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EDITIONS
Monday, 18 November, 2002, 09:36 GMT
Coach, 86, inspires student players
Ivor Powell
The team has attracted great media attention
Football veteran and former Welsh international Ivor Powell is still giving younger players the benefit of his 60-year knowledge.

At the age of 86, Powell is assistant coach to student outfit Team Bath which were in an historic FA Cup first-round clash with Mansfield Town on Saturday.


I have had 32 years of pleasure, the students come and go and a lot of them still come back to see me

Ivor Powell

Powell was a contemporary and friend of footballing legend Sir Stanley Matthews, playing alongside him for Blackpool and against him for Wales.

Originally from Gilfach Bargoed, south Wales, Powell is still out on the park three times a week with the students, as well as holding the position of club president.

He looked forward to the crunch match and to Team Bath becoming only the second student side to play in the first round of the FA Cup for 122 years.

"It's out of this world, it's magnificent," he said.

He has praised the work of manager Ged Roddy and head coach Paul Tisdale as well as the players for their hard work and professional attitude.

Powell said he thought Team Bath could have come away with a result last Saturday but after a hard-fought encounter, the result was 4-2 to Mansfield.

Ivor Powell
Ivor Powell still going strong at the age of 86

Powell has loved his 32 years coaching and in other roles at Bath University and he is determined to carry on.

He said: "I really enjoy myself, I have had 32 years of pleasure, the students come and go, and a lot of them still come back to see me."

A former miner, Ivor worked six days a week alongside his father and six brothers when he was a teenager before he found his vocation.

He played for Bargoed and was spotted by Queens Park Rangers, who offered him a place on their ground staff.

The war years intervened and Ivor was posted to Loughborough where he passed out as a physical education instructor and then was sent to Blackpool.

As well as guesting for Blackpool, where he met Sir Stanley Matthews, Ivor also trained squads on the sea front at Blackpool.

Sir Stanley Matthews
Sir Stanley Matthews in his footballing days

Sir Stanley and Powell became firm friends and the famous footballer was best man at his wedding.

"He was one of the best players you will ever see," said Powell.

The two also had to play in opposition during international days and one encounter saw the two friends playing on opposite sides at Wembley.

After being posted abroad, Powell returned to Queens Park Rangers and was later transferred to Aston Villa for a record 17,500 fee.

But back in those days, the record signing deals were not the most important aspect of the beautiful game.

Hard tacklers

"It was about the prestige and the pride so that you could get retained in the summer for the next season," he said.

The footballing legends of those days also meant a different style of play.

There was some hard tacklers and shoulder barges were part and parcel of the game, according to Ivor.

Now Powell is keen to carry on passing on his experience and is not going to hang up his boots just yet.

"I'm still going to carry on, I enjoy it," he added.

See also:

29 Oct 02 | FA Cup
01 Sep 02 | England
04 May 02 | FA Cup
Internet links:


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