Yorkshire CCC’s Headingley groundsman Andy Fogarty reveals his working methods
HEADINGLEY groundsman Andy Fogarty has given a unique insight into the work that goes into keeping the famous cricket ground in peak condition.
Fogarty has plied his trade as a groundsman in the game for the over 40 years and has seen some of Headingley’s finest moments, including arguably cricket’s most dramatic international match in 2019 when Ben Stokes scored one of the most famous Ashes hundreds leading the hosts to a remarkable on-wicket victory against Australia.
“To me, it is the best job in the world,” says Fogarty. “We’re here to help the players and provide the best surface possible for them to win fixtures on.
“Preparation of pitches is so vital - it can really dictate who can win at the end of the game. Whether that is the rolling we do, ensuring the right level of grass on the pitch, is it dry, soft, damp. Using different grasses and fertilizers, new techniques, we have to bring it all together. But we are learning all the time!”
Fogarty has been known to work up to 20-hour days maintaining his high standards. In the video above, he describes the work he does to ensure his ground staff and wider team maintain the levels needed.
“We can be here at 10pm at night doing our job - it is really an ongoing process. five, six, seven, eight hours, whatever it takes, we get it done,” he adds. “We always debrief after the game with the coaches and captains at the end of the game - what worked well for them or what could be improved as well as how well has it carried, turned, bounced.
“We will work with the match referees too - asking their advice on the pitch, the pitch has a big influence on who will win the fixture.”
The celebrated groundsman has been rewarded by his counterparts on numerous occasions, receiving accolades such as ECB ‘Groundsman of the Year’ four times, a runner-up four times as well as a runner-up six times for his one-day pitches.
Fogarty’s video is the second in a series to be released by Vertu Motors, Yorkshire County Cricket Club partner, entitled ‘It’s All in the Detail’, which highlight the marginal gains of sport and share exclusive details not always aired to the public.