25 years of Soccerex from Rita Revie, co-founder

11 May 2020 |
25 years of Soccerex from Rita Revie, co-founder
This 25th year of Soccerex brings with it so many fond, funny and proud memories for me of the last 25 years. In 1995 Duncan and I began to talk about whether there was the need for the football business to have a platform in order to bring the “great and the good” of the sport together in one place. As most people know Duncan was the son of Don, best known for his successful spell with Leeds United from 1961 until 1974 which preceded his appointment as England manager.

We sat in Manchester, the place of Duncan’s birth, at a small conference for people from the music business.  We were supporting his sister Kim who worked in that industry.  On that evening Duncan’s passion for the sport and his entrepreneurship came truly into play when he decided that he would spend the next couple of months enquiring whether there was a need for something similar of a larger scale in the world of football.  He decided to visit and ask the opinion of the most appropriate of the institutions involved in the sport – FIFA, UEFA, English FA, MLS, amongst others plus major clubs in the UK and Europe.  He was greeted with affection by all and came away with the support of everyone – all delighted that there would at last be a Global stage for “their” sport.  They all agreed and felt it was a necessity as the sport was beginning to flourish and become monetarily more relevant especially with the likes of the introduction of the Premier League three years prior. 

Hence we began what was the “first” event of its sort for football.  We started in our kitchen but that didn’t stop our desire and our wish to make Soccerex a success.  We held our inaugural event in the iconic old Wembley Stadium on 23rd April 1996.  The rest is history as they say…

Over the next years Duncan’s dream was to truly make Soccerex Global – we went on to hold events in 5 continents and 21 countries.  Soccerex is Duncan’s legacy,  he was a passionate lover of the sport, it was in his blood and definitely in his heart.  My only wish is that he was still here to see how his legacy lives on.  Despite his business acumen his favourite saying was “we need to look after football, the business will look after itself”

We miss him.

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