Ian Radford, Group Managing Director of the HI Group, has come a long way since arriving on the Costa del Sol 18 years ago. Originally from Chelmsford in Essex, Ian made a decision to have a one month break from his job in the Stock Market and the rat race. Not knowing quite where he would end up he started driving southwards to the Spanish Costa del Sol, he liked the lifestyle so much, he decided to quit his job and stay. He has never looked back since and only travels back to visit his parents in Devon or visit London.
His love of sport and in particular squash, having reached squash champion back in England, led him to run the Leisure Sports Club based in Estepona for 4 years. During this time Ian started a family with his Spanish girlfriend and his relationship with his daughter Sofia, who is now 13, is very strong. Unfortunately the relationship with Sofia's mother ended when Sofia was 3 years old, but Ian made sure he was, and still is, fully involved in his daughter's upbringing. He speaks to her in Spanish which is slightly unusual, but it was something they started when Sofia was very young and just carried on over the years! Following in her father's footsteps, Sofia is very enthusiastic about sport, playing football and golf.
Ian has no worries about Spanish cuisine and enjoys all types of food, but his favourite has to be lamb. The same goes for the Spanish way of life, he is all for it. As he pointed out, British people can really miss out if they do not at least try to integrate with the Spanish.
Ian's advice to any foreigners moving out to Spain is to firstly have basic Spanish lessons. If you cannot speak the language it is like having half a lifestyle. You lose out on getting to know people and you also lose out on getting to know the culture which is all part of living here.
He is now Group Managing Director for the HI Group, the leading Destination Management Company on the Costa, who are just about to launch a new and exciting property development named The Village, which is actually within the impressive Valle Romano resort in Estepona.
They are a small team of people responsible for selling apartments in The Village, and because of its sporting facilities, an 18-hole golf course and Football Academy to name a couple, it has become popular with sport stars such as Paul Robinson, England's goalkeeper, golfing legend Seve Ballesteros and Sky Sports presenter, Jeff Stelling, who have all already bought into this project. The Village is on route to being the training ground for Europe's top football teams.
The official launch of The Village takes place May 15th and 16th which includes a series of star studded events and a fabulous launch party taking place at Puro Beach, Estepona.