Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

From university to the Championship: Huddersfield sign FA Cup hero Joe Lolley - 'this kid from uni who played like Messi'

It has been a meteoric rise up the football pyramid

Dreams really can come true in football, just ask new Huddersfield signing Joe Lolley. The young forward grabbed the winner for Kidderminster Harriers in his final game for the club last night. The goal saw non-league Harriers defeat Peterborough to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The striker has experienced a rapid rise in footballing stature over the past year, and the trend is continuing. Peterborough were one of the teams he’d been linked with, but he has agreed to join Championship Huddersfield instead.

"There has been a lot of speculation about this deal in recent days and so we're delighted to add Joe to our squad at last," Huddersfield manager  Mark Robins told the club website. 

"Joe's acquisition fits perfectly with the club's clear ethos of bringing in talented, young, hungry players with lots of long term development in them."

The jump from non-league to Championship is even more impressive, given that only last year he was a student attending university.

“As soon as I saw him play I knew he had a special talent. I remember going home and telling my Dad that there was this lad from uni who played like Messi, there was no other way of describing him” said Jordan Scott, part of the university team Lolley left.

“The way he dribbled the ball, his touch, his finishing was on another level to everyone else.”

The former sports coaching student did not just impress at university level, he went on to make his name for Littleton FC. He netted an incredible 88 goals in 83 games for the Midlands Combination Premier side before impressing at the World University and College games.

Non-league Kidderminster came calling last summer and Lolley has scored eleven times this season, attracting interest from league clubs a plenty. Last night’s FA Cup winner was his last for the club, but he leaves the fans with good memories of his time at Aggborough.