John Wilton

Your history with County Down-

“Well it began last year at the Dublin trip working as a masseuse/kit-man and carried on from there. I have been involved in football and working with player injuries since 1985, where I worked for Ards until 2003. After that I took a bit of a sabbatical, did a few courses and then got involved with Ards Rangers in the Amateur Premier League, and have been spending my Saturdays there for the past 6 or 7 years. In terms of the Milk Cup, my personal experience of it has been nothing short of excellent. The week itself is something you cherish, because it provides you to meet up with friends and colleagues from different clubs across the province. There really is a sense of the Northern Irish football community coming together to support a sport they love. The other aspect, which is incredible, is the professionalism. From my time at Ards I have been involved with various international teams and the set-up that Paul Ritchie and his committee have put in place is as professional as I have seen.”

Most Influential person- “I would have to say my family.”

Occupation- “Well by day I swap treating players for driving lorries around the country!”

How did you get involved-

“Well my association with the county began at last years Dublin trip in 2014. Paul Ritchie called me up and asked if I would be interested in helping out with injuries and providing massages and what not. Of course I said yes. To be honest, I thought Dublin last year would be my only involvement however at the end of the weekend myself, Paul and Kyle Spiers who was then Junior manager sat down and discussed the possibility of helping out up in Coleraine during Milk Cup week and the rest is history so to speak.”

 

Role- “Massages/Kits/Looking after the kits for the premier.”

My Favourite Milk Cup moment-

“I think the most special aspect of the Milk Cup is seeing the young lads play football and how they develop over the course of the week. The Milk Cup is a big tournament and you realise that you are perhaps watching some of future stars of the Premier League of Champions league. It is also great to follow the progress of lads who come through. For example, a couple of the boys who played last year have since, went onto clubs across the water, which is great for them and the County.”

Best advice given-

I think the most important thing, when you are involved with football is to enjoy it. Whether that be as a player, coach, manager, physio or kit-man. The camaraderie is brilliant amongst the County Down lads, and for the players especially they will maybe only play in one or two Milk Cups so its important for them to savour the moment.”