Former footballer Kevin Kilbane visits UCLan to award annual memorial prize

28 April 2016

BBC Match of the Day pundit presents award in student’s memory

First and second year sports journalism students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been treated to a visit from former Everton winger Kevin Kilbane.

The 39-year-old, who is now a regular pundit on the BBC’s Match of the Day, was at UCLan to deliver the Hesketh Award which is dedicated to Matthew Hesketh, a former student at UCLan who tragically died in a car accident.

Second year student Joe Richardson was handed the prize, which has been awarded for the last nine years to the best student over the course of the year in journalism.

As well as a trophy Joe’s reward for winning is a work placement at Chelsea Football Club which he will carry out at the start of next season.

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Matthew’s father, Andy Hesketh, who delivered a touching speech at the event that he attends each year. Andy and his son Matthew were Chelsea supporters and used to attend games together.

“It is lovely to see so many young people here,” Mr Hesketh told the audience. “Make the most of your life and take advantage of all the opportunities you have.”

Kevin Kilbane shared memories from his playing days through to his punditry career and said he was “delighted to be there to present the award in Matthew’s honour.”

He also gave advice to journalism students about how to make their way in the industry.

“Have an opinion and be able to back it up,” he said. “In this age of Twitter and social media, people throw out these random views without really thinking about them.

“If you want to be a good journalist, make sure you have a good argument to back up the point you are making.”

The visit was arranged by BA (Hons) Sports Journalism Senior Lecturer Charlie Lambert.