Ian Hutchinson talks to Josh Barton about the upcoming Legends Game and also gives us an insight into his time at the club.
theterras.com: You made 558 appearances for the club and you were our manager through a difficult period. How do you sum up your time at the club as a whole?
Ian Hutchinson: I think every footballer will tell you that there are always going to be highs and lows along the way in your career. For me and for the most part I had lots of highs, from winning the championship in 1997 under Fred Davies to what I still believe was the best side for team spirit I’ve ever played in! I am still great mates with most of that squad like Alex Browne, John Waldock, Robbo (Mark Robinson). Then you had the Steve Claridge/Ian Ridley era which probably was the best football I’ve played at the terras, playing with the likes of Lee Philpott, Paul Buckle and Matty Bound! Then you move on to the championship winning side of 2006 under Garry Hill and Kev Hales, albeit it was a new era at the club and I was very much on the periphery, but it was still great to be involved with the team!
Regarding managing the club it was a great honour for me to manage a club I had such an affinity for, but it was a case of right place, wrong time unfortunately with basically no budget and a club in disarray. However, in a strange way I still enjoyed every moment and stuck to my beliefs and how I wanted the team to play and conduct themselves, even in a time of adversity! The players were magnificent for myself and Andy Mason in tough times, some of whom weren’t even being paid, which was great credit to them!
theterras.com: How much are you looking forward to getting back out on the Bob Lucas Stadium pitch and seeing some of your old teammates?
Hutch: Yes I’m really looking forward to the day, although I don’t think my legs are!!!! A few of the lads still do play in a few vets games now and again and I try and keep in some sort of shape. Like I say, I still knock about with a few of the boys but it will be also great to see the likes of me old boss Garry Hill, Lee Phillips, Roy O’Brien, Wilko, Jase, Trev, Alex, Simon, Andy Harris and Boundy(who I’m sure is older than me)!!! As well as all the other lads and reminisce about the good old days over a beer! Sure it will also be a great day for the fans of those eras to see how much we’ve all aged so well !!!!!!! I’m sure the game will be as competitive as ever as you never lose that albeit at a much slower pace but the main thing is it’s for a great cause and hope lots of money is raised for the Weldmar Hospicecare!
theterras.com: Do you still very much keep a close eye on the progress at the club?
Hutch: Yes but obviously due to work commitments, I don’t get down there as much as I’d like these days. When I do go, it’s always good to see the regulars down there from over the years, including the lovely Jean Lucas and Burt! I have also been very impressed with what Mark Molesley and Paul Maitland and the back room staff are achieving, they seem to have a young disciplined team, playing some attractive entertaining football. With them just missing out last season, it will only hold them in good stead for this campaign and they will certainly be there or there abouts. He has really brought that feel good factor back to the town and a team that are hungry to where the shirt, which is what the fans down here have always craved!
theterras.com: Has there been some banter between yourself and the Browne brothers about the upcoming game?
Hutch: Yes! I’m just delighted I won’t be the oldest out there what with Simon soon approaching 50! Oh and still dying his hair! I’m also delighted I won’t be the slowest out there with Al (Alex Browne) playing, although he’s always the quickest when the bar opens!
theterras.com: What was your best memory whilst you were at the club?
Hutch: As I said, I’ve had lots of great memories over the years and I’m sure the fans will always say the Nottingham Forest adventure with H (Andy Harris) scoring that iconic goal. The game that stands out for me was the FA Trophy win at Dagenham and Redbridge. It was when they had their big FA Cup run and nobody gave us a chance, we took about a thousand travelling fans beating them One-nil in the last minute thanks to a Lee Phillips goal! The scenes at the end were special. Over the years at Weymouth Football Club, I’ve been fortunate to have got to know some great people who have done a lot for me and the club and for that, I will always be grateful