Derby County to name stand after club kitman | inside World Soccer

Derby County have announced that a part of their Pride Park Stadium will be named after their longest-serving member of staff, 82-year-old kitman Gordon Guthrie, MBE.

The Gordon Guthrie Stand will be officially opened at Saturday's game against Leicester
The Gordon Guthrie Stand will be officially opened at Saturday's game against Leicester

Photo: @dcfcofficial

Guthrie has served the Rams for six decades in a number of roles, including reserve-team player, coach, physio, and kitman, and is a popular figure with everyone connected with the Championship side.

He has been away from the club in recent months due to illness, but made an emotional return to Pride Park on the final day of last season against Millwall.

"It's a huge honour and I am very proud," Guthrie told the club's official website.

"Derby County has been my life for so long and it's unbelievable to have a stand named after me.

"This is a special club and I would like to thank everyone for their best wishes whilst I have been unwell and also for the amazing reception I got at the Millwall game - I had a lump in my throat!"

The South West Corner Stand at Pride Park is to be named The Gordon Guthrie Stand, presented by Derby-based business Aspire Achieve Advance Group Limited.

Rams President and Chief Executive Sam Rush added: "Although I've only been in post at Derby County since January I have quickly discovered what a fantastic character Gordon Guthrie is, and it's only fitting to recognise his services to the club.

"We've been talking to him since the back end of last season and we were approached by Peter Marples, who has a long association with the club, after the Millwall game who came up the idea of naming a stand after Gordon which his company is sponsoring."

In 2009, Guthrie was awarded the Merit Award by the Derby County Past Players Association, as well as collecting an MBE on Queen's Honours List for his services to football.

"I am delighted for Gordon to be honoured in this way, a way in which he feels comfortable," said Derby manager Nigel Clough.

"You tend to see high profile ex-players and managers get stands named after them nowadays, but I think it is just as important the people behind the scenes like Gordon are recognised for their achievements.

"It is a wonderful honour for Gordon and recognition for all he has contributed to the club over many, many years.

"He is a wonderful man who is loved by everyone at the club and to see a stand named after him is the least he deserves."

The stand will be officially opened at their home game against Leicester City on Saturday, with Guthrie due to attend the game and make his way onto the pitch at half-time to celebrate the opening of the stand.