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

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.

But on Sunday, the LSSL refuse collector is looking for a clean sheet that would send shockwaves through the world of sport – the biggest upset ever in the FA Cup.

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 is the biggest in the competition’s 149-year history and is the definitive David and Goliath cup tie. It’s a match that has already generated headlines around the world and will be shown on BBC One on Sunday afternoon.

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: You’re set to play one of the biggest games of your career. It’s going to be aired on national TV and watched by millions. How are you keeping a lid on your excitement as you look towards Sunday? Would you say you are you mentally prepared?

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: How do you feel about potentially facing England’s captain Harry Kane, and or/Gareth Bale?

J: It’s crazy when you think about playing against these sort of players because you watch them week in week out and then the next thing you are going up against them for real!

C: Do you think Neil Young can outsmart Jose Mourinho on the day?

J: Yes, definitely. I have faith Neil can outsmart anyone.

C: You’ve built up quite a career in football. Could this weekend’s match move you on to bigger things?

J: I hope so. Obviously I think that’s what everyone would want, but I don’t want to think that far ahead for now.

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.

C: If you get through to the next round, who would you like to meet and where?

J: I think it would have to be Liverpool away for me.

C: Ok, so final question – What’s your score prediction?

J: I’m going for a little 1-0 win.

Good luck James. We’re all rooting for you!

You can watch James and his team mates at Marine FC take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, 10 January on BBC One. Kick-off is 5pm.

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