Richard Molland (March 2006)Our Chairman since June 2004, Rich Molland (a United supporter!) became involved with Kewford in the Summer of 1998, co-managing a team alongside his old mate, Colin Worthington (a Liverpool supporter!!). Both would admit that it was a combination of club pressure and, probably more tellingly, their children's emotional blackmail, which forced their hand that Summer. Perhaps it was the tempestuous introduction to youth football afforded by co-managing a Cub Scout team the previous season which gave them the confidence to go forward! Whatever the reason, Richard now had the excuse - sorry, impetus - he'd always needed to fulfill a lifelong dream - by running a football team almost as well as Sir Alex Ferguson ! As Rich says . . . "I decided to become involved because the lads were all good friends and loved football, so if we hadn't started the team they would have all gone off to various opposition clubs. The team quickly gelled and we also enjoyed wonderful support from the parents."
From the heady days of co-managing the Under 11's in Division 3 of the Stourbridge League, and gaining promotion that first season to Division 2, the path to football glory has been paved with many good memories - e.g. Under 17's tour of Germany for a quick beer or two! If anything, Richard deserves an award for staying power and loyalty to that group of lads, taking them all the way through every 11 a-side youth age group, and still supporting them and helping to manage them in the realms of senior, adult football. Rich co-manages the Under 19 team for 2005-6 season, alongside Ry Lamb, and has a real connection with the players, now young men. "Incredibly there are still four original players from that Under 11 squad who have played all the way through and still play for the current U19s!"
Being the sort of person who takes life's responsibilities seriously (most of the time, eh Rich!), he was never going to shirk from doing what he could for the club, and it has been this sense of responsibility that brought Rich into club committee life. Organising the club Five A-Side for three years was a major contribution in itself. Taking on a committee role as Vice-Chairman in June 2002 was a natural consequence of showing how level-headed he could be in dealing with any club issues which occasionally arise. Going forward to the role of Chairman was then another natural personal progression, as Richard is able to take ideas from people, help promote them, resolve differences amicably and ensure the club committee "team" works as a unit. "Being part of such a large Club is a great feeling and I still get a buzz from watching the U19s, but equally love to watch mini soccer at the other end of the scale. I think it's also fantastic that Girls' football is flourishing in the club."
With all the time spent on work and the club, its always amazing that people find time, and energy, to do things outside of Kewford. Richard enjoys a varied social life, with a wide circle of friends including Mrs Stella Artois, Mr John Smith, Professor Boddington and Dr Yellow Bird (a renowned South American anaesthetist who Richard has introduced to several unsuspecting friends!) to while away the time! "Away from Kewford (yes there is a life out there) I still support United (yes, since 1967 through thick and thin). I love Rugby Union too, I try to play a bit of squash, 20 minutes footie with U19s (this is becoming increasingly hopeless; they don't pass to me anymore). When the weather is warmer I like to get on my mountain bike and off into the country. I am an aging rock fan and still like to get to live gigs whenever possible."
So what is it about Kewford and the club that gives Richard a buzz? "Highlights of Kewford over the years? Almost too numerous to mention. For the Club; Charter Standard Community Club Status. For the team; QF Birmingham Senior Cup U17s knocking out favourites Cadburys in the previous round. Personal; Enjoying the privilege of being Chairman of such a great club. Downsides - none really, sometimes it gets hard to fit it all in but you manage somehow. I would recommend it to anyone."
Thanks, Richard, for everything you've put into the club over the years. May it continue for many more years to come.