Former Club Secretary Graham Starmer returns to the Poppies in volunteer role

Kettering Town Football Club has appointed experienced football business leader Graham Starmer as the club’s Acting Chairman.

Starmer was the Club Secretary when the Poppies reached the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in 2000 and worked closely with former Chairman Peter Mallinger.

Since then, he has been involved in the football industry for more than 20 years, leading the Football105 group – formerly – which provides a variety of support services for clubs, academies, and businesses including project management, operations, communications, and recruitment.

In his role, Starmer founded the UK’s first private international academy in 2007 and led the business until eventually selling in 2022. While running the academy, Starmer became co-owner and Vice-Chairman at Corby Town, supporting the club to stabilise its finances and its place in National League North, as well as playing Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup First Round, before selling to new owners.

Starmer will now return to Kettering Town as Acting Chairman and drive the club forward, with a mandate of securing financial stability and viability, improving behind-the-scenes infrastructure, and to play an active role in the search for new investors to continue developing the team and its facilities.

Starmer said: “This is an opportunity that is very exciting for me because I have lived in Northamptonshire for a long time, and the club has a special place in my heart.

“Kettering Town helped to springboard my own career in the late 1990s, and Peter [Mallinger] was a very influential mentor as I made my way in the industry. I still know many of the club’s dedicated volunteers, and joining as a volunteer myself, I aspire to have the same positive impact as they do.

“While I’ve spent the majority of the last few years working with clients around the world, I’m relishing the chance to have a direct impact with my local community and utilise our network to benefit the club, with an overarching goal of returning to the National League North and climbing further up the pyramid.

“I’d like to thank current owner Ritchie Jeune for all he has done for the club over the last decade, Mick Coe for stepping up in the role of Acting Chairman and Gary Graham as Director, and the incredible hard work and enthusiasm shown to me by the current management committee. I look forward to working together to move the club forward.”

Mick Coe, Director of Kettering Town, said: “I am really pleased that someone with Graham’s football knowledge and leadership experience has come on board as we try to stabilise the club and move it forward.

“His allegiance to the club, and to local non-league football, gained during his days working with Peter at the Poppies, and subsequently neighbours Corby Town, is an added bonus.

“Graham has been working with the club for the last few weeks, assisting in the quest for new investors, and has already built a relationship with Ritchie which will help as we all work towards finding a new owner.

“Welcome, Graham.”