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As part of Coventry Rugby’s 150th anniversary celebrations the club’s charitable arm, Coventry Rugby Foundation, is running a special fundraising appeal to support its vital work in the Coventry and Warwickshire community.

The aim of the Foundation is simple: “To transform lives through the power of sport.”

In challenging times this need is greater than ever, with recent reports suggesting that 40 per cent of Coventry children are growing up below the poverty line while modern lifestyles are leaving many feeling isolated or lacking access to opportunities that will improve their quality of life.

According to chair John Edwards, Coventry Rugby Foundation works tirelessly to give life-changing opportunity to local people regardless of physical ability, age, gender, ethnicity, or socio economic background.

“We believe that sport has the power to transform lives, not just from a physical activity point of view but also through the proven improvements it can bring to mental well-being,” he said.

“Through our 150th anniversary appeal, we hope to raise £250,000 to enable us to significantly extend our well-established and popular community programmes.”

The Foundation seeks donations from business and commerce plus supporters and individuals who want to play a part in transforming lives in our community.

Regular giving helps the Foundation to schedule activities throughout the year while single donations help fund and expand existing events and extend the range of valuable work being undertaken.

Donations can be made here:


Mr Edwards said having such a high-profile group of Appeal Ambassadors with strong connections to the local community has given the Foundation’s 150th anniversary appeal a big boost.

“Like us, they are all highly committed to our local community and giving those who need a helping hand a lift in life,” he said.

“We are most grateful that this highly-credible, well-known group are willing to give time from their busy schedules to support our attempt to leave a lasting legacy in this landmark year.”

Tom Bromwich

Tom Bromwich is one of the most recognisable faces on the Coventry and Warwickshire business scene – and someone with a long track record of supporting rugby at all levels.

As a founding partner at Coventry-based commercial property specialists Bromwich Hardy, Tom grew an award-winning, results-driven business which has been named the most active agency in Warwickshire for each of the last nine years.

Bromwich Hardy is a long-time sponsor of Coventry Rugby and Kenilworth RFC. Tom is also chair of trustees at the Get A-Head charity, which supports people with head and neck cancer and disease and which has raised more than £10million to help fund research and equipment.

John Clarke OBE

John is a Coventry-born former journalist and chief executive of Century Public Relations who was awarded an OBE for ‘services to the community of Coventry’ in 2005.

He is a past chairman and deputy chairman of Coventry City FC, former governor of Coventry University, past board director of the Belgrade Theatre and former board member of Coventry Transport Museum. John was also  vice chair and a founder member of the NSPCC Coventry Business Group which he supported for over 25 years.

John was previously an associate director of Coventry Rugby and is currently a season ticket holder at the BPA. His interests include family, travel, book publishing, local history and following the Sky Blues. He recently published a book called ‘A History of Caludon Castle. The Lords of the Manor of Caludon.’

Eleanor Deeley

Eleanor is Joint managing director at the Deeley Group, a Coventry-based construction and development firm that has been establishing trust across the Midlands for over 85 years.

She has over 20 years of experience in the property industry having previously held roles as a Director at CBRE and Partner at Cushman & Wakefield.

Eleanor joined Deeley Group in 2019 and is involved in everything from branding to project delivery and generating new business, whilst developing partnerships with clients.

Eleanor also leads the business as it targets being net-zero carbon by 2036 and to this end drives an internal net-zero carbon group.

She strives to create more access and openness in the business and encourages more diversity in a male-dominated industry.

Gavin Lloyd

Gavin is one of the elected Coventry City Council members for Sherbourne ward which has Coventry Rugby’s Butts Park Arena home at its heart.

He represents the views and interests of the residents of Sherbourne ward and that of the city, while working with the council and its partners to improve the quality of life and services in our area.

He also serves as a deputy cabinet member for city services, is on the planning committee and is a representative for West Midlands Fire Authority where he chairs their scrutiny board.

Gavin is passionate about are enhancing green spaces and parks in our city, supporting local businesses and community groups, and tackling the problem of fly-tipping and littering in addition to fire safety.

He describes the work being done by the club both on and off the pitch as phenomenal, and as someone who describes himself as loving Coventry Rugby adds “It’s a privilege to be a small part of this in our 150th year.”

Taiwo Owatemi

Taiwo is the Member of Parliament for Coventry North West who since being elected in 2019 has strived to support the local community as much as possible.

She also sits on the board of trustees for the Albany Theatre and Sky Blues in the Community here in Coventry.

Taiwo says she is looking forward to pulling on knowledge gained in these roles and working with other ambassadors on programmes, projects and initiatives to help improve lives in our communities and describes herself as “honoured to be a part of the Coventry Rugby Community Foundation.”

Coventry North West’s MP says she will be “focusing on providing opportunities for young people to realise their potential and achieve the very best they can, since ensuring equality of opportunity for our younger generations regardless of their background is something I am very passionate about.”

Les Ratcliffe MBE

Les retired after completing 43 years at JLR finishing as head of community relations. In this role, between 2000 and 2015 he worked closely with Coventry Rugby and their community programme.

In 2011 Les was awarded ‘the Coventry Award of Merit’ for outstanding personal contribution to JLR while promoting community relations for the city.

In the 2017 Queens New Year’s Honours he was awarded an MBE for services to business, education and the community.

In 2017 Les was made a deputy lieutenant of the West Midlands and represents the lord lieutenant in many community events and activities associated within the city of Coventry.

He is currently chair of the Coventry & Warwickshire place board and Champions that promotes everything good in the area.

David Shortland MBE

David was born in Coventry and educated at King Henry VIII school.

He qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1980, becoming a partner in Robinson, Osborne and Moules in 1981 then a main board director of Countrywide surveyors and Countrywide Commercial  between1988 and 1995.

David then formed Shortland Horne in 1995 and has been chairman to the present day.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Coventry University in 2006 and an MBE in 2016, both in recognition of service to Coventry & Warwickshire communities.

David is a former chairman of the Belgrade Theatre where he is now an honorary ambassador.

After playing rugby and cricket at school, he has always been a keen supporter of Coventry City, Coventry Rugby and Warwickshire CCC.

For more information on the work the Foundation does, please visit the community section of the web site at “