Getting To Know... James Howard | Living North

Getting To Know... James Howard

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The founder and Managing Director of Yorkshire Payments and the new chairman of Brighouse Town Football Club talks about his life goals

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I founded a payment technology company in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, in 2013 at the age of 26, and took over as chairman of Brighouse Town FC in June this year. I’m a long-time fan of the club, and Yorkshire Payments is now the stadium’s main sponsor, so I decided to go one step further and become chairman. I’m looking forward to helping the club grow by attracting new sponsors and creating opportunities to fund its development.

 

Which of your achievements makes you the most proud?

I recently got invited back to my old school to talk to the pupils about my business achievements and running a football club. Having left school at 15 without any GCSEs, it was great to be able to go back to inspire the next generation and tell them how it is possible to make a success of yourself, even if the odds are against you.

 

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

I’d love to spend more time supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs in some kind of mentoring role. I also want to become more involved in charity work to help children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds — all while working in a full-time role at Brighouse Town FC. 

 

Who is the most famous person you've met?

There are too many to name because I used to work for Sky Television and bumped into lots of celebrities down in London.

 

What can't you live without, and why?

A notebook and pen. I always carry one with me wherever I go. I like to be able to jot down all the random ideas that pop into my head and revisit them when I have time.

 

What would your ideal day off look like?

I don’t get many as I’m either at work or at the football club, but it would definitely involve taking my daughter to the seaside at Scarborough.

 

What would you change about Yorkshire?

We definitely need a mayor!

 

What's your most treasured possession?

My grandfather’s pocket watch.

 

What's your favourite view in Yorkshire?

The one from my house is pretty special. On a clear day, I can see for miles across Colne Valley and Huddersfield as we’re very high up. 

 

What's the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

I would put the money towards opening a dog hospice. 

 

Who would you invite (living or dead) to your fantasy dinner party?

It’d have to be John Lennon, George Best and Boris Johnson. I’m sure the conversation would be very interesting.

 

What's your favourite film?

The Goonies.

 

What's your pet peeve?

People who are arrogant.

 

What, in your view, is Yorkshire's best-kept secret?

It’s not a secret as such, but in my opinion, we don’t shout loudly enough about the successes in our smaller towns. Leeds, Harrogate, Sheffield and the big cities take a lot of the limelight, but there’s some really great stuff happening elsewhere. Brighouse, for instance, is a brilliant place with a fantastic community.

Published in: August 2019

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