Reflections of a local legend
Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date online: 17 July 2014
WHEN I arrived at Les Chapman’s quaint little house in Delph for our pre-arranged chat, he was hoovering the front room.
That’s him down to a tee — a proud, home-loving family man who quietly laughs off suggestions that he is a local football legend.
But I think Chapman is just that, and many Manchester City and Latics fans would agree.
A Royton-born former Chadderton Boys midfielder, Chapman is now 65 (though he looks at least 10 years younger), but rather than walking away from football after stepping down from his kit manager role at Premier League champions City, he’s now looking forward with relish to his new chapter among the multi-millionaires at the Etihad Stadium.
Chapman — who made an incredible 749 Football League appearances during a successful 22-year playing career — has been appointed to a ‘Content Producer’ role at City, and he can’t wait.
“It’ll be right up my street,” said Chapman, who enjoyed two playing spells at Latics, as a youngster between 1967 and 1969, then from 1974 to 1978.
“I’m going to be working with the media team at City, doing interviews and features on the players for the website, and I’m really looking forward to it because I just love talking to people.
“I’ll actually be working three days per week on the website, while I’ve also been asked to get involved with the City ‘legends tours’ at the stadium, which will take me up to full-time hours.
“I enjoyed each one of my 17 years as kit manager.
“I got to travel all over the world with a great bunch of players, but it was getting hard work. Times have changed now, especially since the Sheikh’s takeover, and we were having to service 90 bodies.
“It wasn’t simply the kits and footwear. Players and staff need a myriad of different items thesedays — you wouldn’t believe some of the requests I was getting — gloves, headgear, snoods, tights, everything.
“I have travelled the world with City and I’ll always be grateful for that, but even though I had two lads working for me, I rarely got to see much of these foreign places.”
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