Nigel Worthington: Ex-Northern Ireland boss happy at Fakenham Town

By Phil ShepkaBBC Sport
Nigel Worthington
Nigel Worthington has lived in Norfolk since becoming Norwich manager in 2000

Emptying bins, painting the walls and tiling the roof at a non-league club in Norfolk is a far cry from Euro 2016 - but Nigel Worthington doesn't mind.

The former Northern Ireland boss has watched them win their first ever European Championship game from afar, as he is immersed in life as a club ambassador at Fakenham Town, a club that finished 17th in the ninth tier of English football last season.

"I'll never be an artist, don't worry about that," he jokes with BBC Radio Norfolk of his painting skills.

"We are fortunate to have so many people who give up their time free of charge and it would be wrong for people like that to come in and do work and for myself, the chairman Andrew (Jarvis) not to.

"Everybody's hands on, we respect each other and what we are doing, and all want the club to go in a very positive and upward manner."

Nigel Worthington
Nigel Worthington managed a Northern Ireland side that included Gareth McAuley (left) and Kyle Lafferty (second right), both now playing for their country at Euro 2016

Since a spell as York City manager ended in October 2014, the 54-year-old has had a number of offers to return to the game.

But Worthington said he is much happier being hands-on in the area he has lived in ever since becoming Norwich manager in 2000 and at a club where his son used to play.

"I've been in the game for a long time, I missed my first two children growing up because of club and international commitments," he said.

"But I'm content in what I'm doing at the moment, and to give something back to football and the local community where I've lived for almost 16 years satisfies me very much."

Worthington's connections are proving very useful for the Eastern Counties League Premier Division side, with Norwich City and Premier League champions Leicester City both sending sides to Clipbush Park for pre-season friendlies this summer.

But he has a lot of work to do to make the place look "professional" before those two matches.

"I've been very lucky over many years to have had a load of people around me doing a lot of things for me, but to come in here and get my hands dirty, that's the nice thing.

"When you come up here and see the place full of more than 200 kids, and the place is being used to its maximum, it looks fantastic.

"This is very grounding. It's very humbling to see so many give up their time, and be so willing to get their hands dirty, to make the club a better place for the community."

Nigel Worthington was speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk's Chris Goreham

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