Me & My Job - Tommy Cumming, head groundsman, Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC

Tommy Cumming, head groundsman, Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC - image: Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC
Tommy Cumming, head groundsman, Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC - image: Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC

How did you get started? Back in 1972 I was working as a milkman with plenty of time on my hands. I was born and brought up in the countryside and I have always had an interest in the soil. I got involved with my local football club and because I had time on my hands I got involved in looking after the pitch. I went full time in 2004.

What advice would you give to others starting out? The biggest thing I can say is to keep a log of everything you do - keep a log of all the fertilisers you put on and what kind of reaction you get from them. I have always regretted not keeping a good diary.

What does your typical day involve? It varies every day. If I have a game on on a Saturday it is all about preparing the pitch and cutting the grass. Anything to do with the pitch is typical.

What takes up most of your time? Cutting the grass and just working on the pitch in general.

What is the best part of your job? Being out in the fresh air and being your own boss - it was the same when I was a milkman. Anybody who works in the soil has a lot of pride in what they do and are very passionate about what they do.

And the worst? The worst part is bad weather, when you can't get on the pitch. When it is covered in snow you get lots of different opinions of how to do the job.

What is your greatest achievement? Winning the Scottish Groundsman of the Year. When I won it was unbelievable. I have been doing the job since 1972 so it is a great award.

How do you wind down after a hard day? In the summertime I go out golfing and have a couple of pints of Guinness.

What does the future hold? I feel that grass is going. We are modern and have 3G and 4G pitches. I really feel that all the pitches will be synthetic.


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