When UCFB graduate Lewis Cherry landed a job at the world’s leading sports data company Opta, he didn’t quite expect what happened next.

Rather than being assigned to a club in the lower leagues of English football, he was given the task of following his beloved Leicester City and reporting the vital stats from their home games at the King Power Stadium. The fact they then went on to win the Premier League in the most remarkable season in years was just the icing on the cake.

Lewis studied BA (Hons) Football Business & Media at UCFB Burnley, and now has the title of In-Ground Data Analyst. His role entails reporting back to a colleague in the office every single stat from the game he’s watching – attendance, corners, free kicks, yellow cards, possession, interceptions. All the data he feeds back then gets sent out to the likes of the BBC, Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Lewis Cherry

On getting the Leicester gig, Lewis said: “I applied for the job, took a chance, but I never thought I’d be given the job of Leicester. And with the season we just had… you can’t write that!”

When he’s not watching and collecting data on the Foxes, Lewis is often sent to watch Peterborough United.

He added: “The job can be really challenging at times but it’s one where I flourish and love doing. I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I’m at a game and walk past the likes of Claudio Ranieri.”

So what should students looking to follow a similar path to Lewis do?

“Knuckle down and work hard; don’t be afraid to take chances”, he said.

“If you want something that badly go and do it and make it happen. If you keep trying you’ll get there eventually. I worked hard to get where I am. Make sure you’re actively taking part in activities and opportunities away from the class room.

“Being at UCFB helped me learn that if you want something you’ve got to go out, find it and take it yourself. If you don’t, there are plenty of other people who will. I went that extra mile and got that job, and I take a lot of pride in that.”

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