Students from a range of courses were invited to attend the first ever Jockey Club Business Breakfast at the home of the Randox Grand National, Aintree.
Courses such as Sports Journalism, Events Management and Business Marketing were represented as Michael Owen and Sir John Timpson CBE were asked questions on topics such as their career highs and lows, tips on how make a business successful and how they’ve dealt with setbacks.
Owen, the last Englishman to win the coveted Ballon D’or award, gave insight into what it is like to retire at the age of 33 and how he dealt with it compared to other footballers. When talking about debuting as a jockey when racing at Ascot a few months ago, he said, “I don’t think I’ll ever race again, trying to stay on a horse going 42 miles per hour is the scariest experience I’ve had.”
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Newcastle United striker now trains over one hundred flat race horses near his home in Cheshire.
Sir Timpson, the owner of almost two thousand shoe repair shops, focused on how the employees who work in the shops make a company, not the people at the top.
The multi-millionaire shared how a previous experience led to him making the decision to target people leaving prison to work in his shops as he believes that everyone deserves a second chance.
Despite having a busy life with his businesses, books and articles, Timpson and his late wife Alex still had time to foster over 90 children over the years showing that not all businessman are the selfish stereotype.
Questions from the audience seemed to be more focused on sport rather than business due to Timpson telling the story of him being a Manchester City fan and how he paid for their scoreboard at the Etihad Stadium. Both Owen and Timpson enjoyed discussing topics such as financial fair play, the future of the Premier League and experiences with managers such as Alex Ferguson and Gerard Houllier.
William Moore, Sports Journalism Student, said, “It was a well organised event which ran very smoothly.”
The 18 year old added, “The Aintree Breakfast gave me an insight in to the sort of businesses and events that are on offer when it comes to me graduating. The talks from Michael Owen and Sir John Timpson were inspiring and helped me understand the way that businesses work and how planning for the future is very important.”
Sarah Nocetti-Haworth, LJMU Employer Engagement Officer, said “It was great to see keen and enthusiastic students seizing the opportunity to attend Aintree’s first business breakfast. Sir John and Michael Owen gave a unique insight into their drive for success as well as their achievements which was inspirational for all.”
On behalf of LJMU I’d like to thank The Jockey Club, Micheal and Sir John for a fantastic morning and it is great to see the partnership flourishing between us.