A Welshpool-based ex-headteacher has been recognised by the prime minister for decades of volunteering at a chess club.

Steve Rigby, originally from Oldham, Greater Manchester but who now lives in Welshpool after retiring, has received a "Points of Light" award - a National Honour personally bestowed by the Prime Minister upon volunteers who had made a significant difference to their community.

Steve founded 3Cs (Children's Chess Club) in Oldham 45 years ago and is still actively involved with the club, making the 200-mile round trip back to Oldham every three or four weeks to attend a weekly coaching night.

Upon receiving the award Steve said: “I am flattered to receive this award on behalf of the 3Cs chess club and everyone who has been so supportive over the many years.

“As with all such award winners, any individual can only be as good as the team behind them and I have been very fortunate to have such equally-dedicated people to assist me.

"I am also very grateful to the Prime Minister in showing his support for the game of chess and acknowledging it with such a prestigious national award.”


Steve, who founded the 3Cs back in 1978, was the first person to be given the prestigious award for chess. The club is hugely successful having produced 20 British champions.

Steve has also now formed the ‘Welshpool Chess Club’ based at the Westwood Park Hotel on Mondays which is open to all who wish to take part. He is also working with the local chapter of the university of the third age to encourage retired people to take up chess.

The next meeting of the group is on December 28 with the first meeting in the new year taking place on January 8.