South East Wales

Ivor Powell, veteran soccer coach, unveils Bath award

Ivor Powell with a bronze figure of himself
Image caption Ivor Powell was delighted with his first glimpse of his likeness in bronze

A 94-year-old former football coach has unveiled a bronze figure of himself to be used as an award for training.

Ivor Powell MBE, a former Wales international footballer born in Bargoed, retired from his post at the University of Bath a year ago.

The figure will be presented there to future winners of the Ivor Powell Award for Excellence in Coaching.

"The statue is very good," said Mr Powell after seeing it for the first time at a ceremony on Tuesday.

"I've really enjoyed my time at the university and it was great to see so many people here today."

A close friend of soccer great Sir Stanley Matthews, Mr Powell coached the University of Bath side - known as Team Bath - for 37 years.

The first recipient will receive the award, cast in bronze by local sculptor Alan Dun, at Bath's Assembly Rooms on Wednesday evening.

The University of Bath launched the Ivor Powell Sports Scholarship to mark their long-serving coach's retirement.

The fund will provide scholarships for future undergraduates who are gifted both academically and in their chosen sport.

'Committed, honest and loyal'

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale, who attended the ceremony as a former head coach of Team Bath, he worked alongside Mr Powell during the students' celebrated FA Cup run in 2002-3 which took them to a first round tie against Mansfield Town.

"I served my apprenticeship as a coach here at the University of Bath, spending seven years alongside Ivor," he said.

"He is a very special chap and I'm very fond of him. He has mentored and given so much to so many people over the years.

"He is committed, honest and loyal and has always led by example, even in his 90s."

Mr Powell played for Wales, Blackpool, Queen's Park Rangers and Aston Villa during an illustrious footballing career that saw him coach at Leeds United, Carlisle and PAOK of Greece.

He was inducted to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and was recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest working football coach in 2006.

Mr Powell was awarded the MBE in the 2008 New Year's honours list.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites