In our latest feature on the kitmen of football we interviewed Terry Bourne the kitman at SkyBet League Two side Lincoln City.
Below Terry tells us what it’s like being a kitman at a football league club.
1. Who are you Kitman for and how long have you been in the position?
“I’m currently kit man at Lincoln City since January 2018.”
2. How did you get your current role?
“I was approached by First team manager Danny Cowley.”
3. Have you had any previous experience? (if so who for)
“I was under 18/23 kit man at Nottingham Forest also assistant first team.”
4. Is it a role you’ve always wanted to do?
“I never ever considered it. I was working part time at Forest as a scout and joint manager of a development centre. In April 2011 I was made redundant from my job in the construction industry so was doing some casual work for academy while looking for employment then the Academy kit man left virtually overnight and I was offered the role and worked my way up from there.”
5. What are your responsibilities as a Kitman?
“It is as it says you are responsible for all the kit and in my case all the laundry for both training and matches for both players and staff I also order all the kit and training equipment and ensure footballs are there. On a home match day I have to ensure the officials have towels and all the match balls are there.”
6. Do you have a beer/wine with the opposition Kitman after the game (like managers)?
“Not really, after a game you are normally too busy at home games getting stuff into the laundry or when we’re away packing everything away and loading the kit van. I normally have a chat with them before the game and always try to catch them to shake hands after the game.”
7. Have you had any certain players have special kit requirements?
“There is several for matches some players have base layers and under shorts, some players have there own socks and underpants which I look after. A couple have a pair of boots for matches, only training players will have tracksuit bottom and leggings. Goalkeepers may have different gloves for training than the ones they use for matches.”
8. Do you get any input on the clubs kit designs?
“No that is arranged by other people at the club.”
9. Do you own any football shirts, if so how many and what’s the most treasured shirt you own?
“The only one I own is one I was presented by the club for my 50th birthday in August.”
10. Do you get to keep shirts from your club or opponents?
“I have a couple, one from Jamie Mackie when he was at QPR and an Arsenal one from when they came to Forest in a Carabao Cup tie a couple of seasons ago.”
11. What in your opinion is the best football kit of all time?
“I like the old kits, Brazil in the 1970 World Cup is a great kit, I also like pin stripe kits.”
12. How was your playing career, who did you play for, what position etc.
“Didn’t play for anyone much after my schooldays.”
13. Have you made any errors like, forgot the kit or bought the wrong kit?
“Fortunately not, anything major home games all the kit is at the stadium I have a system in place for away games as for taking wrong kit I always confirm kit colours with the opposition through are club secretary.”
14. What’s been your proudest moment as a Kitman?
“Winning the Checkatrade trophy at Wembley last season.”
15. What characteristics do you need to be a Kitman?
“You have to be resilient and be prepared to work long hours, not getting weekends off having to be in on a Sunday if you have a Tuesday game and Christmas and Easter are are the busiest two periods of the year. I always work over my contracted hours, I but this isn’t something with is out of the ordinary for me.”
16. What’s the funniest kit related story you can tell us that has happened to you or you have witnessed?
“There is a lot of funny things I have seen, but the funniest one I didn’t witness but heard was the ex Forest kit man Terry Farndale putting Chocolate sauce on his breakfast thinking it was brown sauce.”
17. Who does the laundry at home?
“I don’t have a lot of home laundry as I wash my kit at work.”
18. Finally, why do you love being a Kitman?
“Best part for me is the banter between the players and myself, I was always told if the players are not giving you stick then they don’t like you and you are not doing your job right, fortunately I get a lot of stick!”
Thanks to Lincoln City for letting Terry do our interview. Best of luck for the remainder of the season.