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GRADUATION 2024: Myerscough celebrates student success as new Honorary Fellowships awarded

Saturday 6 July

Myerscough College and University Centre has celebrated student success of the last academic year with a day of graduation ceremonies.

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Myerscough’s degree students completing their study programmes in 2024 have been recognised for their achievements, while further education students at a number of Myerscough’s centres have been celebrated at their own special ceremonies.

You can catch up with our ceremonies from our Preston centre in full on our YouTube channel

Wes Johnson, Chief Executive and Principal of Myerscough College and University Centre said: ‘’Today is a day to celebrate, to recognise the hard work and commitment that has gone into the past years and to congratulate all our students on their successes. It is a time for every student to walk tall, smile and shine as they walk across the stage and proudly graduate from University Centre Myerscough.

‘’Today is also an opportunity to thank parents, families, friends for their contribution to this achievement. On behalf of the students and Myerscough I would like to personally thank you all for the part you have played in supporting our students.''

‘’So students, your success in your studies at Myerscough has equipped you exceptionally well for your future. You have demonstrated ambition, drive and tenacity to achieve in your studies and this should give you the courage, self-belief and determination to know that you can do anything in life.

‘’Whatever your next steps, the Myerscough Team wish you a very happy, healthy and successful future.’’

Myerscough is also delighted to announce the awarding of its latest Honorary Fellowships.

Will Still and Olly Harrison have both accepted the highest honour that the College can bestow.

They have now been inducted into Myerscough’s elite group of inspirational people and join a very exclusive club that contains names from the world of business, sport and entertainment.

Will Still

Former Myerscough College and University Centre football student, Will Still, became the youngest Head Coach in any of Europe’s top leagues, when he took charge at Stade de Reims, in French Ligue 1, at the age of just 30, in October 2022.

Born in Belgium to English parents, Will played both amateur and semi-professional football in Belgium, and after finishing school there, he initially tried a university course in physiotherapy, but realised that wasn’t a career path he wished to pursue, before moving to England to be part of University Centre Myerscough’s foundation degree study programme in Football Coaching and Performance.

After graduating, Will’s career began to take off as he returned to Belgium and worked on Yannick Ferrera’s technical staff at Sint-Truiden as a video analyst, helping them to gain promotion to the top tier of Belgian football in their first season together.

He then moved to Standard de Liège with Ferrera, winning the Belgian Cup with them in 2016. In 2017, Will was appointed caretaker manager of Lierse, in the Belgian second division, at just 24 years old, before becoming the club’s full time manager.

Will then worked on Hernan Losada’s staff at Beerschot, where they were promoted to the Belgian first division in 2020. Upon Losada’s departure to the MLS, Will was appointed manager, making him the youngest European football manager, at 28 years old.

In June 2021, Will joined Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims as assistant coach to Oscar Garcia. In October 2022 he was installed as the club’s new first team manager. He gained extensive media attention for being 30 years old at the time of his appointment and for leading Reims to an unbeaten streak of 19 matches.

Will left Reims earlier this year and now faces his next managerial challenge – after being named as the new boss of fellow French side Lens, where later this month his new team will aim to qualify for the Europa Conference League.

Will wishes Myerscough graduates good luck and urges all football students in particular to never forget the smell of freshly cut grass and the feeling of new football boots!

Will said: ‘’I had an amazing experience at Myerscough and it’s the best place to learn. The staff are some of the best I’ve come across in my career.

‘’Myerscough gave me the ideal opportunity to develop as a person and a coach. To be a top flight manager at the age of 30 is completely crazy.

‘’I really loved my time at Myerscough College and learned a huge amount about football, coaching, different cultures, but also and probably most importantly about myself.’’

Will Still is awarded a Myerscough Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sports sector.

Olly Harrison

Farmer and entrepreneur Olly Harrison is the face behind his own popular YouTube channel.

The daily videos, which he started in lockdown, provide a glimpse into the real-world challenges and triumphs of farming, marked by a touch of humour and diversification tales to fund his machinery and tractor addiction! 

Olly's online presence reaches over 350,000 across his social channels, 110,000 of which are on YouTube. His 1500+ videos have been watched over 77 million times, where he shares insights, experiences, and challenges faced in the agricultural industry.

His content resonates with both farming enthusiasts and those curious about the intricacies of rural life. Never afraid to speak out about the industry, he achieved the DLG accolade of ‘International Agricultural Influencer for YouTube’ and was recognised as an NFU Community Farming Hero. His ability to explain the complexities of farming in straightforward language has made him a regular contributor across BBC channels, including BBC News and BBC Radio 4.

The farming business in 2024 has 14 different income streams, from ‘dog walking fields’, to chipping wood for biomass, to a merchandise operation that grossed over £100,000 in 2023 alone.

With a truly diverse range of activities, Olly, who left school at 16 having struggled with dyslexia, has grown his farming acreage from 180 to 1500. From traditional crops to sunflower mazes, office rental and holiday lets, Olly will always find a brilliant way to commercially exploit his land and assets. He promised himself that by the age of 40 he’d own a brand new combine harvester, and having achieved that he then decided to drive his Claas Lexion combine from John O’Groats to Land’s End, all in the name of charity!

Olly is not just about farming, his dedication extends to charitable contributions that exceed £450,000 to date. From his tractor runs through Liverpool, to the YouTube channel’s ‘birthday bumper’, many have benefited from his fundraising, including Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the North West Air Ambulance. As recognition of his continued hard work, Olly has been made a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside.

Olly is engaged to Charlotte and has three children. He’s promised to leave one farm to each of them as he continues to build his farming empire. His unique blend of farming wisdom, humour, and community engagement has garnered him a dedicated following, where his impact extends beyond the fields, making him a notable figure not only in agriculture but also in charitable endeavours across the UK.

Olly Harrison is awarded a Myerscough Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the agriculture sector.