Ian Hutchinson was born in Stockton on Tees on 7 November 1972.
His love affair with the game of football started early and after a few years building up his skills in his local youth side he was picked to play for Middlesbrough Schoolboys at the age of 13.
Three years later he signed as an apprentice for Halifax Town and went on to turn professional, making his league debut at the age of 17.
But after four years at Halifax he was on the move, crossing the border to play for Berwick Rangers in Scotland before signing for Gillingham.
Then in 1995, after a brief loan spell back to Halifax, the call came from Graham Carr which took Hutch down to the sunny south coast to play for Weymouth.
And, he says, he has “never looked back.
1. How many different managers have you played for at Weymouth and how easy have they been to work with?
My dad worked it out as 12 but two of them – Fred Davies and Andy Mason – did it twice, making 14 in all. They were Carr, McGowan, Webb, Crabbe, Laws, Davies, Mason, Bulpin, Butler, Claridge, Buckle and Johnson. They have all had their good points but some of them have had bad points as well. I wouldn’t like to name the best or the worst as they have all had different attributes.
2. When you joined the club did you ever imagine you would be here for a decade?
I vividly remember sitting on the harbour wall with Matt McGowan and Terry Nutman on a sunny day when I first came down. They said that once I moved here I’d never move back up north. I said “no chance” and thought I’d have a couple of seasons down here at most. But I can’t grumble, it’s a smashing little town and I’ve got a lovely son now and I’m settled in the area.
3. What made you choose Weymouth?
Graham Carr had seen me play at Halifax and invited me down for a couple of days to have a look. I was very impressed. I was 22, single and liked the place. That was it really and I have never looked back.
4. How do you keep your mullet in such fine fettle?
With great difficulty! Peer pressure told me that it was time for it to go. With all the young lads coming into the side and having Wildey a hairdresser in the squad I was persuaded it was time to come out of the 80s. I thought it was stylish but looking back I see how wrong I was!
5. What are your views on the club going full-time?
Hopefully it will be a good thing for the club. Getting players in on a daily basis builds team spirit and the fitness side is a major factor as well. It’s just whether it will be viable financially, which I hope it will be.
6. Who is your favourite Boro player of all time and in the current squad?
My favourite player of all time is Bernie Slavin, a centre forward in the late 80s. Most people have never heard of him but all my team-mates have because I never stop going on about him. Currently it would be Gareth Southgate, a great leader, a great captain and he leads by example.
7. What is your other job?
Hospital porter. But I tell the lads I’m a brain surgeon.
8. Does it annoy you getting bugged every day at the hospital by Weymouth fans asking you questions?
No, not at all. It’s part of the job. It’s great talking to them when you’re winning, harder when you’re not doing so well. I thoroughly enjoy talking about the football club.
9. Apart from the obvious 8-0 derby victory, what is your favourite match in the last ten years?
I always liked the six-pointer against Bashley on the Easter bank holiday in 1998. It was a cracking game in front of a bumper crowd of about 3,000. That was the one that really clinched the league for us and what made it even better was that I scored that day.
10. Can you last another ten years?
I’d like to say yes but I’m not looking to be going on over 35. I would love to still be involved in football then and for the moment I’m feeling as fit as I’ve ever done, contrary to reports that my legs have gone. The main thing is that I’m still enjoying it. When the enjoyment goes out of it I’ll know to stop.
11. Have you thought of a career as an after dinner speaker?
Certainly not. I’ve done best man’s speeches in the past and they are not pleasant. At the sportsman’s dinner I needed a few glasses of wine to calm my nerves – I was petrified and couldn’t eat my meal. In the end it wasn’t too bad but I was glad when it was over. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening though.
12. Frank Worthington – were you overwhelmed?
Both he and Tank Sherman were smashing guys and made me feel at ease. I was a bit worried when I started hammering his hairstyle and jacket but he was great and it was a pleasure to have him there.
13. What is your favourite music?
Probably indie – Oasis, Keane, Snow Patrol. And I’m a big fan of Mick Hucknall.
14. What do you do to relax?
I spend time with my little boy Harry. I take him down the park and he teaches me how to kick with my right foot.
15. Do northern boys really like gravy?
Yes. Especially on my chips.
16. You did very well at the testimonial quiz. Who was the brains on your team – you or Simon?
Definitely me. I think Simon answered about one right!
17. Do you want to finish your career at Weymouth?
I’d love to finish my career here but it’s out of my hands at the moment. I love the club and the people but what will be will be.