Kent Disability Football League
Stephen Lovell is a Welsh former professional footballer who is currently manager at Gillingham. He played professionally for Crystal Palace, Stockport County, Millwall, Swansea City, Gillingham and AFC Bournemouth and made over 450 Football League appearances.
Although born in Wales, Lovell began his career as an apprentice with Crystal Palace in 1977.
Playing at the time as a midfielder, he managed 74 Football League appearances in six years at
Selhurst Park, during which he also had a spell on loan at Stockport County. In 1983, he moved to Millwall, where manager George Graham played him as a striker during an injury crisis. He went on to score 13 goals in 11 matches and remained a striker for the remainder of his career.
In 1986 Lovell was injured whilst playing for Wales and was unable to regain a place in the Millwall team and, after a short loan spell with his hometown club Swansea City, was sold to Gillingham for £20,000. During his time with the Kent club he played over 200 matches and scored over 100 goals, finishing as the club's leading scorer in four consecutive seasons and equalling a club record by scoring in seven consecutive matches in 1990. He scored four goals in Gillingham's 8–1 defeat of Southend United in 1987 but bizarrely failed to find the net at all when the team won 10–0 against Chesterfield the following Saturday.
After a brief loan spell with AFC Bournemouth in 1992, Lovell dropped into non-league football, where he played for nine different clubs in nine years, including three separate spells with Sittingbourne. In 2000, he played for Deal Town in the FA Vase final at Wembley. He finally retired in 2001.
Lovell's first managerial job came at Sittingbourne, where he was player-manager from February 1995 until September 1996, during which he led the team to the Southern League Southern Division championship. He then moved on to Gravesend & Northfleet where he was manager for a year.
After a spell as Football in the Community Officer for Gillingham (which overlapped the end of his playing career) Lovell returned to management with Hastings United in 2003 but left the club in 2004 after a drop in form. In 2005, he returned for a second spell managing Sittingbourne, a post he held until October 2007, when he left to take over at Ashford Town, where he remained until the club's demise in August 2010.
In December 2014 he was appointed co-caretaker manager of Gillingham alongside Andy Hessenthaler, Darren Hare and Mark Patterson following the sacking of Peter Taylor. The "Gang of Four", as they became to be known, remained in charge of the club until Justin Edinburgh was appointed as manager in February 2016. Lovell remained at the club in the role of first team coach. In May 2016 it was announced that he had left the club.
In June 2016, he was appointed as assistant manager of National League side Bromley, where he would work alongside former Gillingham teammate Neil Smith.
Lovell returned to Gillingham as a coach in January 2017 under Adrian Pennock. When Pennock was sacked in September 2017, Lovell continued as coach under the temporary managership of Peter Taylor, and became caretaker manager on 12 October when Taylor left the club. After four wins in his seven matches as caretaker, Lovell was confirmed in the position with a contract until the end of that season.
Nick Lovell is 29 years of age and has cerebral palsy.
He has played for the England CP team at football and has travelled to other countries to represent his country. He is a Level 2 football coach and works with the GFC development squads down at Canterbury, Sittingbourne and Chatham.
Darren Young started his football at Middlesbrough as a young lad of 15/16 before he was hit with injury and was released within the first year.
When I reached 20 I joined the RAF as a Fire-Fighter and went on to play football for Combined Services for 12 years, however during that time I also played civilian football for several clubs. This ranged from Haverfordwest in the Welsh Premier, Bath City in the Conference, Wroxham Utd FC and Norwich Utd FC both in the Rymans Premier League.
Since I retired some ten years ago, I have gone on to get my UEFA B coaching badge in Northern Ireland (this year) to which Icurrently coach an under 8 side (my sons) and Gillingham FC u10 at their Maidstone Academy.
I also play a few other sports due to being classed as disabled (degenerative disc disease in my back) such as Sitting Volleyball (currently training with the Team GB Development Squad and Playing for Help for Heroes in the National Sitting Volleyball League). I am also going through classification for disabled athletics as I recently applied for the Invictus Games squad but was not selected, but went to the Warrior Games this year and won gold in the discus, since my return the British Athletics have contacted me about trying out for the Paralympics in 2020… however this is still a long way away.
Philip Smith has been involved in football administration for over 30 years and a supporter for over 50.
Early involvements included roles as Club Secretary and Chairman, followed by League administration before being elected to the Kent FA in 1996, the Board of Directors in 2001 and appointed as Vice Chairman in 2009.
In 2005 he was elected to represent the Kent FA on the Football Association Council. During his time on the FA has served on numerous Committees and is currently a member of the National Game Board, FA Trophy (Past Chairman), Membership (Chairman), Business Development (Chairman) and previously served on National Game Finance, Rules & Regulations, Judicial Panel Monitoring, Race Equality Advisory Group and Rules Revision
In 2017 he was elected as Chairman of the Kent FA. Philip commented “Due to disability my football activity was limited as a young person and I would have loved the opportunity to have played competitive football in a league, such as the Kent Disability,
I feel it is vital to promote the KDFL so that opportunity is available to all those who wish to do so.”
He added “I hope I have shown that playing is not the only pathway to progress in football and that disability does not have to be a barrier in whatever one wishes to do”.
Kevin Horlock (born 1 November 1972) is an English-born Northern Irish former footballer. He is currently manager of Maldon & Tiptree and the Colchester United under-23 team.
Horlock is a former Northern Ireland international and is most associated with Manchester City, for whom he played in three different divisions including the Premier League. He also played for Swindon Town, West Ham United, Ipswich Town, Doncaster Rovers and Mansfield Town. Horlock was well known for his accurate set pieces and is particularly skilled at taking free kicks.
Horlock started his career as a trainee with West Ham United in 1989 but did not graduate to the first team and moved to Swindon Town in August 1992 where he spent a single season in the Premier
League in 1993–94. Over the next few seasons he made his name as a versatile midfielder capable of playing on the left or in the centre, or at left-back. He also scored goals regularly, with 16 in the 1995–96 season. He made 200 appearances in all competitions, scoring 26 goals, in five seasons at Swindon before joining Manchester City in January 1997.
Horlock was Frank Clark's first signing for Manchester City for a transfer fee reported as being between £1.25 million and £1.5 million. He made his debut in a 4–1 Division One win against Oxford United and scored his first goal for Manchester City three weeks later against his former club Swindon. The following season, he was a regular in the first team until suffering an injury which sidelined him for four months. During Horlock's absence, Clark was sacked and chairman Francis Lee later observed that Horlock was one of only two good purchases Clark made. City were struggling at the foot of the table, and were relegated on the final day of the season despite a 5–2 win at Stoke City, in which Horlock scored the fifth goal. Horlock became Manchester City's primary penalty taker in the 1998–99 season, a role in which he continued for the next three seasons. Horlock's best season was probably the 2001–2002 season where he was deployed in the holding midfield role and helped Manchester City earn promotion in stylish manner, the team scoring 108 goals. One of the most notable moments of his career was the 1999 season play-off final against Gillingham when he scored the first goal of the comeback when Manchester City won on penalties after being 2–0 down until the last five minutes of the game. Horlock wore the number 6 shirt. Horlock made 232 league and cup appearances, scoring 44 goals, in seven years at Manchester City.
Horlock was signed by Glenn Roeder for West Ham United for a fee of £300,000 in August 2003. He made 27 league appearances for West Ham in the 2003–04 season and scored once against Wigan but fell out of favour with manager Alan Pardew and missed the play-offs games at the end of the season. He was given a free transfer to Ipswich Town in July 2004, where he made 58 league appearances before joining Doncaster Rovers on loan in February 2006 and being allowed to leave Ipswich at the end of the 2005–06 season. He joined Doncaster on a permanent two-year contract in May 2006 but missed the majority of the 2006–07 season due to a serious knee injury sustained in Doncaster's 3–1 victory over Crewe Alexandra in August 2006, a game in which he also scored his first goal for the club. A dislocated shoulder further restricted his opportunities, and in January 2008 his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. The next day, Horlock was signed by Scunthorpe United on a contract until the end of the season. However, he did not feature in the first team and joined Mansfield Town in March 2008 on loan until the end of the 2007–08 season. Horlock signed for Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Needham Market as player/assistant manager on a twelve-month contract on 8 August 2008.
Horlock was first capped in April 1995 versus Latvia and went on to make 32 appearances for Northern Ireland, before retiring from international football in 2003 for personal reasons. In August 2013 Horlock was appointed assistant manager of the Northern Ireland under 21 team. Horlock stepped down from this position when he went to Colchester.
Horlock progressed through the coaching ranks at his former club Needham Market, where he had been assistant manager and had set up the club's academy in 2010. He left in 2015 when he was appointed as manager of Isthmian League Division One South side Chatham Town on 15 October 2015. Horlock combined both his Needham Market and Chatham Town roles with the assistant manager's job to the Northern Ireland under-21 team, a position he was appointed to in August 2013.
Horlock left Chatham on 1 May 2016 to concentrate on his coaching roles with Northern Ireland and Colchester United, having guided Chatham to a 19th-position finish in the league. Horlock had been coaching Colchester's under-18 side alongside Wayne Brown. He was named as Brown's assistant for the under-21 side following a number of coaching changes at the U's. This coincided with the announcement that Horlock would take charge of Maldon & Tiptree in the Isthmian League Division One North on 16 May, taking over from Steve Ball. He guided the Jammers to second position in the table, securing a place in the play-offs.
Kevin commented " it's my pleasure and feel very humble being asked to be an ambassador of the league that you all put so much hard work into, I had the privilege of watching the Gravesham Borough fc Disabled team play in games at Rainham a while ago and it was so inspirational, keep up the good work and look forward to helping in any way I can."
Mike Green is the secretary of Thamesmead Town Football Club and the football editor of Kent Sports News.com website, and have been involved in main stream football for over twenty years from the days of reporting and commentating on matches for BBC Radio Kent that ranged from the Football League down to the Kent League. I have made many, many good friends in the game - a number of who were guests at my wedding in 2006 - and are still valued friends and associates to this day.
I have to confess that I knew little about the Kent Disability Football League until I was asked to cover the first of thier Finals Days last May, and I was a tuch apprehensive about what I might indeed find. But after talking with Phillip Smith - the new Kent FA Chairman - he told me of just how infectious watching them could be and I have to admit that he was 100pct right and then some.
I am also a Governor at a Primary school in Gillingham that has a number of students with varying disabilities all being taught alongside the mainstream students and seeing the kids integrating with the others around the school and on school trips really is something to behold...
I cannot promise you the World, but if there is anything that I can do to help spread the word about all levels of Disabled Football I would be honoured to help...
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