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Ian Richardson – Activity Manager

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I started my playing career at 21 for Dagenham and Redbridge where I played for two and a half seasons, as well as playing for England’s non-league team. After signing for Birmingham City in 1995, I made 14 appearances. The highlight was playing in the Coca-Cola Cup semi-final versus Leeds United. I signed for Notts County in 1996, making 297 appearances, scoring 31 goals and was voted Player of the Year three times. In November 2004, I took over as Manager and, on a shoestring budget, managed to keep the club in the Football League. I joined FITC in August 2005 and after two years working as Lead Coach, I was promoted to Activity Manager. I’m now in charge of all delivery staff. I monitor their coaching performance and help them become the best coaches they can be. I manage On The Ball, which is a mental health project, aimed at isolated men. We use football to address mental health issues. These include: emotional wellbeing, building confidence and self-esteem, and improving communication difficulties. I love leading the sessions and get a lot back – they’re really enjoyable and good fun. I feel needed and that I’m making a positive difference. I manage around ten projects in total. These projects are grouped under the headings Social Inclusion and Sports Participation.