Doncaster Knights: Kit man Ian Swindell leaves big boots to fill

Former kit man Ian Swindell is thanked for his 17 years of service by Knights benefactor Steve Lloyd.
Former kit man Ian Swindell is thanked for his 17 years of service by Knights benefactor Steve Lloyd.

Doncaster Knights were seeking to appoint a new kit man this summer and whoever takes on the role will have very big boots to fill.

Ian Swindell, from Wheatley Hills, was given a richly deserved send-off at the end of last season following 17 years of loyal service.

The 61-year-old volunteer - a supporter of the club prior to taking on the role - never received a penny for his services, just some kit and a few meals.

He also continued his duties despite undergoing five years of dialysis between 2008 and 2013 after having a kidney transplant.

Swindell’s tenure saw him work under seven different directors of rugby and coincided with Doncaster’s rise from National Division Three to the Championship.

“Ian has diligently carried out his role since 2001/02 on a voluntary basis having been a supporter for some years prior,” wrote Knights, in their final matchday programme of last season.

“He has travelled home and away, ensuring the Knights have the best dressed changing rooms in the league and completing a range of other tasks from coordinating mascots to delivering laundry and plenty in between.

“What makes Ian’s commitment all the more impressive is that he has continued his duty, completely voluntary, set against five years of dialysis between 2008 and 2013 when he received a kidney transplant.

“Ian has made the decision that 2017/18 will be his last the club’s Kit Coordinator as he looks forward to spending more of his free time with his wife Betsy and young grandchildren.

“He does promise however not be a stranger and will continue to support the Knights at Castle Park in the future.

“On behalf of all at the club Ian – thank you for your committed and meticulous service!”