WORCESTER Warriors’ head groundsman Martin Knight says his passion for the job started when he was just 12 years old.

He recalls a nets session at his cricket club would lead to an obligatory 20-minute stint on the roller to prepare the wicket for the weekend.

Knight, who now heads up a team of two full-time groundsmen at Warriors, has no regrets about his chosen career.

Last winter Knight and Stuart Lambert won the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) professional rugby union grounds team of the year award for their work.

“I love working outside in the fresh air,” said Knight. “It doesn’t really bother me if the weather is cold because you can always put on plenty of clothes to keep warm. I could never go back to working inside now. It’s nice being outside all of the time.”

Knight’s formative role at his cricket club soon graduated from sitting on the roller to mowing the outfield.

He said: “When I was 17, I worked in a bank but I was still working at my local cricket club in my spare time. Then I left the bank, became a full-time groundsman and have not regretted it since.”

In addition to the Warriors’ stadium and training pitches, the groundsmen look after six senior and 13 junior pitches plus an indoor third-generation synthetic surface training area — a total of 50 acres.

Knight said “On a day-to-day basis, the job can vary depending on whether we have got a first-team game or an A-team game. It generally involves mowing.

“We mow the main pitch every day and all the outer pitches are mowed at least once a week during the season.

“The main pitch is drained every two weeks, weather permitting, and we have to re-mark all the amateur pitches every Friday in the season for the games. We only mark the main pitch and training pitch as and when they need marking.”

Knight says the best part of the job is the variety it offers.

“No two days are the same,” he said. “There’s plenty to do because there are only two of us looking after 50 acres.

“Sometimes it’s nice if you get a couple of wet days because you can have a bit of a rest but there’s only so much coffee you can drink.”