Yesterday we Interviewed Ian ‘Geordie’ Nichol, the kitman at Hinckley AFC who currently play in the Midland Football League Division One.
Despite having a full time job and working 50+ hours a week ‘Geordie’ is sometimes in the kit room at 4:30am before work! Now that’s dedication!
1. Who are you Kitman for and how long have you been in the position?
“Kitman for Hinckley AFC, club formed in 2014 but was involved for a number of seasons with Hinckley United.”
2. How did you get your current role?
“When the club was formed in was asked if I would take the role on after Hinckley United folded.”
3. Have you had any previous experience? (if so who for)
“A few years involved with Hinckley United but not in such an indents role.”
4. Is it a role you’ve always wanted to do?
“I wouldn’t say it was something I always wanted to do but once I got into it I really enjoy it.”
5. What are your responsibilities as a Kitman?
“Responsibilities are ensuring all kit is set up in dressing room on match days both home and away. I always set myself to arrive to all games at 12:30. I Transport all the kit to all games. It is my responsibility to ensure all kit is washed, dried and ironed after all games and all kit returned to the kit room. I attend all training sessions during the week.”
6. Do you have a beer/wine with the opposition Kitman after the game (like managers)?
“I don’t have a drink personally with the opposition Kitman but do have a chat with some who are available before games. I always have a drink in the bar after all games as do all our players and staff.”
7. Have you had any certain players have special kit requirements?
“One player has to have extra large shorts and depending on who is in squad there are a number who have cut off socks ( pet hate of mine these cut off socks).”
8. Do you get any input on the clubs kit designs?
“As a supporter owned club the colours and designs are agreed between those and the board.”
9. Do you own any football shirts, if so how many and what’s the most treasured shirt you own?
“I own a few Blyth Spartans, England and Newcastle United shirts , treasured ones would be one of each Newcastle and England that are both signed. I would have to say the signed Newcastle one which includes Bobby Robson is my most treasured one.”
10. Do you get to keep shirts from your club or opponents?
“Unfortunately at the level we play this doesn’t happen.”
11. What in your opinion is the best football kit of all time?
“Difficult to pick one.”
12. How was your playing career, who did you play for, what position etc.
“Only ever played at Sunday League level as a goalkeeper, a good one at that.”
13. Have you made any errors like, forgot the kit or bought the wrong kit?
“I once forgot a number 2 shirt and had to tape over the number 1 of the number 12 shirt. The other was where I let the squad know we were playing in blue shorts so they all brought their under shorts but I took the wrong ones, red ones and as you know referees won’t allow different colour underscores, lads have never let me forget this and they fined me £20 to put in their kitty.”
14. What’s been your proudest moment as a Kitman?
“Winning clubman of the year which is in memory of my close friend who was an stalwart Hinckley fan, Simon Blyth.”
15. What characteristics do you need to be a Kitman?
“Not afraid to put the hours in, hard work, not to take anything personal and to have a good sense of humour.”
16. What’s the funniest kit related story you can tell us that has happened to you or you have witnessed?
“We played a team last season where our kit was similar, referee was happy with it but not the opposition. They moaned all the 1st half and as they came out for the 2nd half had changed into their away kit.”
17. Who does the laundry at home? ?
“Wife does all the washing but I do all the ironing.”
18. Finally, why do you love being a Kitman?
“I just love been part of the setup, manager and his staff make me feel very much part of it. I have a great relationship with the fans and we have some great times together. If I didn’t do it who.”
Thanks to Geordie for taking part in the Q&A!