Football: Four more Cup crusaders with a real job on their hands

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The Independent Online
The electrical salesman

Stuart Beevor

AS the scorer of the winning goal for Stevenage Borough in the second round against Cambridge United, Beevor may have been excused a few late-night drinks. Not a chance. He had to be at his counter at 8am the next day ready to supply goods from cable to plugs to the trade. Beevor, 22, has worked for City Electrical Factors for two years and is hoping for promotion. "I came as a van driver and then the job cropped up in the office. The prospects are pretty good and everybody's really understanding about the football," he said. Beevor goes back a long way with Paul Fairclough, Stevenage's manager. Fairclough was his form master at school. "He's settled down since those days," said the manager, avuncularly.

The loft insulator

Des Gallagher

UNTIL two years ago, Stevenage Borough's long-serving goalkeeper was a scaffolder. "That was hard, tiring work but this isn't too bad," he said. "It's not as physically taxing and at least after a night match I don't have to start too early the next day." Gallagher, 35, followed his brother into the attic trade and now plies it all over London. "You can get a bit short of time and the gaffer trains us really hard. We do two and a half hours, which is longer than anywhere else and I don't get away with anything just because I'm the keeper." Gallagher, who is in his second spell with Borough and has served eight years in all, reflected that injuries had affected their League form this season. But he believes they have the nouse to pull through against Swindon.

The scrap-yard worker

Lee Howells

THE man known to all and sundry as Archie ("don't ask, it's a long story but my mum started it") does not do too much in the yard itself but is more often in the office. His bosses allow the tough Cheltenham midfielder flexible hours ("as long as the work's done") to fit in his football and Howells has stayed loyal to them. He had an opportunity earlier this year to turn professional with Gillingham, who made a pounds 25,000 offer to Cheltenham, but decided to stay put. "The money wasn't that good," said Howells, 29, "and I'm happy as I am. I like my job and I like the football. Cheltenham have become a good side and if we've surprised ourselves a bit, the boss, Steve Cotterill, knows what he's doing." Reading, be warned.

The house husband

Chris Banks

FOR three days each week the stalwart Cheltenham defender looks after his daughters, Keely, three, and Charley, six months, while his wife works. It is an arrangement which suits him ideally. He works for an employment agency on the other days. Banks, who played in the League for Port Vale and Exeter, is now living back in his home town of Stone. It is a 15-mile round trip to Cheltenham for training but he does not mind the travelling. "Things have worked out very well. I get to spend time with my girls, doing the nursery run and the general looking after. You can't beat it." Banks, 32, has got the family involved in the third- round tie against Reading. Keely is to be the Cheltenham mascot for the day.