Jack the Kitman is now the proud owner of a brand new kit van thanks to Dale fan Steve Hill.
The businessman, who is a Director at extrastaff – the driving and industrial specialists, is kindly sponsoring the vehicle.
It’s a most welcome gesture, with Jack’s previous van past its best.
The vehicle, which is invaluable to Jack and the first team staff, is used for transporting equipment to and from training, as well as taking kit to away games.
Mr Hill has supported the Dale for almost 40-years and has told www.rochdaleafc.co.uk that he’s delighted to be sponsoring the van.
“After seeing Jack’s old van parked in the car park at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane in October, I saw a great opportunity to get involved and do something,” said Hill.
“The extrastaff business is based in St Albans and we have offices around the South East of England – Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and London – so commercially it makes no sense for me. I know we’re not going to make money out of this, it’s purely a labour of love.
“Other than sponsoring a shirt or doing something crazy like that, it’s the closest I can get to putting something back into the club. If we can add to the club and bring a benefit to Jack and the team, then that’s good value for me.”
Mr Hill, who has lived in the south of England all his life, started supporting Rochdale back in 1978 when he was 14-years-old.
He explains how he came to be a Dale fan.
“I followed Leeds United as a child because they were the team to support in the 1970s. All my mates either supported them, Manchester United or Arsenal and I wanted to be different so I picked the team that was bottom of the table and I have supported Dale ever since.
“My first game was Wimbledon away in February 1979 and we lost 3-2. The first time I came to Spotland was March 1981 when played Darlington – the game was 0-0.
“I managed to convince a couple of my friends from school to come with me for the Darlington game. They had no idea where Rochdale was but we got on the train and we found the ground.
“I’m now known locally where I live as Mr Rochdale. As soon I bump into someone they tend to ask me three questions – ‘how’s your wife, how are the kids and what do you make of the Rochdale result’ because they look out for the results.”
Jack added: “I can’t thank Steve enough for his generosity, it means a lot. My old van was getting on a bit and had definitely seen better days, so I’m absolutely chuffed to bits.”