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Russell Hitchen

Lecturer in Sports Medicine
School of Medicine

Russell joined UCLan in September 2017 following a full time career in professional football. Russell first qualified as a physiotherapist in 2009 and initially worked at in the NHS at Trafford General Hospital. He later moved into professional football and spent 8 years at Wigan Athletic FC including 2 years as Head Physiotherapist, working predominantly in the Premier League and Championship. He has also been Head Physiotherapist at League One side Fleetwood Town FC and currently holds a position at Manchester United Academy, which he works alongside his lecturing. Away from professional football, Russell also works as a physiotherapy contractor for the English Institute of Sport and has his own private physiotherapy clinic treating a wide variety of conditions.

Russell currently lectures predominantly on the MSc Sports Medicine programme with additional teaching on the MSc Musculoskeletal Management and BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Performance courses.

Since working in professional sport, Russell's first position started with Fleetwood Town FC as first team physiotherapist when making the switch from NHS practice at Trafford PCT. A move in 2010 to then Premier League club Wigan Athletic FC ensured an eight season tenure progressing from Youth Team Physiotherapist to First Team Physiotherapist and finally Head of Physiotherapy. Russell moved into higher education in the summer of 2017, initially taking up the position of Lecturer on the BSC (Hons) Sports Therapy programme. A switch in December 2019 to the MSc Sports Medicine programme took place after the course was moved from the School of Health Sciences to School of Medicine. Russell continues to practice in professional sport in line with his teaching role at Manchester United Academy and the English Institute of Sport.