There was widespread shock around the Bears family on Sunday as the Club learned of the passing of Rick Coleman at the age of 77.
Rick was loved by many, particularly those who knew him through his close connections with Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Birmingham City Football Club and from his time in teaching.
He enjoyed nearly 35 years in education and retired as the Deputy Head of Baverstock School in 1999 after previously teaching at Moseley secondary modern, Naseby School, Moseley Combined School and Kings Norton Secondary.
Early into his retirement he began supporting Alan Oakman as a tour guide at Edgbaston, and for around 20 years he would regularly take groups of school children, cricket clubs and supporters on tours of the stadium pre and post the redevelopment of the South Stand.
Alongside wife Ann, Rick provided accommodation to young members of the Warwickshire men’s team squad who needed to relocate closer to Edgbaston as part of their new life as a professional cricketer. In the last 15 years, Sam Hain, Liam Banks, Mark Adair, Andy Miller, Tim Groenewald and Calum MacLeod are just some of the players who had spells at the Coleman residence in Moseley.
With his vast teaching background, Rick became Warwickshire’s first County Welfare Officer in 2003 and he provided key support to the Club and Cricket Board. Upon stepping down from the role in 2014, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Warwickshire Cricket Board at the NatWest OSCAs, which recognise the great efforts from volunteers in the recreational game across the county.
Rick’s passion for the Bears was shared with our neighbours Birmingham City, of whom he was also a lifelong fan and stadium tour guide. He was also a keen support of Moseley Rugby Club and he was a regular visitor to Billesley Common outside of the fixtures for his beloved Bears and Blues.
Rick and Ann’s mission to do good was also reflected in the fantastic level of fundraising that they did for Macmillan Cancer Support. Every summer they would stage an annual fundraising event at home but went far beyond their previous efforts in 2016 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Having set a target of raising £50,000, they raised an eyewatering £75,000 for the charity; an achievement that saw them recognised with the Douglas Macmillan award by the charity.
At Edgbaston, everyone who came into contact with Rick will remember his beaming smile, his enthusiasm for his work and his passion for the Bears.
To recognise the Club’s gratitude for everything that Rick and Ann have done for the Bears family, Interim CEO Craig Flindall was able to present them both with a Life Membership award.
Rick leaves us with wonderful memories, but he will be sorely missed by many at the Club.