Oliver James “Olly” Lancashire (born 13 December 1988) is an English professional footballer who currently plays for English League One club Rochdale as a centre back.
Lancashire began his career as a youth player for Crystal Palace before joining Southampton’s academy. He captained Southampton’s under-18 side and turned professional in July 2006, making his senior debut in 2008. Lancashire had two loan spells at Grimsby Town in 2009/10 and, following his release by Southampton, joined Walsall in July 2010. He made 58 appearances for Walsall, but was released in the summer of 2012 and subsequently went to Aldershot Town. In July 2013, Lancashire made a permanent transfer to then-League Two side Rochdale, after leaving relegated Aldershot.
Lancashire was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on 13 December 1988. He attended Hook Junior School and Robert May’s School in Odiham. Lancashire began his career with Southampton, where he signed a two-year contract. Lancashire was linked with a move to the Premiership in the form of Manchester City or Liverpool.
Lancashire made his first-team debut against Queens Park Rangers on 14 September 2008, but was sent off after 29 minutes, for a rash tackle on Damien Delaney. After a two match ban, Lancashire made his return and helped the club keep two clean sheets in a row, in wins against Doncaster Rovers and Norwich City. But several weeks later, on 21 October 2008, Lancashire, once again, received a red card after a second bookable offence, in a 0–0 draw against Sheffield United. While at Southampton, Lancashire never earned a first team regular; instead, he looked out of his depth for the most part. Upon joining Walsall, Lancashire explained his discipline issue.
On 15 May 2010, Lancashire was named in a list of 13 players to be released from Southampton before the start of the 2010–11 season.
In October 2009, Lancashire signed on a one-month loan for Grimsby Town. In his second game for Town against Accrington Stanley on 30 October 2009, Lancashire received his third career red card, in only 15 league matches, after he was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area. In his next appearance for Grimsby, he scored an own goal whilst playing against Leeds United in the Football League Trophy quarter final away at Elland Road on 10 November 2009.
Lancashire returned for a second spell on loan at Grimsby on 23 December, only to be recalled on 31 December due to an injury crisis at his parent club.
On transfer deadline day 1 February 2010, Lancashire joined Grimsby for a third time, but this time for the rest of the season. However, towards the end of the season, Grimsby Town was relegated from the Football League for the first time in nearly 100 years. Following Grimbsy Town relegation, he stated his difficult spell at Grimsby Town made him a better player.
On 14 July 2010, it was confirmed that he had joined Walsall. After the move, Lancashire was described by Manager Chris Hutchings as “He has shown plenty of promise and we have had some good reports on him. He will add competition to the central defensive positions.”
Lancashire made his debut for the club, on the opening game of the season, coming on as a late substitute, in a 2–1 loss against Milton Keynes Dons. Later in the season, Lancashire would be often used in first team ins and out in his first season, having made twenty-nine appearance and during the season, Lancashire played two matches against his former club, on 1 March 2011 and on the last game of the season. Also, the club would survive from relegation. During the season, Lancashire is among many players received criticism from Manager Hutchings over poor display during the season. He later described the relegation survival as “it’s definitely the biggest day of my career”.
In 2011–12 season, Lancashire playing time became more restricted, having only made twenty appearance and for the second time running, the club survive from relegation. In mid-December, Lancashire suffered an hamstring injury, that will keep him until the New Year. After a month out, Lancashire recovered from injury He made his return a month later, on 15 February 2012, in a 2–1 loss against Oldham Athletic. On 3 March 2012, Lancashire scored his first goal in injury time equaliser, as Walsall settle 1–1 draw against Leyton Orient.
On 9 May 2012, it was announced that Lancashire had been released by Walsall.
On 14 June 2012, Lancashire signed with League Two side Aldershot Town on a two-year deal, following his release from Walsall. His only season with Aldershot was hampered by injury but he managed to make 15 appearances in total; 12 league appearances and 3 cup appearances After one season with Aldershot Town, resulting the club’s relegation, Lancashire was among thirteen players made redundant, in a wake of the club’s administration.
On 14 June 2013, he signed a one-year contract with Rochdale. He was given number six shirt and made his debut in the opening game of the season, in a 3–0 win over Hartlepool United. Lancashire quickly established himself as part of the team’s first choice centre back pairing, along with on-loan Jack O’Connell. Due to the absence of first team captain Peter Cavanagh as a result of injury and suspension, Oliver was handed the captain’s armband.
Since his debut, he appeared in eighteen consecutive games until he was sent-off in a 4–0 loss against Scunthorpe United on 28 November 2013 and this would later resulted a one-match ban for Lancashire. He would later be sent-off for the second time this season on 11 March 2014, in a 2–1 loss against League Two struggles Torquay United. Having led Rochdale towards promotion to League One, Lancashire wrote to the club’s supporters about the promotion. Lancashire went on to lead the club, finishing third place. After the match, Lancashire spoke about the season and the promotion. On 27 June 2014, Olly signed a one-year extension with Rochdale.
At the start of the 2014–15 season, on 5 August 2014, Olly was named captain of Rochdale after the departure of Peter Cavanagh. Lancashire started in the opening game of the season, in a 1–0 loss against Peterborough United. However, Lancashire sustained a groin injury that kept him between four to six weeks.
|2009||Grimsby Town (loan)||8||(0)|
|2009||Grimsby Town (loan)||1||(0)|
|2010||Grimsby Town (loan)||16||(1)|