Calverton Miners' Welfare FC

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Bob Kinton



Bob’s Big Night


On Thursday 1 May 2003, Bob Kinton came to the club for what he thought was a celebration of the successful Funding Award. It was 7.30 for a 8pm start except that Bob was the only one to arrive at 8pm thanks to his wife – Noleen.

In actual fact it wasn’t a Funding Award celebration at all, but a night dedicated to Bob for his fiftieth year at the club just short of his 70th birthday.

All the seats in the Thomas Hoyle Suite were taken when Bob arrived and the room was hushed. As he came into the room everyone sang ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ and he must have seen the buffet and the green iced football pitch cake complete with miniature tractor and the realisation must have dawned.

Noleen later said that after the initial shock Bob thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

A number of members of his family had travelled up from Leicester for the occasion and there was quite a bit of reminiscing.

Bob With Choc  

Eddie Varney from the Notts Combination presented Bob with a Silver Salver commemorating all the time that Calverton have had a team in that particular league (from 1962) and Bob has been associated throughout all that time.

The Miners Welfare, including the Colts, presented Bob with an engraved silver salver, decanter and wine goblets.

Bob Hallam presented Bob with holiday vouchers on behalf of the Trustees and all attendees were invited to sign a commemorative scrapbook including old photographs and other items of memorabilia.

Several club members, with either football links, or who work at the club ‘performed’ a poem written by Julie Hodgson and a few tributes were paid.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and well deserved.

Bob Being Presented With Trophy From Ernie Varney  

Groundsman of The Year

A the end of November 2002 a letter from the FA together with a nomination form for ‘Groundsman of the Year 2002’ was received by the Club.

It was thought that if Bob, knew of this that he probably wouldn’t want to be entered so an entry was sent off without him knowing.

Towards the end of February we received a phone call from Emily Pollard at Soho Square (she is the PA to the National Facilities Manager – Mike Appleby) informing us that Bob had won the County Award for Nottinghamshire. He was subsequently interviewed by representatives of the FA on March 27th as he moved into the regional stage – this is the whole of the East Midlands and East Anglia.

Fortunately, Bob was very pleased and thrilled with this award.

Bob travelled down to Cambridge United FC to pick up his Groundsman of the Year Award for Nottinghamshire on Tuesday 22 April 2003. By all accounts it wasn’t the best of presentations (a little low key) but Bob is pleased with his award which is on display at the front of the Trophy Cabinet in the Top Club.

Bob's Gifts  

Potted History

As a bit of background the following gives a bit of history of Bob and his commitment to this club:

Bob is a retired miner who will reach 70 years of age in July 2003. He has been the groundsman at Calverton Miners Welfare for the last 30 years, starting when he still worked down the pit.

The Welfare sports grounds have not always been put to the extensive use they are put to today – originally consisting of one football pitch and a cricket square.

Today the grounds are used almost exclusively for football with a steady build up of demand over the years. The last 5 years has seen the number of teams playing on the Miners Welfare grounds increase substantially. There are always three Saturday games on the three pitches and sometimes more as kick-off times are staggered to meet the demand. There are very often two Sunday games. In addition, we run mini-soccer for the Under 10s and we have six teams which compete on two pitches.

Bob works alone and tends the entire 2 acre grounds and has been entirely responsible for the transformation over the years. He takes great pride in marking out all of the pitches both full size and mini-soccer every week. Further, to cope with the ‘overflow’ situation we sometimes find ourselves in, he has even marked out a pitch in another part of the village.

Every weekend he insists on putting up the goal-nets on the full size pitches and taking them down after the games. He never asks for help. He also does this for any mid-week school games, semi-finals or finals staged on our pitches.

In each of the last 4 years (twice in 2002) we have held a 5-a-side tournament with up to 9 pitches needing to be marked out and again Bob has done us proud. Quite often Bob re-marks the pitches during lulls in the play.

Although the pitches have an irrigation system, since the closure of Calverton Colliery in 1999 and the loss of the borehole there has been no running water available to the grounds and as such what Bob has achieved is remarkable.

Bob operates to very tight purse strings as the whole Miners Welfare is a Charitable Trust with little income other than that which is self generated through limited pitch hire. Many participants on the pitches are sub-sections of the Trust and as such pitch hire is heavily subsidised ie little income.

Bob earns less than £50 per week but works every day of the week through the football season just for the love of the job. Bob doesn’t have a budget but the majority of what is spent on the grounds is attributed to ‘Weed & Feed’ and little else and falls short of £2500 per annum. Any expense needs to come through the Welfare Board of Trustees and in all the time he has been groundsman he has only ever had one new white line machine.


“Anyone Seen Bob?”

This is the poem, written by Julie Hodgson and to anyone who knows Bob is very true:


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! He was cutting his lawn

Hope his brown trousers don’t get torn

He was on his tractor keeping the grass down low

He don’t understand that little word SLOW


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! He’s in his lock up

“Those Bloody kids” are cheeky pups

Who’s been playing in this goalmouth?

If I find out they’ll be heading south


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! He’s picking up litter

Pour him a pint, its Fosters not bitter

He’s on pitch three, they were quite a crowd

If you want him here you will have to shout loud


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! he’s in the coalhole

Now does this hook go with this pole?

If everything went back as it came out

Things would be easy without a doubt


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! he’s putting up nets

I’ve told em not to bring their pets

Dog Muck collecting “Ahhh it’s on my welly”

I should be at home in front of the telly


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! He’s marking a pitch

Keep the line straight, try not to twitch

Number two pitch it needs a rope

It might get called off – “You can live in hope”


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! He’s checking the diary

A kick off time is a query

It say’s in here it’s the Notts FA

Roll on next month it will soon be May

Is this the Ram? or Calverton Ladies?

Is it Notts Police or The Colt’s Babies

Is it Colonel Frank Seely or Sir John Sherbrook

The Rec’s at home its in the book

Sunday Welfare are on pitch one

Another week and a job well done

The changing rooms will need washing down

Now Bob does all this without a frown


“Anyone seen Bob”?

Yes! He’s been here since six

It’s tournament time he’s up to his tricks

“Viv he’s sat here on Nolene’s knee


Bob with Julie  

Bob passed away while on holiday, these 2 chapters are from the October 2003 edition of the Calverton Echo and will stay on this page as will all of the above as a permanent reminder of Bob Kinton

So many comments have been voiced about Bob during the past few weeks, and much sadness has been spoken. But through the upset and tears we have heard lots of lovely stories, some we knew some we didn’t but all were full of praise, gratitude, humour and love. not one bad word.

How proud Nolene and her family must feel knowing that Bob was loved and admired by so many people, this brings to mind something I heard said by one of the Football Managers earlier this year “Do you know what? If I die having 10% of the respect that Bob’s got then I will be lucky” This and comments like it had followed Bob throughout his life, not only in our own community but also in many circles beyond. It is no secret that Bob touched the lives of many, none more so than his friends at work. It was here where he offered so much help and support be it with the putting up of nets, helping at the Colt’s Tournament and Honda Gold wing events, helping judge prize giving competitions, marking out rounder pitches and relay track and many other voluntary jobs.

Bob was an active member of the Top Club Fundraising Committee and a much loved Santa on Christmas Eve, he played table tennis for the Top Club and was respected throughout the table tennis circuit.

This year he even organised his own game at the Team Challenge evenings “Bob’s Balls” and what a great job he did too.

But out of all of these it was the pride he took in the work that he gave to his pitches, yes! His pitches not the clubs or the football teams but Bob’s. It is when we stand in Kinton’s View and survey the football pitches that we will know he is still’ very close to us. Perhaps what will sadden us most is that Bob will never see the end of the Five Year Plan, although we all believe he is watching from afar.

We will all miss Bob terribly some as friends, some as colleagues and some even as our second Dad and all of us will remember him for being such a fine gentleman with so much patience and kindness.

Bob’s friends and workmates from the Top Club.


Robert (Bob) Kinton

Bob was born in Leicester the youngest of a family of 5 to his 3 sisters Dorothy (Dorth), Mave & Eaddie and brother Bill, with whom he enjoyed a close relationship. After he served his time in the army he became a miner and worked here in the Calverton Colliery.

Bob used to play darts and it was at a darts match that Bob first met a young lady, Nolene, and it was in the Druids Tavern in Arnold he first asked her out. Their meeting developed into a loving relationship that would have celebrated 48 years of marriage last month. The couple enjoyed the pleasure of raising their loving children Angie and Kev, and they will have many happy memories of family holidays with friends; of you arriving at your holiday destination to find it decorated with toilet roll, of his love of travelling and the sun.

Bob was an avid fan of Al Jolson. He knew the Jolson film and all his songs word for word. As a youngster he’d stay in the cinema to watch the film twice round, which would get him into trouble at home for getting back late. He also liked to watch Westerns especially those with John Wayne in and the Tarzan films starring Johnny Weissmuller. He also liked playing table tennis and made many friends through the game and who met together every Christmas for the past 30 years. At the Top Club you would see Bob dressed up as Santa or performing in the Pantomime, in which he took the learning of his lines very seriously and then felt sure that nobody was listening. He also enjoyed a lager and you’ll remember the times when he’d say “Are we having a pint Ange?”

Many of you will know Bob through his passion for the game of football and his involvement with the sport. He was a Leicester City fan, the blue boys as he called them, was a goalie for the Calverton miner’s team until he was 44. He was a member of the committee and when he retired he became the grounds-man. He loved the peace and quiet that the job of grounds-man gave him.

Some of the younger players affectionately called him Bob the Builder because of the hat he sometimes wore. He travelled to France to watch the Colts play in a tournament there, running up and down the line shouting them on as they won through the final. Although he reckoned the pitch was in a state.

Bob wasn’t one for fuss and bother so the family kidded him into going to the Top Club for someone’s party only to find it was one for him celebrating his 50yrs of service to Calverton football .





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