Clive Richards DL, KSG CBE and Old Veseyan
Clive Richards was born locally in Wednesbury and educated here at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School. His studies led him to become a Chartered Accountant, and after moving to London in 1960 he spent 50 years building up a vast profile of investments and built up 10 PLCs in various industries. He led a remarkable life and demonstrated outstanding generosity to causes close to his heart. The charity which he and his wife Sylvia founded, The Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity, donates £1-2 million a year to worthy causes. In 2019 Clive said: ‘You can’t take your wealth with you, so we came to the conclusion that we would give it away.’ A glimpse into the pragmatism of a man whose generosity touched the lives of many.
His support to the development of our school have spanned over a decade. This has enabled students here to have an enhanced ‘Vesey Experience’: a specialist STEM block where numerous students have curated a talent for STEM subjects, The Music Centre with individual practise rooms where our musicians have flourished to be accomplished young men and women, brimming with confidence to take to the stage. The Middle Field and Netball Courts, where our students have been able to explore and develop sporting prowess have too benefited from Clive’s generosity. Their talents, which will see them through their life, were explored and developed at BVGS thanks to Clive’s investment and belief in the school which he held so dear.
Clive supported individual students too, who without his mentorship and contribution would simply not have been able to become the people they are today. Through their quarterly reports to him they fed back on how they were progressing. All have enjoyed success thanks to Clive enabling them to focus on their studies through his financial support. During his time as Chair of Governors at BVGS, Clive helped steer the school through some challenging times. After retiring from the position, he still kept in close contact with the school and continued to be a lifelong friend and supporter, whose counsel was regularly sought by Headteachers and Chairmen through the years.
A man exuberant with the buzz of life: Clive’s energy was felt by all who ever had the pleasure of talking to him. He had an incredible and at times slightly alarming ability to switch conversation from a casual chat to a strategic interrogation. His quick wit and sharp business acumen made for stimulating conversations.
Collectively as the Vesey community, we owe a great deal to Clive. He has helped shape the school we know and love. Quite simply, the man who embodied the very best of BVGS can be described by the following line from Act 1, scene ii of Hamlet:
‘He was a man. Take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again.’
May you Rest in Peace Clive.
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