Wolves have expressed their shock and sadness at the passing of Wolves Foundation trustee and former Wolverhampton College principal Ian Millard, who has died suddenly at the age of 68.
Ian, a lifelong Wolves fan and season ticket holder in the Steve Bull Stand, was appointed as one of the first trustees of the club’s official charity back in 2009, and has played a key role in the development of the Foundation ever since.
Tributes have been paid to a true family man for his ‘great guidance, support, encouragement and energy’, ahead of his funeral service this Thursday.
“We were all extremely shocked and saddened to hear of Ian’s passing and he is going to be sadly missed,” said Will Clowes, head of Wolves Foundation.
“He was the perfect choice to be among our very first trustees, and the sharing of his skills and experience have had such a positive impact on thousands of people across the community ever since.
“Ian joined our board whilst in his role as principal of the City of Wolverhampton College, and we worked with him to develop opportunities for the students in partnership. We also supported the successful application to the Premier League and Football Foundation for the full size 3G Astroturf pitch at their Wellington Road campus, a facility proudly used by Wolves Women and Girls.
“He also assisted with establishing a football development partnership between the college and the Foundation supporting student access to professional sport development, a relationship which continues to go from strength to strength.
“As well as offering strategic advice and direction in his role as a trustee, Ian would always show genuine interest in the people we were supporting when he visited our projects.
“Ian was never one to take the limelight or any personal glory - he was a committed board member who cared deeply about people and communities and provided great guidance, support, encouragement and energy.”
Another part of Ian’s role as trustee involved playing a key part in Wolves Aid, the charity’s grant-giving project, which awarded over £1.6m of funding to local community groups up until 2018.
He also represented the Foundation on the panel for the Steve Morgan Foundation’s Entrepreneur Awards, and led on the charity’s accreditation for the Premier League’s Capability Code of Practice.
Ian was also a keen participant in last November’s first ever Molineux Sleepout, spending the night at the stadium to raise vital funds for the Foundation and the Good Shepherd charity.
Above all else, he was such a devoted Wolves fan, who had a particular admiration for skipper and Foundation ambassador Conor Coady, who has paid his own tribute after hearing the sad news.
“Whenever I met Ian at different events, his support and enthusiasm both for Wolves and Wolves Foundation always stood out,” said Conor.
“I know how much the Foundation valued him giving so much of his time as a trustee and passing on his experience which had such a positive impact on the charity and the community as a whole.
“He was such a great guy who will be sadly missed, and we would all like to send his family our sincere condolences for their loss.”
Everyone at Wolves and Wolves Foundation send their sincere condolences to Ian’s wife Diane, daughters Nicola and Laura, and all of his family and friends.
Nicola has set up a fundraising page for the Foundation in Ian’s memory, which can be viewed here.