Meet the man regarded as the founding father of Kidderminster Harriers
By Matty Paddock - 07/01/2017
Posted 2 years ago
Joseph Pritchard is widely regarded as the founding father of Kidderminster Harriers Football Club.
Back in 1877, local man Joseph helped form Kidderminster Harriers, initially as an athletics club and himself was a prominent cross-country runner in his youth. Tellingly, he was also a keen rugby player in the local area for Clarence Rugby Football Club and was instrumental in the two clubs’ amalgamation in 1880 as Kidderminster Harriers and Football Club, an athletics and rugby club – playing as captain of the latter in the following few years.
Around this time Joseph had noticed the steady rise of the game of association football in terms of its popularity and standing and, with this in mind, he had purchased a one-shilling share in recently established Football Association Ltd – what we simply now refer to as The FA – in the name of the club he helped shape.
Then, at the climax of the 1885-86 season came the most significant moment in the history of Kidderminster Harriers, when Joseph announced that the club would cease to play rugby and, instead, from the following season would play association football instead. Still a stellar sportsman in his own right, he would go on to be captain and a dominant defender for Harriers in its initial campaign.
He remained a key figure on and off the field for Harriers and later became President of the club and was Chairman of the first Limited company set up in 1919 to purchase Aggborough Stadium. There is no doubting that his considerable financial input into the club also played a huge part in the early years of its progress.
Sadly, Joseph Pritchard passed away in April 1929 but, without any question, his legacy should remain established for all time as a founder of Kidderminster Harriers Football Club – an institution that continues to thrive at the heart of this Worcestershire community some 130 years after his tireless contribution.
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