Last Saturday Bilton Ajax had a different start to their weekend’s football at Bilton School.
While dozens of young children and their parents made their way inside to either attend the club’s Development Centre, or play in the day’s home games, it was another standard weekend for the clubs coaches and volunteers.
But for one visitor it marked the fantastic progress that the club has made.
The club began on a warm summer’s evening at Alwyn Road as a group of scouts played a football match, and at the end asked one of the volunteers if they could start a football team.
His response was, if you can find some more players, we will see what we can do. A week later 30 boys arrived at Alwyn Road for training, and Bilton Ajax began. The volunteer they asked was Lyn Redding, the Founder of the Club and that happened in 1972!
And he attended to watch last weekend as the club’s newest squad called the Under 10 Reddings played against another one of the club’s U10 sides, the Autobots.
Lyn spent time looking at what he started, enjoying the football, and even spending some time talking to the U9s and the U13s squads, who had matches and training on that day.
After that he travelled into the gym to see the club’s minis area for children from the ages of 3-6. And Lyn even helped out with the Development Centre for children from the age of 6-12 years.
Lyn is also delighted that the club has held onto his motto, to make children better footballers and better people, and to maintain the golden rules of trying your hardest, respecting your teammates, the opposition and the referee, and to have fun.
And in fairness, both the sides in the first Ajax derby of the season played the game the right way, despite the strong winds at one point blowing the goals over, and yes, Lyn even helped put them back.
If you speak to Lyn his pride for the progress of his club is evident. He welcomes everyone to the club on the days he attends matches either at Bilton School or Alwyn Road, theclub’s spiritual home.
So even now, all those years on, Lyn’s influence on the club is obvious. And thousands of local children who played for Ajax over those 46 years can thank the quiet, white haired and humble Lyn Redding for everything he has done.
Matt Scoffham, the current club Chairman says: “To have Lyn involved with Bilton Ajax is an honour, his experience and enthusiasm is invaluable. As a club, we can only get bigger and better with our founder still involved.”
If you were a part of Bilton Ajax’s history, or even better want to be a part of its future please contact the club either via our Facebook Page or via email at BiltonAjax72@gmail.com.