34 year-old, Matthew Merchant has been named as Lancashire County Cricket Club’s new Head Groundsman from the New Year.
The father of two from Sale Moor in Greater Manchester has been part of Peter Marron's Ground Staff since he left school in 1990, and took on the position of Assistant Head Groundsman in 2004.
Earlier this month, Peter Marron announced that after 30 years at the club he would be leaving at Christmas to become a Consultant, enabling him to use his skills and knowledge in other areas. However, Lancashire is delighted to confirm that Peter has agreed to work with the club on a consultancy basis, overseeing some major projects including the re-orientation of the square and the laying of the new wickets in 2010.
On accepting the appointment, Matthew Merchant said: "Perhaps the word honour is used too loosely nowadays, but it really is an honour and a dream come true to be Head Groundsman of Old Trafford Cricket Ground."
"Pete (Marron) took me on straight from school 18 years ago, and I've been extremely lucky to have someone like him to learn from. I know Old Trafford like the back of my hand, and I can't wait to not only continue the great work the team does on a daily basis, but to take charge as the club moves into an important period in its history with the planned re-development."
"It's also fantastic news that Pete will be consulting on some big projects over the next couple of years, and is available if I ever need some advice or a second opinion."
Peter Marron said: "Matt is fully deserving of this position, and I applaud the club for promoting within its own ranks. He knows Old Trafford and the Outgrounds like they were his own backyard; he is a hard worker and very switched on, making him the perfect candidate to take over the reins."
"It wasn't an easy decision to go out on my own, but I look forward to contributing to the 'new' Old Trafford in my consultancy role, and feel happy in the knowledge that the place will be in the best hands possible."
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