The O Zone: Walking dogs, helping old ladies – our work is never done

The O Zone: Behind the scenes at Leyton Orient

One of the bonuses of being a small club is that there are no airs and graces and a real sense of working together. At Orient that is reinforced by the way the Gaffer, Russell Slade, takes an interest in everything from the academy, where you can often find him watching matches; right down  to the under-9s on a Sunday morning; to the commercial team where he pops his head in and says to Tom, our commercial manager: “What you sold for me this week then son? Am I gonna be able to do anything in that January transfer window?”

He loves to chat and is just as likely to have a cup of tea with Matt, our chief executive, to discuss future plans, as to pop  into the old away changing room in the East Stand which has become the hangout of the ground and maintenance staff for another cuppa and a laugh with them. All this helps to underline that everyone’s input affects the club.

That even includes dog walking, which was in my job remit this week. Our French midfielder Romain Vincelot lives not far from me and with his girlfriend working late, and himself travelling up to Tranmere on Friday morning, he asked if I could exercise his dog. I like dogs so I took Elliot for a couple of laps round the block but he was a bit of a handful as he only really understands French.

Then there’s the community outreach work, which can be impromptu. While getting a lift this week from the training ground to the stadium in the monsoon conditions with Kevin Nugent, our assistant manager, we spotted an old lady with a classic sports car that had broken down on a busy bit of road near Whipps Cross hospital. Without pausing for thought, Nuge pulled over and before I knew it we were pushing the car about 400 yards out of danger into a car park, getting absolutely drenched in the process, and blocking the traffic. The lady was grateful though – and it was a good bit of exercise.

Having maintained our place on top of League One with a 4-0 win at Tranmere on Saturday, we’re at Coventry tomorrow, then at home to Rotherham.

Saturday’s game featured a “you are the ref” oddity. A Tranmere player was sent off and conceded a penalty for bringing down Kevin Lisbie. Kevin is our penalty taker but he had to go off for treatment so David Mooney took it. He hit the post but scored from the rebound, and we all celebrated. Goal? No goal. It turned out the taker cannot touch the ball again until it touches another player. The post doesn’t count, so neither did the goal.


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London