From Player to Kit Manager: Bolton's Ted Moulden

  • June 19, 2022 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/64f3e

To fans of a certain computer game, Ted Moulden will be a familiar name at Bolton Wanderers but the reality is somewhat different to what could have been.

Back in 2017, Moulden signed scholarship forms with Wanderers and was a pivotal part of the under-18 squad that reached the Professional Development League National semi-finals.

Playing alongside the likes of Luca Connell, who this week signed a three-year deal at Barnsley, and Dennis Politic, who will be playing in Serie A next season with Italian side Cremonese, Moulden was a highly-rated midfielder who was forced to abandon plans of a career in the professional game after being advised to retire by specialists.

Now aged just 21, Moulden remains on the staff at the University of Bolton Stadium as Kit Manager and he admits the role has helped him to overcome his initial struggles after having his dream taken away.

"It was tough," Moulden told EFL Magazine (Summer 2022 edition).

"Ask any kid in the Academy, all you dream about is becoming a professional player. You put every bit of your life into it. You go to sleep early, you eat well, you exercise and keep fit - even when you're on holiday - so for it to end like that was difficult, especially as a Bolton lad.

"I've got a condition with both of my ankles where the bone hasn't grown properly. I saw at least 15 specialists and I was a case study in Hull hospital. Twelve surgeons came into a room and I was presented as a case and they looked at movements of the joints.

"I received plenty of help. Anthony Cato and Craig Skinner at LFE (League Football Education) supported me a lot and then Oshor Williams at The PFA has been brilliant and always kept in touch."

Moulden, son of Farnworth-born, former Manchester City forward Paul, is almost unrecognisable from his days as a youth prospect, with his long locks and facial hair a complete contrast to the clean-shaven short-haired teen that once donned the shirt.

Brought back into the fold initially as assistant to Michael Hawke following Paul Huddy's departure to Preston North End, Moulden was soon tasked with doing the job alone after Hawke joined his former colleague at Deepdale, an opportunity he admits came as a surprise and took him on a different career path.

"The Club has been brilliant," he added. "They helped me a lot and tried to keep me involved.

"To be honest, I didn't really want to stay involved with football. My mum had seen a barbering course online so I did an intensive course for 12 weeks and qualified as a barber.

"But I knew the two Club Kitmen, Paul Huddy and Michael Hawke, and Hawkey needed someone to be his assistant when Huddy left to go to Preston.

"About a month after I'd come back to the Club, Hawkey also went to Preston so the gaffer (Ian Evatt) pulled me into his office and asked if I fancied doing it on my own.

"It's given me a routine and a purpose and that's got me through a difficult period in my life.

"Day-to-day, I get in at about 7am to lay all the kit out for training. On a matchday, I take the lads' boots, shin pads, sliders, t-shirts, jumpers, pants, socks, undershorts, under-armers and obviously the match shirts.

"During the week, I'll do the printing for all the shirts, with the sponsor on the front, sleeve badges and then the name and number on the back. After games, I'll get back and put the kit in the wash - the laundrette, Alison, comes in and finishes them off.

"Then there's things like cleaning and stretching boots and changing studs, as well as having to learn what each lad needs in their match pack. Marlon Fossey, for example, always needs a headband in his pack and that's my job to make sure he has it.

"The only time I've messed up was at Oxford United away in February. I tried to change George Johnston's metal studs and one broke off. Luckily, I had his spare pair of studs on my van so it all ended fine and we won the game as well!

"Alex Baptiste loves getting his studs changed. He must have asked me at least 15 times this season! He's a top fella so I don't mind doing it for him.

"Matt Gilks, who is now our goalkeeping coach, used to have two t-shirts instead of an underarmer and two pairs of pants. Then there's other lads that wear certain socks or their own shin pads.

"The strangest thing I have ever been asked for as a Kitman is when someone in the crowd held a sign up asking for one of the player's underwear after the game! I get bombarded with requests for free gear all the time but not many like that!"

One to make the most of his time around a professional environment, Moulden is keen to continue playing his part in Wanderers' rise up the EFL and is looking forward to the journey ahead.

"It's been two good seasons on the pitch since I started," he said. "Getting promoted from League Two was amazing and then ending up in ninth last season, considering we had a lot of injuries, is a great achievement.

"I've loved being in the environment of professional sport. The whole staff are one big team and you can always have a laugh with the players as well. I wake up on a Monday morning and I don't feel like I'm going to work!

"Every day is different and it's always enjoyable so hopefully Bolton will continue to rise up the leagues and I can be part of the Club's journey along the way."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston