GATESHEAD midfield star JJ O’Donnell relishes an Ariel problem a lot that he doubles up because the kitman.
And the Nationwide League aspect are bidding to be Daring of their sensible whites — and cling Luton out to dry on Tyneside.
O’Donnell, 26, who washes all of the workforce’s kits after each match, is up towards his previous membership within the FA Cup second spherical tomorrow.
This conflict comes 4 years after he arrange the aim for non-league Hatters — “the proudest second of my profession” — that knocked then Premier League Norwich out of the competitors.
He stated: “I didn’t even know how one can use a washer till two years in the past. My mum did all of the washing — however now I’m doing the kits for all of the lads.
“I normally take the package down the launderette however typically when it’s shut, I’ve to take all of it house.
“I additionally kind the match balls, the coaching gear and water bottles.”
How he got here to be the membership’s participant kitman is sort of a narrative.
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O’Donnell was instructed three years that if he carried on enjoying he won’t stroll once more after getting a uncommon foot situation referred to as sesamoiditis, which is irritation of bones underneath the massive toe joint.
He stated: “Each time I used to be going to run, it harm. It was extremely painful. I needed to have the bones faraway from each my ft. Docs gave me solely a 50 per cent probability of with the ability to play once more.”
It was throughout this time that Gateshead invited him to be their kitman. O’Donnell stated: “I leapt on the probability because it obtained me again concerned with the dressing room. It helped me throughout a traumatic time.
“I had many setbacks. I had my toenails eliminated 4 occasions as a result of they grew to become contaminated.
“It was nice being again within the altering room, however there have been days I puzzled if I might play once more.
“One afternoon, I couldn’t carry myself to look at. I sat within the bathrooms with tears working down my face.”
However by way of all of the adversity, he was given the inexperienced mild to play once more earlier this 12 months.
And to finish an unimaginable story, he’s up towards a workforce who he helped write into the FA Cup folklore.
He stated: “That recreation towards Norwich rotated Luton’s fortunes. They’ve a particular place in my coronary heart.
“They put in £7,000 in the direction of the prices of my operations. The followers raised £1,500. I’m eternally indebted to their kindness.”
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