Sad­dlers mates are re­united as Marsh gets City kit­ted out

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

WAL­SALL le­gend Chris Marsh has swapped driv­ing a lorry for a liv­ing to be­come Coven­try City’s new kit man.

The 48-year-old’s first game in charge of the Sky Blues strip was at the Banks’s Sta­dium in the FA Cup just a few weeks ago, and now he’s pre­par­ing to go back to the club he loves again this week­end when the two sides meet in the league.

Marsh, who played 479 games and scored 30 goals for the Sad­dlers over a 13 year spell be­tween 1988 and 2001, caused a bit of stir when he turned up with the Coven­try City crest on his shirt, in­clud­ing when he bumped into cur­rent boss and former team-mate Dean Keates.

Marsh and Keates both played in the same side along with City man­ager Mark Robins and Sky Blues No.2 Adi Viveash.

“Dean was my boot boy ac­tu­ally. He was bad at that as well – a dread­ful boot boy,” joked the former winger turned right-back.

“My first game in the job was back at Wal­sall.

“I turned up at the Banks’s and Dean saw me wear­ing the badge and he said, ‘What on earth are you do­ing?’

“I told him that Robbo – I call him gaffer now – had given me an op­por­tu­nity and he was pleased for me.”

Marsh couldn’t be hap­pier to be back in the game, re­veal­ing the of­fer came out of the blue.

“I was on hol­i­day and I got a call from Mark Robins and he asked me if I could come and help,” said the bub­bly char­ac­ter, who also played for Northamp­ton Town and Wy­combe Wan­der­ers.

“He said there was a va­cancy and asked if I fan­cied get­ting back into foot­ball.

“Ob­vi­ously be­ing a kit man you are not on the train­ing ground but you still see the lads ev­ery day and it’s great get­ting back into that en­vi­ron­ment which I en­joyed all those years ago.

“I had 18/19 years as a pro­fes­sional so it’s great to be back in the game and the lads are fan­tas­tic.

“I know the man­ager and Adi Viveash from our time at Wal­sall. I played with both and Adi, es­pe­cially, is a very good friend and Mark is a great man so I am re­ally grate­ful of the op­por­tu­nity and I’m lov­ing ev­ery mo­ment of it.” He added: “I only live down the road, quite lit­er­ally from the train­ing ground, at Bubben­hall. “Al­though I am from the Black Coun­try I have been set­tled in War­wick­shire for the last 15 years and I love the county. “And it just so hap­pened that I ended up a mile and a half away from the train­ing ground, which is bril­liant. It couldn’t be bet­ter and ob­vi­ously I am on tap now to open up and lock up, so maybe there’s a care­taker role in there as well! “I am chuffed to bits, to be hon­est, be­cause I have al­ways wanted to get back into foot­ball. Be­ing back in foot­ball is bril­liant. I can’t speak highly enough about the lads who have been mak­ing me feel re­ally wel­come.

“I made al­most 500 ap­pear­ances for Wal­sall but no-one ever gave me an op­por­tu­nity so I am so grate­ful for be­ing given this chance.”

Up un­til re­cently Marsh was driv­ing lor­ries for a liv­ing after a be­ing in­volved in var­i­ous cater­ing busi­nesses with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess.

“Since I re­tired from play­ing I in­vested in a sand­wich shop in the Black Coun­try that did re­ally well and then I in­vested in a restau­rant which went belly up,” he said.

“I coached abroad in Aus­tralia and Amer­ica for a while and then came back and be­came a HGV driver, which is what I have been do­ing for the last five or six years, driv­ing for a liv­ing.

“But be­ing back in foot­ball, health-wise, this is just bril­liant for me. There’s no more sleep­ing in my cab and al­though I am work­ing week­ends now it’s great be­ing in­volved with the first team on a match­day.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the lads who have been ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic, all mak­ing me feel wel­come.

“Doyler is a great player who keeps the team tick­ing and he has been bril­liant with me.”

So hav­ing a foot in both camps, where do his loy­al­ties lie as City at­tempt to made amends for their 3-2 de­feat Cup exit this week­end when they re­turn to take face the Sad­dlers in the league?

“It’s a dif­fi­cult one for me be­cause ob­vi­ously I have been back to Wal­sall loads of times and I love watch­ing them,” he said.

“You don’t play nearly 500 games for a club and not feel any­thing for them.

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