Ivor Powell: Wikis


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Ivor Powell
Personal information
Full name Ivor Verdun Powell
Date of birth 5 July 1916 (1916-07-05) (age 93)
Place of birth Bargoed, Wales
Playing position Wing half
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1938–1948 Queens Park Rangers 110 (2)
1948–1951 Aston Villa 79 (5)
1951 Port Vale
1951–1952 Barry Town
1952–1954 Bradford City 83 (9)
Total 278+ (16+)
National team
1946–1950 Wales 8 (0)
Teams managed
1951 Port Vale
1952–1955 Bradford City
1960–1963 Carlisle United
1964–196? Bath City
1968 PAOK
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).

Ivor Verdun Powell MBE (born 5 July 1916 in Gilfach, Bargoed) was a Welsh footballer who gained eight Welsh caps and later became a manager.

He was inducted to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 alongside snooker player Terry Griffiths and cricketer Tony Lewis. He also entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest working football coach on his 90th birthday after 55 years as a coach.


Playing career


Club career

Powell started his working life down the mines. His playing career began with South Wales League side Bargoed. After a time with Barnet he was spotted by Queens Park Rangers. Joining QPR in 1938, he made 110 league appearances for Rangers, this total would have been much higher if it were not for the interruption of World War II. During the war he guested for Bradford City and Blackpool whilst working as an RAF physical trainer. It was at Blackpool that he struck up a friendship with Stanley Matthews, who later became Ivor's best man at his wedding to Joan Browell in 1943.[1]

On 15 December 1948 the tough tackler commanded a £17,500 fee. This was a record for a half back and for both the buying and selling clubs when he moved to Aston Villa.[1] He made another 79 games for Villa before he became a player-manager at Port Vale in July 1951.

International career

Powell also made eight international caps for Wales[2] and was also a war-time international. In one game he was replaced by Englishman Stan Mortensen in a game between England and Wales when his injury left the Welsh side without an available substitute.

Management career

At Port Vale as player-manager he played just the six times, restricted on the field by a knee injury. As a manager he tried to 'rule by fear' and was not well-liked by the players, with the club bottom of the Third Division South, his contract was terminated in November 1951.[3] Roy Sproson later said that "everything seemed to go wrong for him at Vale" and that "he used to treat players like kids".[4]

He moved to Barry Town before being appointed the new Bradford City manager, again as player-manager, before the start of the 1952–53 season.

His first season at Valley Parade was disappointing as they slipped to 16th in Division Three North. The following season they came fifth but were 16 points shy of the promotion places. During that season he missed the first penalty of his career in a home fixture with Workington.[5]

The following season he was carried off with knee ligament damage against Wrexham.[5] The injury ended his playing career. City's form also struggled and Powell left in February 1955 after a run of seven straight defeats and just two wins from 19 games without his presence on the field. City were forced to apply for re-election at the end of the campaign.

Coaching career

Powell became a trainer-coach at Don Revie's Leeds United - (he also had a coaching spell at PAOK in Greece) - before he returned to management with Carlisle United in May 1960, succeeding Andy Beattie. He led the Cumbrians to their first promotion when they finished fourth in Division Four in 1961–62. He left the following season, with the club struggling in the league and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Southern League side Gravesend & Northfleet.[5] He became manager of Bath City in 1964 and is currently a member of the coaching staff at Team Bath (University of Bath) where he has worked for over 30 years.


He was inducted to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.[6] In 2006 while assistant coach for Team Bath at the University of Bath he celebrated his 90th birthday and entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest working football coach.[7] He later became the club President.[8] He has completed 53 years as an FA accredited coach.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours for his services to sport and was presented with his award by the Queen on 25 June 2008, a few days short of his 92nd birthday.[9] He described receiving the award as "an honour and a privilege."[10]


  1. ^ a b "MBE for Ivor Powell". teambath.com. 29th December 2007. http://www.teambath.com/2007/12/mbe-for-ivor-powell/. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  2. ^ Football Lge Career at Neil Brown
  3. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 237. ISBN 0952915200. http://www.amazon.ca/Port-Vale-Personalities-Jeff-Kent/dp/0952915200.  
  4. ^ Harper, Chris (February 17th 1975). "Meet the Managers". The Sentinel. http://www.sprosonfund.com/Stories/meetthemanagers.html. Retrieved 2009-06-23.  
  5. ^ a b c Frost, Terry (1988). Bradford City A Complete Record 1903-1988. Breedon Books Sport. pp. 72–73. ISBN 0907969380.  
  6. ^ "Foster joins Hall of Fame". BBC Sport. 8 May, 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/3696447.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  7. ^ "New record for football coach, 90". BBC Sport. 5 July 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/5150570.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  8. ^ "Coach, 86, inspires student players". BBC Sport. 18 November, 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/2481597.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  9. ^ "New Year Honours for sports stars". BBC Sport. 29 December 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/front_page/7163068.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-29.  
  10. ^ "Football coach, 91, receives MBE". BBC Sport. 25 June 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7474279.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  

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