He’s won just about every award the green-keeping industry has to offer, managed his stadium through tempestuous and terrific times and dealt with as many life-and-death situations as some paramedics. In October 2020, he was also awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Honours List for his services to football and charity work.
Now Ian Darler, head groundsman and stadium manager at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium for 40 years, tells the story of a life that has seen him rub shoulders with some of the greatest and funniest characters in football, turn out the kind of surfaces players dream of, cross swords with the occasional manager and cope with catastrophes that would have floored a lesser mortal.
Lauded by his peers in the turf management business as one of its most able and dedicated practitioners, Ian has tales to tell about personalities from every echelon of the game. A natural storyteller, he remembers every disaster, every triumph, every tragedy and every side-splitting practical joke. Readers will discover:
With a foreword by former England and Cambridge legend, Roy Macfarland, the book is co-written by Cambridge United’s official archivist Pat Morgan.