Meet the binman hoping to make it a rubbish weekend for Spurs

For the past 12 months James Barrigan has been working to help keep Liverpool clean. We interviewed him before the historic match that took place on Sunday 10th January.

James has already etched his name into footballing folklore by helping Crosby minnows Marine FC, of the Northern Premier League Division One North West, secure a glamorous FA Cup 3rd round match against Jose Mourinho’s Premiership giants and 8-time winners, Tottenham Hotspur.

The gap of eight divisions (and 160 league places) is the biggest in the competition’s 149-year history and is the definitive David and Goliath cup tie.

The father of one, who grew up in Norris Green and attended Alsop High School in Walton, is only 22 but he’s already notched up more than 200 games, with the versatile midfielder having played for Wigan Athletic, Skelmersdale United, Warrington Town and Colwyn Bay.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Liverpool Refuse Collector and Marine FC player, James Barrigan, empties bins in Aigburth on 7 January 2021. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

James, who was on the books of his beloved Liverpool FC as a kid and has played often against current home-grown super stars such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, says he’s looking to treat this historic match as just another game.

He took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Clare Small from Liverpool City Council’s communications team.

Clare: You are currently working as a loader at Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd, how do you juggle your two jobs?

James: It is pretty easy juggling the two jobs as my starts for work are very early and training for Marine is in the evenings.

C: It must be hard training for a high profile game and getting up at the crack of dawn to provide a service for residents in the city. What is your motivation?

J: Yes, it can be difficult as it is very demanding and tiring but my motivation definitely has to be my 1-year old daughter as everything I do is for her.

C: When you found out you were set to meet Spurs at home for the 3rd round, what reaction did you get from your workmates? Have other loaders been supportive or are there any Spurs fans amongst the crew?

J: The reaction was brilliant. They always congratulate me and tell me they can’t wait to watch the game.

C: How did you keep a lid on your excitement as you looked towards Sunday?

J: I think working has helped keep a lid on my excitement as it takes my mind away from the footballing side but besides that I’d say I am as best mentally prepared as I could be.

C: Do you have a pre-match ritual?

J: Yes. I don’t know why but I always have to buy a coffee before I enter the ground.

C: Who’s the player who has influenced you the most?

J: Have to go with Messi and Ronaldo, as they are the best.

Liverpool Waterfront