Day 5 in the UK was in the city of Manchester, home of 2 EPL powers. Mr. Simon Gumbrill was kind enough to return as the tour guide, thank you to him for the continued hospitality and kindness!!
Our 1st stop of the day was to see Mr. Lee Jackson at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. Mr. Jackson, one of expert group member on pitch management for ESSMA, was gracious with his time and communication. Many thanks to Mr. Jackson for that. And even after a heavy stretch of use, the pitch was absolutely fantastic. Kudos to him and his staff for the hard work!
Leaving the Etihad, we traveled over to the training ground of the other team in Manchester, Manchester United. Great to see Mr. Joe Pemberton at his own facility after he dropped in to say hello on holiday when we were fraze mowing bermudagrass for the 1st time ever this spring at FC Dallas Park. Mr. Pemberton and his staff have the ground looking fantastic. When we visited last spring, much of the facility was still under construction. Wow the results are impressive! Thank you to Joe for taking the time to show us around and to share some of his thinking around large facility management and pitch maintenance.
As the week in the UK closes, I can’t thank Simon Gumbrill enough for his time and guidance around the country. As I mentioned in a previous post, Simon’s personable nature and British charm is single-handedly drawing the worlds of US and UK groundsmanship together. THANK YOU Simon for putting up with my questions all week.
And THANK YOU to all the UK Head Grounds Managers who took time out of their day to talk with me. I commented to someone earlier today, the warmth and openness of the UK Grounds Managers is amazing. My last trip over the pond left me thinking the same thing. Steve Jobs, in an award speech to the Academy of Achievement in 1982, stressed the need for different experiences in life to make new connections with reality to feed innovation. The Grounds Managers that spent time with me discussing even the most basic of issues are laying the ground work for innovation, with both themselves and with us in the US. THANK YOU to them for allowing me to be a part of their experiences!
Off to Madrid, Spain for the weekend before Porto, Portugal next week for the ESSMA Head Grounds Managers seminar. Cheers to all of you for a fantastic weekend!