Mud, Sweat and Shears
By Dave Thomas
Published by Pitch Publishing
Our ‘reminiscing’ post of a few days ago looked back fondly to the days of muddy pitches. To follow that (and by sheer coincidence) comes the latest offering from Pitch Publishing; ‘Mud, Sweat and Shears. Tales from the Turf. Life as a Football League Groundsman’.
Written by Dave Thomas, Mud Sweat and Shears tells the story of Dave Oldfield, groundsman at Burnley’s Turf Moor through the 1970s and 80s. Those decades don’t exactly represent the high point in the Lancashire club’s storied history with the club’s ‘riches to rags’ story seeing them go from title winners in 1960 to needing a result to stay in the Football League in the 80s. But through former miner Dave’s hard work one thing that couldn’t be blamed for poor performances was the state of the pitch which was consistently singled-out as one of the best surfaces in the country
With many unique tales, including of meetings with the likes of Clough, Shankly, Law and Keegan, Mud Sweat and Shears looks back to a time when consistently producing a high-quality playing surface, especially in one of the wetter parts of the country, was much harder than it is today and is an excellent look on the trials and tribulations of a groundsman’s lot.