The Famous Five! – Written by Luke Chadwick

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When I was a little boy I used to love the Famous Five. For those of you not as old as me they were a collection of books written by Enid Blyton. Not being much of a reader back then I would listen to them on audio cassette, every night before bed absolutely riveted by their adventures. Back in those days there wasn’t football on the tele every night or even satellite TV it was just four channels or if you were lucky like me a cassette player in the bedroom!

Now this blog is not going to be about the Famous Five books, it’s about how about 30 years after listening to their stories I became part of my own famous five or probably more accurately described as the first five! What I’m talking about is how the Football Fun Factory started and how the first five of us involved started this amazing adventure. Now every group has to have a leader and ours was James, he had started the FFF a couple of years previously as a one man band before adding his trusted lieutenant Jonny Martin to his crew as co founder of the business, then came Kiel and then little old me, and finally Kiefer completed the team of five that kick started the growth of this incredible organisation.

Now we all knew each other which definitely helped, we also all liked each other very much or at least I liked them a lot! I hope the feeling was mutual!! But most importantly of all we all had the same beliefs and ethos on how children should be coached football and we all wanted to have a positive impact on our local communities doing exactly that. The business back then looked very different to how it looks now, there was no head office, no daily meetings or conferences! Our office was Starbucks on Newmarket Road in Cambridge or a local cafe at a Garden Center (my personal favourite) where we would spend hours working together on the growth of our own individual franchise.

We made many mistakes along the way but it was because of those mistakes and challenges encountered we’ve been able to build something that in my opinion is very, very special. James always says the mistakes that we made in those early days mean that those now joining our team don’t have to and the systems and processes mean the right individual can set up their very own Football fun Factory franchise seamlessly. What was once 5 guys (no burger pun intended) who worked together at a professional football club is now a juggernaut of a company with over 80 superstar Head Coaches delivering our programmes all around the Uk and soon to be beyond!

Of course this makes me very proud, but the crazy thing is we’re only just getting started! And that’s the most exciting thing, we’ve only been operating as a franchise for just over four years and those joining our team now are still early adopters! This is just the beginning of what we believe will have a hugely positive impact on football worldwide, and that’s the dream, seeing millions of children enjoying this beautiful game, having fun and falling in love with it!

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