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Staff Profile: Joe Mason

Joe Mason has become very familiar to Somerset Long Room Members because he is the friendly face who greets them every day when they arrive for a day at the cricket.

However, if it hadn’t been for his wife parking at the Cooper Associates County Ground when they first moved to Somerset, he may never have never worked at the Club.

“My official title is Long Room Steward,” he said. “But people in the Club Office like to refer to me as the Long Room Concierge.”

So, what does Joe’s job involve?

“I’m on the door of the Long Room to make sure that only Members come in, that everyone abides by the dress code, and to ensure everybody has an enjoyable experience. The Long Room gives spectators a fantastic view of the Ground and the facilities are really good. It’s a really friendly place with so many fantastic people.

“I’ve been at the Club now for five years, the last four in the Long Room and before that I did one year on the gates and in the stands.

“I just love being here and working at Somerset because it’s just such a change for me, and at the end of the day I can switch off and go home.  Having spent 37 years of my life teaching, the last 16 of which were spent in senior management, this is such a welcome change. Of course I care very much about the job I do, but I don’t have to take work home with.”

Joe talked about how he came to get the job in the first place.

“We only moved to Somerset when we retired from teaching and we had no real links to the place at all, in fact the Membership would be horrified to know that in my younger days I was a Surrey supporter when I lived in that area.

“I was a Junior Member at the Oval and went to school with Tony Lock’s (England test bowler) children. In fact, he took me to my first ever game in 1963 to watch the West Indies play Surrey, which was brilliant.

“I then went off to university and didn’t really support a cricketing county and I also didn’t have time to watch, because I was either playing cricket or rugby.

“About five years ago when we retired my wife came to Taunton to go shopping and parked here in the car park. She bumped into somebody on the gate and asked if they had any matchday vacancies and they said yes, gave her an email address and that was how it all started.”

“Now in the summer it sometimes seems like I spend more time here than I do at home. It’s just such a lovely Club to be involved with and there are some great people here who genuinely care.

The players are all friendly and they all come over and talk which is, I’m sure, very different to some other professional sports clubs. I sometimes do the early morning shift and open up the gate at 7am and see the place come to life.

“It has been so heart-warming to see so many of our players signing up to spend more time at the club, especially the younger ones, because they are the future. I’m already looking forward to next season!”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground