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Sheffield 160: Matt Pindar

12:59 PMAleks Vee

by Aleks V |

2017 marks the 160th anniversary of the world's first football club, Sheffield FC. Sheffield 160 is a bi-weekly series that goes behind the scenes of the historic club through interviews with players and staff.

This week, Matt Pindar talks captaining the Sheffield FC Veterans SC at the San Siro, working as the club's kit man, his charity work, and more.

All photos - Sheffield FC via Flickr.

Matt Pindar (right) during Sheffield FC's visit to Koninklijke HFC in 2014.
How did you first get involved with Sheffield FC?
I used to work on the ground staff at Sheffield Wednesday FC in the late 80's early 90's. I had a disagreement with the stadium manager so left. I missed football, and a good friend of mine, Scott Jerrison, invited me to watch a game down at Sheffield FC. I fell in love with the atmosphere and continued to go and watch. I started talking to Chairman, Richard Tims, and then asked if I could help in any way.

I started doing little jobs during the day, as I worked nights at Royal Mail at this time. Ian Whitehorne then became First Team manager and asked if I wanted to help him, so I said I would be honoured and agreed to do the kit.

As kit man, I worked under Ian Whitehorne twice, as well as Mark Shaw, Curtis Woodhouse, Jordan Broadbent, Mick Wadsworth, Andy Kiwomya, and James Colliver. 

You're known as a "local celebrity" at the club. Aside from being the club's kit-man, what other duties do you have at SFC?

"Local celebrity" is very flattering. I no longer have a specific role at the club, as like many others who have experienced the same, The Club can take over your life if you're not careful. I was a member of the committee before it was dissolved to fit in with the new operating model. As has happened to many others, you then are still made to feel welcome when you still go down to support, but in my opinion, some of the people now involved with the club have short memories and are there for the wrong reasons. That's a story for another day.

I do still love and support The Club and am available should they require anything.

Matt Pindar during the Pioneers Cup game between Sheffield FC and Recreativo Huelva, November 2013.

You donned the Captain's armband for the Veterans SC on Day Two of the tour of Milan at the San Siro. Any favorite moments from that game? Do you stay in touch with anyone from Dexter Calcio?
The most memorable moment for me was hearing Italian supporters singing "Sheffield, Sheffield". Wearing the armband sent shivers down my back and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Actual play memory was for when club legend Matt Roney scored a screamer. I am still in touch with Marco and Dani from Dexter and they now have an annual visit.

Did you play at the pro or amateur level prior to joining the Veterans SC?
I was never fortunate enough to play at either semi pro or pro football, but have played amateur football since I was six. I scored the goal that secured Stocksbridge Juniors their first ever junior trophy. I have been very fortunate to have made friends with several pro footballers and am still in touch with a few to this day.

What's the origin behind your nickname, "The Tractor"?
This is probably where your phrase "local celebrity" comes from. I was fortunate enough to also captain the club at the original Pioneers Cup competition held at the home of football, playing alongside Chris Waddle, Carlton Palmer, and Jon Beresford against a team from Spain and a team from Italy. Tomáš Skuhravý and an Italian futsal legend played for the opposition. I have been known to be agricultural with my tackles. Chris Waddle was aware of this and asked me to make my presence felt. As a rapid Italian was played through, I slid in to the challenge, and this sent the Italian into the advertising boards. Paul Hancock, Club Director at that point, shouted, "You've just been introduced to the Tractor", and the name has stuck since.

You've represented the club in support of various charitable work. Can you talk a bit about that?One of the fortunate aspects of my association with Sheffield FC has meant I have had several invites to play in charity football matches and golf events. In addition to the Pioneers Cup, Milan, and Holland, we also played against a Borussia Dortmund side captained by Lars Ricken. I was again proud to captain SFC.

I help Paul Gosney from City Taxis with Dan Walker's Golf Day. This event is attended by the likes of Alan Shearer and this has come about through meeting Paul and becoming friends whilst associated with SFC. I will always be honoured to play an ambassador role for The Club.

How would you describe Sheffield FC to someone who only knows the club as being The World's First?I firmly believe in The Club's Integrity, Respect, and Community foundations. Sheffield FC are the founders of the football and are doing everything in their powers to protect what started as a sport for all today. Sadly, the professional side of the game is rapidly moving out of reach for a lot of today's younger generation, as the game is no longer a game, but a business. SFC are trying to ensure that the game's routes don't get ripped away. The Club still believes in the beauty of the sport and will always try to remind people of what football really is - a sport for all to enjoy. SFC are the grandfathers of all other football clubs and the entire football world needs to remember that. That said, certain factions of SFC need to also remember that it itself needs to remember this, and the people who have been and want to be a part of it. SFC are the biggest name in football history - fact. But they also need to remember they need people like myself to have a future. It needs to live by its own core values and not forget its past, present and future volunteers and protect itself to guarantee a future.

FIFA, UEFA, and our own FA need to be more representative of the fact that football as we know it today was born and bread in our great city of Sheffield, and this club is and will always be recorded as the "world's first football club".

I am immensely proud of being able to have played a minuscule part in this history and hopefully will, if allowed by the club, continue to do so moving forward.

Matt Pindar has featured as a centre-back for the Sheffield FC Veterans SC. He has also worked as the club's kit man and has been involved in various football and golf charity events. 

Read more on Sheffield 160 here.
Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #Sheffield160.

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