After leaving school in 1978 at the ripe old age of sixteen i was fortunatly offered a position with the local authority, with the grand title of apprentice groundsman. In these days the newcomers to the industry were immediately introduced to in my area myerscough college. Arter spending some four years on and off on day release and block release sessions doing various courses all relating to turf maintainance and turf culture i was let loose on the industry.
Ten very happy years followed before i was approched by Blackburn Rovers to take up the position of head groundsman with the club. So in 1988 i arrived at Ewood park with nothing more than two hand forks and a thirty eight year old ransome mastiff. In 1991 and with the arrival of Mr Jack Walker to the club,to say the job i was doing changed would be an understatement, within no time at all i was suddenly responsable for a three million pound training ground and really what was quickly becoming a vast array of equipment.
Along the way over the last thirteen years iv been lucky enough to win one or two awards for my achivements including overall groundsman of the year in 1996. And first division groundsman of the year award in 1999, with nominations for this award every year since 1996 in either the premiership or first division.
Now just begining my fourteenth season at Blackburn Rovers iv been given the chance to try to pass on some of my knowledge and experiances through this excellent and exciting venture with Pitchcare.com. This in my oppinion will be a fresh new approach to the whole concept of groundscare for every sport, and will give people the chance to see how guys like myself go about managing on a daily basis the main stadium pitch, five pitches at our training ground, six pitches at our new soccer academy, and three synthetic surfaces as well.
Steve Patrick, Head Groundsman, Blackburn Rovers Football Club.