Friday, April 14, 2006

MEN: The other United manager who knows his onions

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HE should have been sleeping off a well-earned hangover.

But the boss of FC United didn’t have time to celebrate his team’s promotion yesterday – he was too busy delivering fruit and veg.

Karl Marginson was up at 5am to begin his rounds in his other job as a delivery man.

FC United – set up by Manchester United fans opposed to the club’s takeover by US tycoon Malcolm Glazer – won promotion from the North West Counties League Division Two in their first season.

However, manager Marginson had to quietly slip away from the celebrations so he could make it to work the next day.

He said: “I managed a pint at last orders but that was it. I had to be up in the morning to deliver fruit and veg.”

Just like Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the 35-year-old Mancunian lives, works and breathes football.

The difference is that Marginson has to fit in his full-time job around the football.

“There’s no comparison between the two jobs,” said Marginson. “I’m usually thinking about tactics when I’m in the van. Football is on my mind first thing in a morning and last thing at night.”

While Sir Alex is paid over £4m a year, the financial rewards for being manager of FC United are best described as “modest”. But you won’t hear Marginson complaining as he labours to provide for his family – wife of 15 years Helen, and sons Joseph, 12, and Owen, five.

“With the opportunity I’ve been given at FC United I regard myself as the luckiest man in the world and I’m fortunate to have a wife who is very understanding.

“It’s a dream to work at the club. Working with the players in front of our supporters is something else.”

Marginson’s round-the-clock commitment to work has not even been broken up by a holiday since 2004. He said: “I’m hoping to get a bit of sun this summer.”