Former Groundsman Chapman Dies
Tuesday, 8th Nov 2016 20:40
Former Town groundsman Winston Chapman died earlier today, aged 76.
Chapman, known as Wiggy, worked for the club for 23 years and was the head groundsman between 1975 and 1996.
Blues legend Kevin Beattie recalled Wiggy, who had been ill for some time, taking a great deal of care over the Portman Road surface during his time in charge.
“He was a great guy, one of the best groundsmen we ever had,” Beattie told TWTD. “The pitch was like his baby, he wouldn’t let anybody on the pitch unless you’d got permission from the boss [Bobby Robson]. He was a lovely man.
“He was a character, all the players loved him. We used to take the Mickey out of him by sneaking on the pitch because we knew he’d always be watching us and you’d hear, ‘Get off, the boss hasn’t given you permission, get on the practice pitch!’.”
Beattie says he and fellow centre-half Allan Hunter spent a lot of time with Chapman in his shed under Churchmans.
“Every day when we went into training, we’d get changed and go straight into Wiggy’s hut because we knew what time they put the kettle on and we’d sit and have a cup of tea and a fag with him.
“Hundreds and hundreds of times Cyril Lea or Charlie Woods would come in because they knew exactly where we were, me and Big Al. ’Come on you two, it’s about time we started training’. So we’d have to put our fags out and drink our tea down.
“I can’t imagine there were a lot of teams where the players would go into the groundsman’s hut to have a fag and a cup of tea.
“He actually put a fence up for me at one of my other houses many years ago. He was always a laugh and a joke. He’ll be sadly missed.”
Photos: Action Images/Contributed
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