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Staff 7: Roy Reyland

Posted on 7 August 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

We continue our look behind the scenes in our Staff 7 series with seven questions for kit manager Roy Reyland.

How did you first get into the job?
RR: I played non-league football for the likes of Barnet, Cheshunt, got an injury and I needed to get the injury looked at. My mum Ann worked at the club as a cleaner and I asked her to ask Mike Varney, the club's physio at the time, if he would take a look at the injury. Mike told me I needed an operation but I was offered a job on the ground staff while I was here.

You often say your job is all about common sense. What could go wrong if you didn't use that common sense?
RR: The worst thing would be if I forgot something. I work to a system and a list and literally stick to that. There is no deviation. If you are in Manchester and you forget, say, shorts, then you have a problem. At home it's not so much of a problem because we've got back-up. We use a three-fold packing system where we take the item out of the stock, one check; Check it onto a bench, second check; Into the containers, third check. Invariably, if you make a mistake after that, you've got a bit of a problem.

How has your job changed over the years?
RR: Drastically. More since the introduction of the foreign players and their requirements - warm-ups, warm-downs, undervests, undershirts, taking a shirt off. It really started to change when Jurgen Klinsmann came the the club. He wanted a clean shirt for the second half, that was never known before, so where I would take two or three shirts per player, I was now taking five - two long, two short, depending on what they want to wear. It might be short first half, long second half, that sort of thing. But it's different for every player. For example, Dean Richards only wears short-sleeved shirts, so I'll only take three for him. You have to cover every eventuality and now I end up packing 60 shirts every game.

Do you get fed up of people asking for shirts all the time?
RR: Not really, because I can say no. It's not because I want to say no, but players have individual shirts, sizes, preferences and obviously, the way finances are, I have a budget to stick to. If players are giving their shirts away all the time, I have to account for that. The basic price of a shirt is £40 so if players give away a shirt every game it doesn't take a mathematician to work out that's a lot of money. You could be talking the best part of £8-10,000 and you can't warrant that. As much as you want to keep everyone happy, if you give away 10 shirts, the 11th person will say 'why haven't I got one'. What I tend to do is get people to write into the club and someone at the club will determine where they go.

Can you tell us about the time Gazza gave his boots away minutes before the start of a game?
RR: It was Manchester United at home. He went out to warm-up about 40 minutes before the kick-off. I can remember he went out with a sweatshirt, t-shirt, shorts, socks, boots and shinpads. I saw him about five minutes before the lads went out for kick-off, he walked out of the physio area in just his slip that the lads wear under their shorts. I assumed he'd had a massage so I went in there to get his gear, but there was nothing there. I came back and asked him where his kit was and he told me that he felt sorry for a little girl in a wheelchair that he'd given everything to her. He'd given her the lot - shorts, socks and his match boots. That was Gazza.

What is your favourite Spurs shirt?
RR: I quite like the current one. If I was pushed, I would say the last adidas one, but I like the Kappa kit. It's modern, plain, very Tottenham. No frills, a classier kit. I like that tradition and back to the old European days of the all white kit. It's different as well and I like the fact that we look distinctive. I think Kappa are working hard to get things right and I like the gear at the moment.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
RR: Not pre-season! On the whole, football's been my life. I played until I was 30-odd, I played amatuer until I was 40, still play veterans now, so my total involvement in the game at this level. To be involved at a club like this and the importance of the job. I travel with the team, sit on the bench - to be part of a fantastic club and fantastic life is got to be the next best thing to playing. It's a fantastic game. I took the job in 1976 and I can honestly say I've never had a morning where I've got up and not wanted to go to work.