Obituary: Bev Ironmonger

Corby has lost one of its most influential youth football coaches following the passing of Bev Ironmonger at the weekend.
Bev IronmongerBev Ironmonger
Bev Ironmonger

Bev had been involved in local football for more than seven decades.

Corby born and bred, Bev began his playing career as a teenaged wing half in the Corby Town A team in the late 1950s, but did not appear in the first team with the Steelmen.

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He spent the majority of his playing days with Stewarts & Lloyds throughout the 1960s.

Bev gradually began to take an interest in coaching and in 1968 teamed up with the late Ken Burton at Rothwell Town.

The partnership flourished immediately, and under their control Rothwell enjoyed some of their most successful seasons ever, finishing as United Counties League runners up in 1969/70 and 1970/71, winning the Knockout Cup in 1970/71 and 1971/72 and becoming Northants Senior Cup runners up in 1971/72 when they were also voted ‘Team of the Year’ by the Evening Telegraph.

In June, 1972, Burton was appointed manager of Corby Town and Bev followed him to Occupation Road as first team coach.

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They found success harder to come by with the Steelmen, but when Burton resigned in May 1974 to concentrate his energies on his sports shop business in Kettering, Bev stayed on at Corby to work under first Mick Blick and then the late John Mackin, who appointed him assistant manager in 1975.

In May, 1978, Bev took over as reserve team manager but following the departure of John Loughlan as first team manager in November 1978 he left the club, and in February 1979 he renewed his partnership with John Mackin at Cottingham.

Bev eventually took over as manager of the village side during a nine year spell with the village side, before returning to Corby Town as Youth Development Officer in the summer of 1988.

He initially worked alongside youth team manager Kenny Ward before taking complete control of the under 18s when Ward left the club early in the 1988/89 season.

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Bev continued to work with the club’s youngsters for a number of seasons whilst also helping to run the Ken Burton Soccer School, and in September 1994 had a brief spell as caretaker manager of the first team following the departure of Steve Buckley.

After once again leaving the Steelmen, Bev worked for Peterborough United and Leicester City as a local coach and also acted as a talent scout in the area.

He returned to Corby Town as assistant manager to Eddie McGoldrick at the start of the 2001/02 season, but left when McGoldrick departed in November 2001.

Bev continued to be a regular spectator at both the Rockingham Triangle and Steel Park until ill health recently restricted his visits.