Modern Classic - An Interview With Pete Lowe

Pete Lowe Interview Football And The City

Modern Classic

An Interview With Pete Lowe - founder of PlayersNet

I’d like to take football as it is now back to the people - it feels a bit like it’s lost its sense of purpose with the ordinary working man.
— Pete Lowe

To paint a true portrait of Pete Lowe I would need about 10 canvasses.  I would need to use different brushes and different mediums to capture his full depth properly.  He is so many things which makes it a conundrum for a writer to know just how to frame him. 

Life isn't all neat little boxes and frankly Pete wouldn't fit in them anyway - so in the spirit of my subject I'm not even going to try.  I mentioned briefly that he is a deep man.  More accurately he is a man with many sides.  One moment a philosopher, the next a poet, the next a revolutionary. 

But one thing runs through everything he does and that is integrity. 

He was the long time Head of Education and Performance Management at Manchester City and now he has set up PlayersNet - an organisation that provides free support and guidance for young players, their parents and their coaches.  

Here is the interview that Pete gave to Football And The City

FATC: Do you still remember what made you fall in love with football as a child? 

PL: My father took me to watch MUFC vs Leeds at Old Trafford when I was about 8 and the great George Best was playing - I fell in love with the game just watching him play. It really wasn't difficult. He made the game look so easy.

FATC: You have spoken about your heroes & influences, in the main, not being football ones. Most importantly your parents - but also historically important people such as Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill & Martin Luther King. 

What were the most important things these people taught you that you have applied to your working life in football? 

PL: The importance of having values and integrity - both as an individual and as a member of staff. Those people you mention are all about values and integrity and believing in human beings.

FATC: If you could change one thing in modern football to make it a richer experience for players & fans alike, what would it be?

PL: I'd like to take football as it is now back to the people - it feels a bit like it's lost its sense of purpose with the ordinary working man. There's a danger the game may be disconnected. The present England manager and his squad have worked really hard on their connectivity with fans.

FATC:  You have an extremely exciting new project that is coming to life as we speak, could you share a little about this with our readers? 

PL: It's come out of experience of the game and of the people involved with the organisation. It's called PlayersNet and is an independent support service for players, parents, staff of professional clubs and grass roots volunteers. It's designed to be able to help those people who have needs that the governing bodies do not currently provide for. It's not a slight on the governing bodies, it's simply a reflection of how the game has changed and evolved. We respond to specific requirements with regard to aspects of a player's development, which potentially can't be provided by the clubs.

FATC:  What are you most proud of in your professional life? 

PL: Having had a successful football career, working with really talented people, in particular with Manchester City from 2000-2010 who I was privileged to work with and of being a member of that group of staff who managed to help so many young players become very successful in their careers - some of whom we now see in the World Cup finals. I'm incredibly proud of my two well balanced children who are able to accept the responsibilities that come before them. My role as a father has been purely as a guide. 

FATC:  What negative experience in football have you learned the most from?

PL: Those that say something can't be done because they don't want things to change. I learned that it has to change, because if you're not a catalyst for change then nothing changes. I'm really proud of working with people who challenged the status quo. Working in football inevitably means very long hours away from home. As a young member of staff it's important not to get carried away with one aspect of your life at the expense of your family.

FATC:  What would you most like to pass onto a younger generation of players? 

PL: The importance of accepting responsibility for everything you do in your career. It's important to take the lead and not expect others to do things for you. You have to own it.

FATC: What would you like your legacy to be? 

PL: I want people to know I cared about my job and the standards I created and examples I set. I also care about the players I work with - who are fundamentally people first and players second.


NB  Pete was extremely generous with his time, involving several long phone calls and numerous emails.  Follow PlayersNet on Twitter by clicking the button below.

J.S. Leatherbarrow