SMITH OF THE STAR: It’s London, pitches, New York for David

Rotherhan United head groundsman David Fellowes
Rotherhan United head groundsman David Fellowes
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THE GREEN, green grass of home was too much to resist for top groundsman David Fellowes.

Rotherham born and bred, 33-year-old David was managing pitches at Premier League Fulham when he heard his beloved Millers were moving to a new ground.

He was on to club chairman Tony Stewart in a flash, came for an interview and now he’s desperate to get to the £250,000 playing surface at the New York Stadium.

Though he will miss his old chairman...

If Tony Stewart sometimes appears larger than life Mohamed Al-Fayed is in a different league.

“I get on really well with Tony Stewart, he is a fantastic chairman, and I got on well with Mr Al-Fayed too,” said former Sheffield University groundsman David, now living back where he grew up in Wickersley.

“He used to have me looking after his grass and gardens at all his homes all over Britain – and there are a lot.

“He was very good to me – though he did like to land his helicopter on the pitch at Craven Cottage if the heliport at Battersea was closed at 2am. But it is his train-set and if he wants to play you can’t say no. I had a great time at Fulham and when the chairman says jump you don’t say ‘why’ you say ‘how high?

“I got some great experience, learned a lot, worked my way up to head groundsman and loved the job but it’s fantastic to be working for Rotherham as a fan, it’s a dream come true.

“I can’t wait to get on the new pitch. I want this to be a top class playing surface worthy of the Championship or Premiership because that’s where we want to be.”