Tim Desmond: Chief Executive Officer

Tim joined the museum in November 2017 having previously been Chief Executive of the National Justice Museum where he developed the Public Legal Education Syndicates model at courts in London and Manchester. He has over 20 years’ experience in the sector including having been a Visiting Professor at Nottingham Trent University and on the boards of East Midlands Museum Service, Museum Development East Midlands, Arts Council England (Midlands) and Experience Nottinghamshire. His early career was spent in the theatre and later as a drama teacher across the UK and Ireland.

Dr. Gabrielle Heffernan: Content Director

Gabrielle joined NFM in August 2022. With a background in curating museum collections, Gabrielle brings a decade of experience in heritage, most recently overseeing the Curatorial Team and working as part of the capital development project team at Tullie House. Additionally, she sits on the Arts Council England Designation Panel and is a trustee of the Story Museum in Oxford.

Janine Ross: Marketing & Communications Director

Janine joined the organisation in August 2022, bringing over 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications and business development across commercial and non-profit sectors, most recently as Head of Marketing & Business Development with the Liverpool FC Foundation. She has also held roles with Liverpool ONE, The Florence Institute Trust, The Beatles Story and Visit Liverpool.

Mike Wells: Finance & Commercial Director

Mike joined the organisation in December 2019, bringing nearly 30 years’ experience in finance, commercial and operations management experience across both commercial and non-profit organisations. His previous appointments include McDonald’s Restaurants, Manchester United FC and Manchester United Foundation.


Board of Trustees

John Brewer (Chair) was appointed in February 2022 and brings a wealth of experience from across the football and sports sectors. He was the first sports scientist to work in English football and is a Professor of Applied Sports Science and has held a number of senior leadership roles at UK universities. John has previously Chair of British Handball and British Ski and Snowboard, leading the sports to the 2012 Olympic Games and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games respectively.

Jane Bateman (Deputy Chair) is the Head of International Relations at The FA. She brings over 30 years’ experience working across the football and charity sectors and has worked on major projects including England’s World Cup bid, Euro96 Soccer City and is also Vice Chair and Executive Director of the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.

Paul Castle is a professor of sports physiology and has provided consultancy for many clients including Brighton and Hove Albion FC, UEFA and Team GB Paralympics for Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.  He now works for GSK.

Neil Fairlamb is the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council, previously holding the position of Head of Parks, Leisure, Youth and Events. He is also a Trustee at Wythenshawe Forum.

Catherine Forshaw is a Regulatory Sports Lawyer and Sub-Sector Leader of the Women in Football initiative at Brabners LLP. Prior to joining Brabners LLP, Catherine completed a six-month secondment with The FA at Wembley Stadium.

Steve Grace is currently Head of Audience Planning for BBC Sport, having spent the last 10 years working in audience strategy at the BBC and The LEGO Group.

Virginia Khoo is Head of UK&I Equity Advisory at BNP Paribas with over 20 years experience in Investment Banking in her current role and from J.P. Morgan Cazenove and KPMG.

Clive Memmott OBE has held many senior finance and leadership roles throughout his career, notability with Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Manchester and Greater Manchester Environment Trust.

Sam Patterson is the Marketing Director at FOOTY.COM. A digital and brand marketing specialist for over 15 years, she has previously held roles at Arts Council England, END. Clothing and Sage Gateshead.

Matt Pilkington has worked in the charity sector for the majority of his career and has over 10 years’ experience in senior fundraising and communications roles. He is currently a director at StreetGames, the national charity working to equalise access to sport for those growing up in the underserved communities in the UK.

Laura Pye is Director of National Museums Liverpool, having previously worked as Head of Culture for the Bristol City Council, overlooking the city’s’ five museums.

Ritchie Humphreys represented Sheffield Wednesday, Hartlepool United and Chesterfield during his playing career, making 72 Premier League appearances for the Owls and a record 543 appearances for Pools. Ritchie went on to serve as Chair of the PFA between 2013 and 2017, and currently works for the organisation as a Player Services Executive, providing direct support for players seeking advice with all aspects of their career.

Cllr Angeliki Stogia is elected councillor for Whalley Range, and was previously Executive Member of Environment, Planning & Transport at Manchester City Council.

Tom Watt is probably best known as an actor, but has been writing, broadcasting and making documentary films about football for the past 35 years. He has contributed match reports, radio phone-ins, long-form press and broadcast features to every major UK media outlet.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, FRHistS is Chief Executive Officer of Safe Passage International. Before this, she was Chief Executive of the Black Equity Organisation, Chief Executive of the Society of Genealogists, and previously led The Equality Trust. She has served as an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion advisor to the Mayor of London’s Recovery Board and was on the ONS Inclusive Data Taskforce.