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Aston University unveils plaque in memory of former director of sport

  • Mike Kirkman joined Aston University in 2004 as head of sport and recreation
  • Over the next 18 years he made an invaluable contribution to the University staff and student community
  • The plaque in his memory was unveiled at a special event at the Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre.

Family members, friends and colleagues of Mike Kirkman, Aston University’s former director of sport, security and nursery services, gathered for a special event to commemorate his contribution to the University and to dedicate a plaque in his memory.

The plaque in honour of Mike was unveiled by Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, at the Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre on Monday 4 December.

Mike had spent his early career in local government, managing leisure and recreation services. He moved to the department of sport and health at Liverpool Hope University, first as a lecturer and then as a senior lecturer, before joining Aston University in 2004 as head of sport and recreation.

Over the course of the next 18 years, Mike took on many roles at the University, both formal and informal. He continued to lead the sports team and manage the University’s sports facilities, while also taking on responsibility for the campus safety team and the University nursery up to his retirement.

Mike also played an invaluable role with UCU and the wider campus trade unions. He was a skilled trade unionist and as secretary of the Joint Campus Trade Unions worked on behalf of members of all unions to represent their interests.

Mike’s son, Damian Kirkman, said:

“It is an honour to be invited back to Aston University today and be further reminded as to the high regard in which Dad was held by his former colleagues. Aston was such an important part of Dad’s life, and it is a privilege to be here for the unveiling of a wonderful and fitting tribute.”

Professor Aleks Subic said:

“Mike’s contribution to the University was over and above his day-to-day responsibilities. He embodied and lived the values of Aston University.

“A longstanding and highly respected director and colleague, he was always focused on our students, working tirelessly – and often in the background – with the students’ union to deliver the best student experience at Aston.

“The University is proud to recognise his many contributions by installing a plaque in The Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre in honour of his memory.”

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