Central Warwickshire Youth Football League



Gordon Beard

Gordon Beard


Gordon began Olton Ravens in 1978, a team born out of Hall Green St Michaels. He began with just one team but soon expanded, giving boys of other ages the chance to put on the now famous Ravens jersey.

Gordon Beard was a man that firmly believed that football was a game to be enjoyed and many lads down the years that have played for Olton Ravens have experienced this. He was a disciplinarian. He had no time for cheats and dirty play. Often agreeable, sometimes controversial, always dedicated to his hobby of running his beloved Olton Ravens.

Gordons brothers Ronnie, Owen and Albert. They gave excellent service to the club. Later Gordon became a qualified referee and was a holder of the Football Association Badge which put him in good stead for training the youngsters in his charge, spending countless hours coaching and training them.

He soon joined the ranks of the Central Warwickshire League committee and when, in 1983, the opportunity arose to fill the gap as league secretary, he did so without hesitation, on one condition, that he could remain in control of his newly formed Olton Ravens. That concession was made!

As league secretary, Gordon immediately set about the expansion of the league. In his first season there were 83 teams that formed the Central Warwickshire League. By the 1988-89 season there were 183 teams, an increase of 100 teams within 10 years, a figure Gordon was proud and eager to boast about.

Within Olton Ravens, Gordon was known affectionately to all as "The Gaffer". He was an inspiration to many. A man of compassion. Where his lads were concerned, he disciplined the unruly. he protected and gave strength to the weak and comforted the lonely. He had a strict code of ethics within the club but had a heart of gold. Many former Ravens will tell you of the annual trips to the Isle of Wight that they looked forward to and trips to Wales and Jersey, all paid for by Gordon. He ensured his Olton Ravens were ambassadors of junior football wherever they went.

Sadly Gordon died in 1988 but left behind him a club that now graces the Central Warwickshire League. A respected club with enormous tradition. A club where its players are proud to wear the gold and black stripes.

To quote the Ravens mentor himself "I thrive on being part of football. I NEVER tire of it. People will never know just what an important part of my life the Olton Ravens