England game gets tartan touch

THERE'S nothing better than a touch of the tartan when preparing a pitch for an England international match.Ipswich Town head groundsman Alan Ferguson is a proud Scot who has worked on many a pitch for the Scottish international side.

By Dave Allard

THERE'S nothing better than a touch of the tartan when preparing a pitch for an England international match.

Ipswich Town head groundsman Alan Ferguson is a proud Scot who has worked on many a pitch for the Scottish international side.

Today he was caring for the award winning Portman Road turf ahead of tomorrow night's historic England clash with Croatia.

Ferguson was once the pitch superintendent at Rangers.

He said: "At the time Hampden Park was closed for re-development and Ibrox Park was the venue for Scotland internationals.

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"I prepared many a pitch for Scotland games including some World Cup qualifiers. The preparations are just the same as for clubs games, but it's always a bit extra special.

"For our club to stage the Croatia match is a real feather in the cap and I'm making sure that the surface is as good as it can possibly be."

Ferguson, who has a stack of pitch-care awards at his Mendlesham home, has also prepared surfaces for another major sporting event.

When he was a groundsman at the celebrated St Andrews golf course north of the border he was part of the team that cared for the greens and fairways ahead of the 1978 British Open golf championship.

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