A Solihull family are truly united – after taking over a popular soccer centre.
Electrician Mark Finnegan, his wife and three sons will never walk alone after taking the helm of Glades Football Club in Solihull.
Mark decided to buy Glades’ lease, to help turn the centre into a ‘real community outfit’.
In the short time that he’s been in charge, membership and the number of teams playing under the banner have increased and the centre’s gained FA Charter Mark accreditation. Mark’s family are part of the management team. Wife Liz is the catering manager, eldest son Ronan, aged 20, is bar manager, 17-year-old Dermot is groundsman and youngest son Eamon, aged 13 assists in the kitchen and helps get pitches up to scratch. “It is a real family affair,” Mark, aged 51, said.
“My wife and I both have full time jobs – Liz is a nurse. But come Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, all of our efforts are thrown into the club.
“I’ve always said kids who play sport do not get into trouble. There is a real community spirit here at the club and we really want to build on that.”
Mark became involved with Glades when his son started to play football. He then began coaching and took on the secretary’s role.
He bought the lease last July when the current owners announced they were leaving.
Publicity officer Wayne Curran added: “Mark did not want to see the club go into the hands of others.
“The club is really buzzing, it has a fantastic atmosphere and how it has grown in such a short period of time is down to the Finnegans.”
The club, based at Lugtrout Lane, now has nine age groups playing competitively within the Central Warwicks Youth Football League.