Following advice from health and safety experts, South Shields kitman George McLaughlin has been banned from partaking in celebratory post-game fist pumps with immediate effect.
George’s celebrations have become the stuff of folklore at Mariners Park.
No victory is complete without his fist pumps on the sidelines as he shows his delight at another win.
However, health and safety chiefs stepped in after it was revealed George’s fall on the Wembley steps – which resulted in him suffering a ruptured quadriceps tendon – was caused by him carrying out the action.
Mariners physio Andrew Morris was among those who broke the news to George.
He said: “We all love to see George celebrating after games, but unfortunately we have to listen to the experts.
“One expert in particular, Lira Lofop, said she believed the fall at Wembley was caused by George performing a fist pump, so it’s just not worth the risk.
“George has also suffered a number of fist pump-related injuries over the course of the season, and I’ve actually spent more time treating him than the players.
“The risk of further injury to himself and fans he gets close to is clear, and just not worth it any more.
“Plus, this gives him the chance to carry out his true kitman duties!”
The club’s matchday programme, The Mariner, has included a new feature in the most recent two editions.
‘On The Spot’ sees an individual at the club – whether they’re a player, staff member or volunteer – asked about a host of things, ranging from the highlights of their time in football to favourite things in their life.
First in the hotseat was kitman George McLaughlin.
Here were his answers – keep an eye out for future installments of this feature in upcoming programmes!
George McLaughlin – On The Spot
First joined SSFC: 2013
First club played for: Sunderland Hospitals
Most enjoyable thing about your role: Watching the lads win!
Least enjoyable thing about your role: Getting the blame for everything!
Tell us something we don’t know about you: I was in the Merchant Navy between 1969 and 1973.
Favourite food: Fish and chips
Favourite holiday destination: Whitby
If you could attend any sporting event in the world, what would it be and why? I actually did attend it! It was the Melbourne Cup while I was in the Merchant Navy. I was asked to walk around the racecourse before the event carrying a banner with the word ‘Malta’ on it, alongside some lads carrying the Maltese flag. It was quite fitting, as one of the patron saints of Malta is St George!
Favourite band: The Beatles
Most embarrassing moment: Falling over doing the Dizzy Penalties challenge (below) last season!
Most memorable moment at SSFC: Winning the league last season.
Who’s the funniest person in the dressing room? Wayne Phillips is a scream. He’s always the life and soul of the dressing room.
If you could go for dinner with three people, alive or dead, who would they be? My partner Ann, Ringo Starr and Nelson Mandela. That would be an interesting evening! I’d have loved to have met Ringo and Nelson.
Nickname: Kitman and general dogsbody.
One word to describe you? Does happy-go-lucky count as one word?
Five South Shields players – along with kitman George McLaughlin – have taken on the Dizzy Goals challenge.
George was joined by Adam Curry, Jonny Wightman, Stephen Ramsey, Gareth Young and Dale Connor in taking a penalty after running around a ball 13 times.
The online campaign was started to raise awareness of Global Goals, ahead of the UN summit later this month.
The targets of the summit are to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change by 2030.
The Dizzy Goals challenge has been taken on by some of the biggest names in football, including Gareth Bale, Alan Shearer and Theo Walcott, so we decided we would have a go. The results are in the video above…
For more information about the Dizzy Goals Challenge, search for the hashtag #dizzygoals, Twitter account @TheGlobalGoals and website globalgoals.org
Video shot by Daniel Prince.