Local football’s farewell to KicKStart League co-founder Malc Jones

The local footballing world last week said goodbye to KicKStart League stalwart Malc Jones.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 1:15 pm
Elaine with Malc Jones.

The 74-year-old had passed away peacefully at home on 8th June after a very short illness and his funeral was held at Mansfield Crematorium on Thursday with 50 attendees plus many more lining the streets.

Sutton-born, Malc stayed close to all his relatives and ex-wife Teresa.

He leaves behind partner Elaine, daughter Helen, son Mark, stepsons Allan and Chris, and grandchildren Dominic, Olivia, Harry, Jemimah, Emily and Elijah.

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Malc, top right, at the Forest Centre of Excellent in the early 1990s.

Partner Elaine said: “Malc’s death came rather suddenly and unexpectedly; up until just a few weeks ago there was no indication that his life was drawing to an end.

“When Malc received his diagnosis, he faced it with great courage and bravery and wanted to put his affairs in order.

“He formalised his relationship with me with a Civil Partnership on 26th May after more than 20 wonderful, happy and successful years together as friends at first and partners later on for life.

“Malc was my soul mate, my best friend, my right hand man and my rock. We made a great team and I will miss him so much.”

There was also an outpouring of love for him from the local football world.

“We received over 600 Facebook messages,” said Elaine.

“Malc was very respected and loved by not only the football community but by all his family and many friends.

“He would have been brimming with pride if he could have read these. “His profound legacy will always be the time and effort he invested in football as a whole and striving to make a difference. He loved it.”

Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves added:“It is very sad news.

“On a personal note Malcolm was very supportive of me when I took over as manager at Hucknall.

“He brought the Kickstart finals weekends to Hucknall two years running when we were desperate and had no money whatsoever.

“It was invaluable at the time. He has continued to stay in touch and I only spoke to him a few weeks ago on a football matter.

“He's been at our games and he always shouts and wants a word, wishing us good luck. He has been very supportive and it's very sad. He was a good footballing guy.”

Malc first became involved in youth football back in 1975 when he joined Sutton Town to work with the U16s as well as coaching the Sutton Primary Schools district team.

In 1980 he became assistant manager, then manager in 1985, of Teversal Colts and won every honour possible playing in the Mansfield Youth League.

Malc started his professional career as a part timer at Forest in 1988, when he was asked to meet Brian Clough for a chat after being told about his coaching skills.

He joined the City Ground staff in October of that year and attained his UEFA B Licence,

He was youth team coach and manager of the Centre of Excellence, helping the careers of players such as Jermaine Jenas, Michael Dawson, Andy Dawson, Andy Reid, Andy Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Mark Goodfellow, Marlon Harwood, Richard Cooper plus lots more who went on to play semi-pro in local leagues.

He scouted many more, including Kris Commons and James Perch, taking them into the City Ground as U10s.

“Malc has said many times, on reflection, he didn’t think much of it at the time, but the nine years he spent at Forest, under the management of the great man Brian Clough has filled him with pride and some very precious memories that he will never forget,” added Elaine.

In June 1997, at the age of 50, Malc took early retirement from Ashfield District Council, during which career he met the Queen Mother after winning an award for Services to the Environment.

He went from there to work at Coventry City on a three year contract at the club’s Academy before jobs with Leeds United and Leicester City.

He founded the hugely successful Quarrydale Colts in 1998 and four years later, with the encouragement of Elaine, developed his KicKStart Coaching School.

They had both recognised that 14 children could sign on to play seven-a-side mini soccer leaving 7 children potentially on the bench, so the league was originally set up to provide for children that didn’t get a chance to play in the then existing local Saturday leagues.

KicKStart Youth Football League was formed in 2002 as an Sunday league by Malc and Elaine for U7s to U10s, providing 9 v 9/11-a-side from 2010/11.

Donations in Malc’s memory would be gratefully received to benefit Cancer Research UK.