I am married with 3 children with Sarah a Dance teacher at Trinity School, Newbury. My son Joel works in the Golf Travel business for Golf Breaks.Com with my eldest, Louise working at West Berks Council, as does my wife Eleanor. I am a very keen golfer with a handicap of 6. I was born in Plymouth where many of my family still reside.
At school in Plympton, just outside Plymouth, I was a very keen sportsman gaining Devon County honours in Football, Cricket, Hockey and Badminton. Whilst playing for Plymouth SFA, I was taken on by Plymouth Argyle as an associate schoolboy but never given a contract (they were right !! ) . After secondary school I attended St. Lukes College, Exeter for 3 years to train as a PE teacher where I met many very able and competent sportsman at National level. Many have also become national football administrators. I played Football and Cricket for St Luke’s 1st X1 and was selected for the English Colleges and played at Wycombe Wanderers against Oxford University. My final year was at Exeter University gaining a B.Ed degree which was a superb grounding for a future teaching career. I had played in the South Western League and the Western League by this time.
After college I moved to Hampshire playing football for Waterlooville in the Southern league and cricket for Petersfield CC. After five years teaching at Bedales School, Petersfield, I gained a new position at Shaw House School, Newbury as Head of P.E. This all girl’s school was taking boys for the first time and therefore there were no sporting facilities on site. Coaches to local sports grounds and away matches were the main format for the first few years. However new pitches and a splendid Sports Hall soon made P.E. life a great deal easier. I gradually moved out of full time P.E. and took on more classroom roles initially as a Geography teacher and later as a Careers advisor and Work-Related Activities Coordinator. As a Head of Year, I was part of the Senior Management Team. After fourteen years at Shaw House I was appointed to Kennet School, Thatcham, as a Head of House. This thriving comprehensive grew to about 1800 pupils in my 21-year term of office with each HOH being in charge of about 450 pupils. For many of these years the school as listed by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’. I continued to teach Geography and P.E. throughout my career.
Whilst teaching in Newbury I was made Manager of the Newbury U15 schools’ team and gained considerable success in the ESFA ‘Trophy’. At this time, I also did a great deal of coaching within the Reading & Newbury areas, often for Reading FC players in the summer holidays. I went on to become secretary of Newbury SFA for many years. After playing senior cricket for Falkland CC in the Home Counties league and Football for Thatcham Town F.C. (recent FA Vase winners) I became a qualified Football referee. After gaining promotion from the North Berks and Newbury Sunday Leagues I officiated on the Hellenic League, the Diadora Isthmian League and the Vauxhall Conference. I was Chair of Berkshire CSFA for 8 years before being asked to join the National ESFA Council. I was chairman of the ESFA for season 2018 -19. In this role I had considerable contact with national officials at Wembley with the main focus being on the growth of the woman’s game and Futsal. There were also many financial discussions concerning grants etc. This has given me a very good appreciation of the National FA and the systems, functions and processes they provide for County FAs.
During this time, I became a Discipline Panel chair and eventually was appointed to the National Serious Case panel. I have to regularly attend training sessions and take assessments to maintain and develop these roles for the County FA.
I joined the Berks & Bucks FA council 18 months ago as the education representative which unfortunately has created a zoom familiarity and not the personal face to face contact which I had hoped for. It is a great privilege to be a Berks & Bucks FA director with the myriad of opportunities and experiences that will come with the role. My position with the Grassroots sector mirrors my football past and I hope I will bring knowledge, experience and integrity to the future issues that I deal with. Already I am well aware of the breadth of events we provide for our footballers at all ages and I compliments all the administrators, managers and support staff that help deliver football throughout the county. It is extremely important that we leave a lasting legacy for future generations, so we must continue to discuss, develop and manage all situations and issues with our partners to sustain the future success of the Berks & Bucks FA. I look forward to meeting many Berks & Bucks football stalwarts as my years in office unfold.