Lolley made a monumental rise up the pyramid, and Harriers was a key destination.
By Luke Thompson - 04/09/2017
Posted 3 years ago
Few players have ever left a bigger impression on Harriers fans following such a short spell in red and white as Joe Lolley did when he played for the club for six months during the 2013/14 season.
Despite a football upbringing including a spell in the Birmingham City Academy, Joe rose to prominence by taking the difficult route – enduring numerous seasons in the lower reaches of the non league pyramid with Midland Combination League outfit Littleton, a side based just outside Evesham. Joe boasted an impressive record for Littleton, scoring of 88 goals in 83 games over two years.
In the summer of 2013, he was part of the Great Britain team which finished runners-up at the World University and College Games, for whom then Harriers player-coach Steve Guinan was assistant manager. The 20 year-old tricky winger was swiftly offered an Aggborough trial and took his chance – coming off the bench to net an impressive hat trick against Chasetown in a pre season friendly, which was enough to earn a one year contract to play in red and white.
WATCH: Joe Lolley nets against FC Halifax Town
“He is the type of player who just gets in to the right place at the right time and we have kept a good eye him,” said then Harriers boss Steve Burr after Lolley penned his deal.
“It is important we keep in perspective what we expect of him straightaway, but we feel there is quite an exciting talent here.”
Lolley’s first appearance arrived away in Essex at Cressing Road as a substitute in a 1-0 victory against Braintree Town. He would make his first competitive show at Aggborough in the following match against Chester on 24th August, scoring his first Harriers goal in the process.
Joe then became a mainstay in the Harriers starting eleven, and the rest, as they say, is history…
A long range screamer against FC Halifax Town in September caught the attention of many, but his most notable contribution was the role that he played in Harriers journey to the FA Cup Fourth Round.
Everyone new what the winger would do whenever he got the ball in an attacking position, but stopping the inevitable outcome was another matter. A Joe Lolley trade mark move of cutting past the full back in from the wing, before unleashing an effort with his left foot at the near post was executed perfectly against Sutton United in Round One.
Round Two ended with a 4-2 victory over Newport County, and Harriers negotiated a 0-0 home draw against Peterborough in Round Three to set up a replay, which was to be Lolley’s final Harriers bow. First came an assist for Jack Byrne to finish before Lolley unleashed an emphatic strike from 25 yards which sent Harriers through as 3-2 winners.
WATCH: Joe Lolley scores against Salisbury City
Eleven goals in 28 matches was his final tally, but the memories will live longer than those statistics.
It was poetic. A perfect end to a fairy tale six months individually for a man that was a total unknown to Harriers fans beforehand. The memories of the trip to Sunderland in the Fourth Round will live long in the memories of the 4,000 travelling fans alongside the man that had a big impact on getting everyone there, who was incidentally also heading north to Championship side Huddersfield in a big money switch in January 2014.
He has since had a loan spell with Scunthorpe, and moved up to the Premier League with Huddersfield in 2017, a monumental rise from non league to Premier League.
This article is about: Alumni