Gordon Lawton has never been star struck throughout his 25 years working in football.

Not even when heading into the Boundary Park changing room to ask superstar Gary Lineker for an autograph on behalf of a fan.

The Oldham Athletic programme editor started working for the club in 1985.

But before that he'd got used to rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.

Lawton was a roadie for his brother's band, who were a support act for Abba.

But as much as he enjoyed rubbing shoulders with showbiz legends, he opted to give it all up when the chance came up to work in football.

And he enjoys every minute of it - contributing a massive 12,000 words for every issue of the Latics programme - despite the advent of hi-speed communications!

Lawton, 56, said: "The internet has made things easier in some ways, but it also means that fans get to read news almost instantly.

"So I have to produce original stuff for the programme, because they deserve to read something new for their three pounds.

"The fact you can see the programme on screen before it is printed is a bonus. When I first started we sometimes didn't know what it would look like until it was sent back to us the day before a game.

"And before the internet we had to go to the local newspaper for photos, get them lithographed, and the printers would then fax back a copy for us. It is a lot quicker with e-mail."

Lawton plans programme content up to two weeks in advance, but the bulk of the work is from the Tuesday before a match day.

In the days before the game, 25,000 words and 100 pictures are put together, along with contributions from opposition teams, officials and local journalists.

The first proofs are seen on Thursdays. The finished product is delivered mid-afternoon on Fridays.

Lawton admits compiling new material can be a challenge.

He added: "We have profiles of players, their wives and other members of the club. We've also brought in things like Once a Latic, in which we get an ex-player to talk about their time at Boundary Park.

"Then there are things like 'Face to Face' where I match up two players who will be marking each other.

"Interviews are done a couple of weeks in advance. Although that can present its own problems when a player has got injured, or gone out on loan by the time the programme is coming out!"

Lawton has been recognised for his long service for Oldham - especially as he has been at the club for longer than some first-team players have been alive.

Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney presented him with an award recognising his 25 years in the game earlier this season.

Lawton described the presentation as "quite special. It was very nice of him."

But what of that meeting with superstar Lineker?

Lawton said: "He was the most professional player I have ever met. He was in the changing room with the rest of the Tottenham Hotspur players and, as you can imagine, there was a lot of banter and swearing.

"This young lad came up to me and asked if it would be possible to get Gary's autograph. I said I'd see. A lot of teams don't like being bothered before a match.

"I went in and asked Gary and the change was instant. He came out, put his arm around the lad, and the youngster got a couple of pictures. He was over the moon.

"Then Gary went back in and straight back to the business of being one of the team again."

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