WHO ARE YA? Jon Sutton, Creative Programmes Officer at The National Football Museum in Manchester

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Jon Sutton, Creative Programmes Officer at the National Football Museum

1) Who are ya?

Jon Sutton, 32, born in sunny Blackpool, living in Urmston, Manchester

2) Who do you support?

Blackpool

3) What was your first game?

11th November 1989, Blackpool 4 Brentford 0…sat in a wooden seat in a wooden stand at a crumbling unchanged Bloomfield Road in front of less than 3,000 fans with the smell of pipe smoke wafting in the air. It was the high point of that season as we ended up getting relegated to the Fourth Division!

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m Creative Programmes Officer at the National Football Museum in Manchester. I was involved in the initial project when we moved from our old site in Preston working on some of the themed zones in the permanent displays. Since we opened I’m part of the team responsible for the museum’s temporary exhibitions programme which has included West African art, photography, football and fashion and our current exhibition celebrating 125 years of The Football League. I’m also involved in small displays we have of contemporary art and some of the events we do in our public programme.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I worked at the Manchester United Museum as curatorial assistant for three years where I worked with their collection and displays. I also used to sell programmes at Blackpool when I was a teenager, 10p per programme commission and free entry to the match!

6) How did you get into it?

I did a degree on Politics and History at the University of Central Lancashire which included a heritage studies module which really interested me. From this moment on I realised I wanted to work in a Museum. I then volunteered at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool and Astley Hall Museum in Chorley before undertaking a Masters degree in Arts and Museum Management at the University of Salford. As part of my Masters degree I did a placement at the Football Museum when it was in Preston working with their FIFA World Cup collection and the rest is history!

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s a fantastic place to work, who wouldn’t want to be involved in the biggest and best football museum in the World?! We have over 140,000 objects in our collection and playing my part in the Museum helping preserve the history of the People’s game via our displays and changing exhibitions so they can reach out to as many people as possible is something I’m proud of.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Picking the right course at university is key and making sure you get experience in the relevant field can always get your foot on the ladder.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I suppose I might have tried to get more work experience in Museums prior to starting my Masters degree, as it gives you more of an insight into work than any course can.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

My first hero was Blackpool left winger David Eyres who played for the club from 1989-1992 and went on to play for Burnley, Preston and Oldham. Billy Ayre was a great Blackpool manager from the early 90s who got us promoted on a shoestring budget and sadly passed away at the age of just 49 in 2002. My biggest hero though is probably manager Ian Holloway who took us up to the Premier League in 2010 and very nearly kept us there against the odds. Seeing Blackpool beat Liverpool and Spurs and play stylish attacking football was something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime and when he left the club to join Crystal Palace I was devastated. It still hurts and the current situation at Blackpool under Paul Ince makes the Holloway era seem a distant memory.

Many thanks, Jon.

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