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More about Danny McConnell

I was born in March 1966 in Enfield, north London, to Tom and Judith, with a younger sister, Becca and brother, Rob, following on.

I grew up in Wimborne in Dorset - taking scientific A levels and playing rugby for the school and Wimborne Rugby Club, until five years as a tight head prop led to a premature retirement from the game aged 19, with a dodgy back. I also played pretty much every other sport possible, none of them to any distinction!

In 1984 I went to University College London to study Chemistry, graduating in 1987 but staying on to take a postdoctorate in Computational Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Modelling (best not to ask for more details), whilst playing football regularly, first for the student sides and then the alumni club. 

In 1991 having exhausted the opportunities to remain a student and having confirmed there is no hidden fun side to Quantum Mechanics, I returned to Dorset to set up my own postal games simulation business (which over the years has morphed into Internet Gaming), combining a long held interest in games and my wide interest in sports (particular American Sports).

In 1996 I returned to London, the "18 months to set up the business" having proved to be rather longer than expected, to be with Jan, who I'd met at UCL back in the 80s. Living in Beckenham/Bromley (one of the bits of London that likes to pretend it's Kent) I soon returned to the UCL alumni football club, UCL Academicals and soon after was elected (or lumbered!) as Chairman/Secretary, stepping down in 2009. In 1999 yet another sporting career apparently came to an end, a knee injury ending my time as an undistinguished defender and I converted to an undistinguished goalkeeper, although my last few seasons I returned to outfield cameos and fulfilling the invaluable role of "semi competent substitute who doesn't mind if he doesn't get on the pitch", known as "The Turtle" (due to an alleged resemblance in goalkeeping gear to the Teenage Mutant Ninjas) for the "Accies" and for Watson Farley Williams in the London Legal League.Whilst I am a qualified referee, I'm classified as "inactive". 

The 2000's also saw me become more and more involved in football administration, as well as web design, publishing and dabbling in journalism (motto "never let the truth ruin a good story"), and my business life now combined the postal/internet games simulation with an increasingly wide variety of Football Administration, variously as Secretary of the Amateur Football Combination, England's largest adult football league, and the London Legal League, as well as a Director and Vice-President of the Amateur Football Alliance

These led me to working for the Football Association, travelling all over England to give talks to leagues and counties about football administration, and first Full-Time, the FA's League Administration system, and then Whole Game System and its successor Platform for Football, which has now become the focus of my work life although this has now expanded to cover all IT systems used in football and working with the Technology department liaising with the other departments of the FA, where my current job title is a Senior Product Manager (which means I look after Computer Systems). 

2020 sees my footballing career not quite petering out, with occasional games for the Accies Veterans or FA Staff games at Wembley (it'd be rude to refuse). I still play and have captained the Merlins, a side who now look to give the club's juniors their first experience of adult cricket, at Beckenham Cricket Club, where I purvey the deadliest half-tracker in Kent and am improbably (and not very successfully) attempting to reinvent myself as a batsman. I'm a keen golfer, albeit relatively undistinguished (there's a pattern here), though threatening a degree of competency (try enough sports, and sooner or later lightning strikes), acquiring a handicap of 15 in 2009.

While the body still holds together (or I continue to ignore it falling apart) I'll keep playing sports, and seem likely to remain involved with "the beautiful game" for many years.

For more information please contact: Danny McConnell

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