Bury volunteer named top groundsman

MAINTAINING a high standard of playing pitches, coupled with finding ways to shrewdly save money, has earned Bury Rugby Club’s groundsman a top national award.

Andy Spetch has been named ‘Volunteer Sports Groundsman of the Year’ by the Institute Of Groundsmanship at a glittering ceremony which saw him rub shoulders with staff from top football and cricket teams as well as his beloved Leeds Rhinos.

Spetch, who is also coach of Bury’s second team, is responsible for 15 acres of rugby pitches plus an all-weather training area. In addition, he has developed a maintenance strategy that has repeatedly saved the club money.

He said: “I was chuffed that the club put me forward and very humbled to have won. But I couldn’t do anything without my team of volunteers who help me throughout the year. And as a club, the committee and everyone is working very hard to make Bury the premier club in the region.”

As the club doesn’t own any of its equipment, it is up to Spetch to negotiate with service providers to carry out any work in the most cost-effective way.

And from a playing point of view, he explains: “Psychologically, when people turn up and see a nicely prepared pitch, it gives players a boost.

“From the moment I started, we set about making one of our pitches something of a Holy Grail for everyone. It is usually used by the first team but even when one of our youth teams play on it, they know it is a bit special.”

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A spokesman for Bury RFC said: “Not a week goes by without a visiting team praising our playing surfaces and Andy – along with his small but loyal band of helpers – deserve the thanks of all the club members for their hard work.”

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