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Wayne Carlisle - Why Exeter

Wayne and his family

It’s always fascinating to discover why people move to Exeter. Everybody has their own story to tell and Exeter Live Better is the perfect platform from which to tell it.

We often like to chat to people to find out a little more about them and what it was that led them here. Most recently, we caught up with Wayne Carlisle. Wayne is the assistant manager at Exeter City Football Club and has been since 2019. But if you’ve ever spoken to Wayne, you may have noticed a slight northern Irish accent...

Wayne lives with his wife and two sons in Rockbeare, just outside Exeter but actually grew up in Lisburn, Northern Ireland until he was 16 when he moved to play for Crystal Palace. Following stints living in Bristol and Chelmsford, he settled in Exeter in 2006 and has been here ever since.

So as a northern Irish footballer living in the south east, had Wayne ever had reason to visit the south west before moving here?

“Aside from fleeting visits for a fixtures against Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay, the only other time of note I spent here was at Woodbury Park hotel around 1998/9.  The team I was playing with at the time (Crystal Palace) came down for pre-season training tour. We did manage to take in some of the local beaches and golf courses and have some funny memories of a golf buggy and a lake! Funnily enough the same lake I was looking over on my wedding day nearly 20 years later!”

Hhmmm – perhaps the less asked about the golf buggy incident, the better!

Needless to say, Wayne is now a firm fixture at ECFC, Exeter’s beloved club, something that he’s proud of and thinks of as hugely valuable to the city:

“The best thing about working at ECFC is having the opportunity to develop whilst doing something that I love doing, working alongside others who love doing their bit, at a club that wants to progress.”

One of our favourite questions to ask people is what they’re favourite ‘bits’ of Exeter are, and on this, Wayne is clear:

“Moving here from the commuter belt of London, our perception of Exeter was of a city with a relaxed pace, easy going feel, friendly people, and a good sense of community despite being a city. Having lived here for 16 years I would say our perception has evolved with the city in the sense that we still enjoy the friendy, easy going feel around the city but have a choice on the pace we wish to function at due to access and benefits of all the new developments around us.”

Wayne’s top spots in the local area are:

- Beach: Ladram Bay, Exmouth

- Walking: Woodbury common, Haldon Forest

- Eating: -  Greendale Farm Shop, Spice & Stone Indian Resturant

- Drinking: - The Old Firehouse, Cuckoo Taproom

- Music: Exeter Phoenix / The Angel

- Sport: St James Park (of course!)


Thanks so much to Wayne for letting us tell his ‘Exeter story’. Do you know somebody who would make a great feature for Exeter Live Better? If so, please get in touch!