeare was also part of Allardyce’s coaching team during his brief time as England manager in 2016.

As a midfielder, Shakespeare’s playing career saw him play nearly 300 times for Walsall, achieving promotion to the old Division Two in 1988. He also represented Sheffield Wednesday and Grimsby Town.

His first role in coaching was as assistant to Nigel Pearson at West Brom, before following him to Leicester for the first of two spells at the club. Shakespeare then joined Pearson at Hull City, before returning to the King Power Stadium with Pearson again before Ranieri’s appointment in 2015.