WHO ARE YA? Lorri Wilson, Manchester United & Sign4all Ltd


Lorri Wilson – Communication is the key

1) Who are ya? 

Lorri Wilson, age 53 but I look 35!

2) Who do you support? 

That’s a hard question. When I was little I supported City. Now I work for the Reds, it has to be United!

3) What was your first game?

Manchester City in the 70’s.

4) What do you do for a job?

Joint company Director, Sign4Sport Ltd (about to change to Sign4all Ltd), which is a freelance company to sign BSL to deaf and hard of hearing in the sporting world of football.

Originally, I worked in a building society and had a deaf customer, I felt utterly embarrassed that I couldn’t communicate, so I went on to learn basic sign language and carried on from there. I then went on to work in the education services for visually impaired and hearing impaired in Stockport,  This is where I met a colleague who introduced me to Man Utd as she was working there for an hour a week. She then decided to emigrate and asked me to take over her position. After working there I also gained a good name for being reliable and good at what I do, so word got around and other football clubs asked me to help. The work load was getting far too much and, whilst at Utd, I met my business partner, Abdel, and we set up ‘Sign4Sport Ltd’.

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

At present I work for Manchester United, but this has no connection with my own company – I try to keep them separate,

6) How did you get into it?

I realised that there was no-one who signed for the deaf in sport. All communicators, interpreters et al wanted to work in the law, hospitals, courts etc. I loved the Idea of working with and in football and I wanted to dedicate as much time to it as possible, making sure that footballers and coaches could communicate with each other via me or another. ‘Football speak’ is hard enough to understand for the hearing, so can you image what it’s like for anyone who has a hearing loss!

7) What do you get out of it?

Passion for the job and the satisfaction of helping people communicate.

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

Just go for it. You have to love people, and the sport. It’s a hard concept to understand, but you need to have the mentality of wanting to stand around outside when it’s cold and wet on horrid days at a match, especially if you don’t enjoy the game.  Expect to get muddy too!

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

Nothing, as I’ve found my passion in life. This is the best job in the world! Not the best paid by any means, but very rewarding in other ways.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Too many to mention… but, for skill, would have to be Cantona. Others include Lionel Messi and David Beckham for their looks and Ryan Giggs for politeness and humbleness.