On Wednesday 19th November, UCFB Alumni were invited to take up the once in a lifetime chance to play on the iconic Wembley Stadium pitch against the UCFB Wembley staff team.

Graduates were so excited about the opportunity that some woke up before the crack of dawn at 3am to make the journey from Manchester, baby in tow! A total of 7 hours later, our graduates were reunited and led to the England Football Team away changing rooms where they picked their numbers, laced their boots and talked tactics. Waiting in the tunnels was tense with the UCFB staff team were looking determined but our graduates had an air of confidence and were ready. This was a childhood dream for most and no-one was going down without a fight.

As the teams emerged from the tunnel and the whistle echoed around the stadium to kick the game off, you could feel the tension. The game was in full flow and the action was end to end. Whilst the game ended 0-0, the match was not short of action as the staff team piled on the pressure forcing Sam Swanton into three top drawer saves and Andrew Daley scoring for the Alumni, only for a late flag to rule it offside.

After the game, the graduates were invited to a post-match lunch and debrief to discuss their disallowed goal, reminisce over their time in Burnley and to make plans for the future of the UCFB Alumni – so watch the space and be part of our next successful alumni event!

See what our Graduates had to say about the day:

“Fulfil boyhood dream by playing on Wembley’s pitch…check! UCFB has offered me some very unique opportunities, none more so than the Pitch Day experience which even now is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of where we have been. To get to play at the iconic Wembley Stadium is an unforgettable, amazing and very humbling experience, then to lead the team out of the tunnel will be something that stays with me for the rest of my life.”  Simon Orwin, Football & Media Graduate

“I’ve had an absolutely unforgettable day at Wembley Stadium today thanks to UCFB! To play an 11-a-side game and also get my little dude on the pitch! I actually scored a goal at Wembley….. Even if it was disallowed. They definitely knocked it out of the park today, and it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life and to be able to share that with Hayley & Henry (fiancé and son) makes it a million times better! I would like to thank the entire UCFB team that made Hayley and Henry feel extremely welcome yesterday.” Andrew Daley, Football Business & Marketing Graduate

“Thank you for organising a great day with some old faces.” Ryan Harper, Football Business & Finance Graduate

“I can’t believe I’ve played at the Holy Grail that is Wembley Stadium. Big thanks to UCFB for giving me the opportunity to play at one of the most iconic stadiums in the world! Clean sheet as well! All in all, it was a quality day, from the changing rooms to the commentary and certainly one that I won’t forget and will brag about to my mates. The post-match meal was great, it was nice to relax with some good food and even better company. I look forward to our next meeting and working with you to keep the Alumni going strong for years to come.” Sam Swanton, Football Business & Marketing Graduate

“I had a brilliant day.” Ryan Graham, Football & Media Graduate

“It was a great 12 mins battle with a numerous of chances by both teams. Really enjoyed playing at Wembley. A huge thank you to UCFB for an amazing opportunity to play at the Wembley.” George Stockton, Football Business & Finance Graduate