Mick Kearns and Ben Purkiss take roles within the Community Scheme...THE START of 2015 has seen some exciting times for Walsall FC. The playing side has seen us secure our first-ever Wembley appearance and the impact has been exciting for the whole community.
The club has been thrust into the national spotlight and locally we are continuing to work hard in the Community.
The Community Scheme, under the guidance of Community Director, Adam Davy, has had a successful 2014 delivering a large number of activities across the Borough. To further promote this, and to enhance our already excellent Community reputation, the scheme is pleased to announce that Mick Kearns and Ben Purkiss are coming on board and supporting the excellent work we do.
Mick, who set the scheme up back in 1989, has been announced as the new Walsall FC Community Programme Patron.
“At the end of 2014 I found myself in the situation of needing to name a new Patron for our community scheme,” said Adam Davy. “The decision was very easy for me to make and I was honoured to be able to ask Mick to be the Patron of our Community Programme.
“Having worked with Mick for 20 years I saw first-hand how he had started the scheme in 1989 and led it forward to 2013 when I took over from him.
“Mick has such a fantastic reputation as a player and legend of the club and it is a well-known fact that Mick created a Community Department that is seen as a huge asset to the club. The scheme is a big reason why Walsall FC is proudly seen as a ‘community club’ and Mick’s efforts over his time here were well-documented at the announcement of his retirement in 2013.
“I am proud to be able to ask him to be the Patron and really pleased that he said yes.”
As Patron, Mick will support the scheme and he will be a fitting figure-head for the position. His community work remains one of his biggest achievements in football.
“Adam approached me at the end of 2013 and asked if I would become the new Patron for the scheme,” recalled Kearns. “Adam has worked hard as my replacement and is doing a great job. As Patron I will be on hand to offer any help and advice I can give him when he needs it. It’s an honour to have been asked and I was more than happy to accept the offer.”
Meanwhile first-team player, Ben Purkiss joins the scheme as the first-ever Community Player Ambassador.
“Following on from winning Community Player of the Year for 2013/14 it seemed a natural progression to invite Ben to be the Community Player Ambassador” added Davy. “We have discussed for some time the appointment of a player ambassador and Ben was more than happy to take on the role.
“He is a great professional and one who really takes on board the role that professional footballers can play within their local community.”
The role will see Ben working closely with the Community Department to work in the town and add his profile to good causes and achievements of local people. Ben’s first role as player ambassador came at Hillary Street School last Thursday when he visited some children in the Infant school with Tom Bradshaw.
Both players, accompanied by Paul Larvin (Community Manager), visited the school for a Q&A session with pupils. The subject was ‘the History of Walsall FC’ and particularly why the club are known as The Saddlers.
Ben said: “As a professional footballer I enjoy the responsibility of being a role-model and to link that up by being the Ambassador for the Community Scheme is an exciting prospect for me.
“I have volunteered my time to link up with the scheme and its staff to visit projects they are running around the town and add my support to the fantastic work that goes on in the Walsall area.
“The visit to the school last week was an interesting one and hopefully the children and staff found the session inspiring and helpful for the children’s school work.
“I am looking forward to spending the rest of the season supporting the Community Department.”
These are certainly very exciting times for The Saddlers!