BUCS Football Champions (1)

Hartpury University takes sixth BUCS National Football Championship title

Hartpury University are BUCS National Football Champions for a sixth time after beating Chichester 1-0 on Wednesday 20 March 2024. Hartpury University has a strong record in the championship having also finished as runners up on four other occasions during the last 18 years, in addition to their 11 Premier League titles.

A well-taken 61st minute goal from Ben Hammett (MSc Sports Management) and assisted by Luca Robinson (BA (Hons) Sports Business Management) was enough to seal the win.

The match is available to watch in full online via YouTube here.

Senior Men’s Football Manager, Chris Knowles said: “It was quite a nervy affair with only momentary displays of our real quality which thankfully proved to be the difference. I was particularly pleased with the way we defended, and the strength of character showed by the players. This was a big factor in us progressing through the semi-final, and it was heartening to see the team carry this momentum through to the final. It was particularly satisfying to beat Chichester after they pipped us to the league on goal difference, so we felt we had something to prove.”

In a ringing endorsement of the Hartpury Football Academy, the senior men’s first team result comes during the same period as the junior men’s first team win in their ECFA Quarter Final alongside an ESFA national final still to come. As well as an outstanding 8-1 win for the junior women’s first team, crowning them ECFA League champions for the second year in a row. The Friday before also saw the senior men’s Hartpury University FC winning their Hellenic Division one title and promotion to the Hellenic Premier.

Chris added: “We’ve fallen short in the last few years with regards to the knockout stages, but there’s real momentum this year with the football programme across the U18, U19 and BUCS categories and it was great to see Hartpury University FC secure a great league title win and promotion to step 5 this year.”

Hartpury has strong links with professional clubs and a proven track record in providing opportunities for players to progress through non-league and into the professional game. Most recently, Laiith Fairnie has signed at Birmingham City and Mustapha Bundu at Plymouth Argyle, having both graduated through our programme. The combination of full-time football in college and university whilst playing men’s football in the national pyramid is a great environment for any young aspiring player.

Hartpury’s football programme through its Men’s Football Academy ranks among the best in the UK, offering students top-tier coaching and comprehensive support to reach their potential whilst studying for an academic qualification such as a sports degree. Those on a dual pathway, training to be athletes as part of Hartpury’s Sports Academies alongside their qualification, are supported to balance their studies with their playing commitments.

Team Sheet

1 - Sethan Locke - BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences

2 - Tom Henson - BSc (Hons) Sports Performance and Coaching

3 - Drew Robinson - BA (Hons) Sports Business Management

4 - Josh Rowney - BA (Hons) Sports Business Management

5 - Owen Giles - MSc Sports Coaching

6 - Kian Kang - MSc Sports Management

7 - James Sunley - BSc (Hons) Physical Education and School Sport

8 - Ben Hammett - MSc Sports Management

9 - Ethan Dunbar - BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching

10 - Luca Robinson - BA (Hons) Sports Business Management

11 - Ben Baxter - BA (Hons) Sports Business Management

12 - Henry Sady - BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Sciences

23 - Ellis Parker - BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching

14 - Charlie Johnson - MSc Sports Coaching

15 - Jake White - BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning

16 - Justin Hall - BA (Hons) Business Management

Team Staff

Chris Knowles - Manager

Phil Clarke - Coach

Aaron Clarke - Strength and Conditioning

Chris Waller – Physio

Lewis O’Loughlin - Analyst



2006/07 - WON - beat Team Bath 1-0

2007/08 - WON - beat Team Bath 2-1

2008/09 - RUNNERS UP - to Loughborough (1-1 AET, lost on pens 12-11),

2010-11 - WON - beat Edinburgh University 4-2

2014/15 - WON - beat Stirling University 1-0

2015/16 - RUNNERS UP - to USW (1-0)

2017/18 - RUNNERS UP - to Cardiff Met (3-2)

2018/19 - RUNNERS UP - to USW (1-0 AET)

2019/20 - WON - shared with Cardiff Met (Covid)

2023/24 - WON - beat Chichester University 1-0



2004/05 – Won Tier 3 league

2005/06 – Won Tier 2 league

2006/07 – Won Tier 1 league

2007/08 – 1st

2008/09 – 1st

2009/10 – 1st

2010/11 – 1st 

2011/12 – 1st

2012/13 – 1st

2013/14 – 1st

2014/15 – 2nd (to USW)

2015/16 – 1st

2016/17 – 1st

2017/18 – 2nd (to Cardiff Met)

2018/19 – 2nd (to USW)

2019/20 – 1st

2020/21 - Covid

2021/22 – 1st

2022/23 – 2nd (to Bath University)

2023/24 – 2nd (to Chichester)