A groundsman described as a ‘legend’ by football clubs, school teachers and visitors to the Douglas Eyre Sports Centre in Walthamstow is retiring after decades in the job.

Starting as a groundsman in Chingford on the site that Morrisions now sits, Colin Howard has had a long and ‘enjoyable’ career looking after the green space in the borough.

After various jobs with the council Mr Howard, now 68, was headhunted for the job in Walthamstow in 1988.

Now, the 68-year-old is swapping his 34-acre domain with a tractor and 12 football pitches, for a house in Colchester with an 80ft garden.

“I love it here, I love my job,” he said.

For more on this story see next week's Waltham Forest Guardian and Chingford Guardian - out on Thursday.