“I’ve loved every minute of volunteering. You meet people from all around the world” – Stephen Brammer Calendar

4 Jun 2020

It’s Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and despite the museum currently being closed, we speak to one of our volunteers about his key role at the museum.

Stephen Brammer from Prestwich has been volunteering at the museum for a year.  We chat to the 40-year-old about the buzz of a museum Saturday, the global appeal of football and why he can’t wait for the museum to re-open.

Why did you decide to volunteer at the museum?

I wanted to volunteer as I felt I was stuck in a bit of a rut and wanted to broaden my experience and try something new while hopefully giving something back and meeting new people. I wanted to do something to take me out of my comfort zone.

What is it like?

I have loved every minute of volunteering at the museum. You meet people from all around the world and realise that football truly is the global game. The team at the museum are great and really make you feel valued and part of the National Football Museum family! I would definitely recommend volunteering to anyone unsure if it was for them.

How many hours / days do you do?

I’m the Saturday volunteer team leader. I get in for around 9.30 am and set up. I stay until 3.30 pm.

What is a typical day like?

As it’s Saturday and there’s plenty of games going on in the area, it’s very busy with fans from all over the country. If United or City are at home we can be very busy. Every day tends to be different and time flies.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

The best thing about volunteering at the museum is meeting people from all over the world. It shows that football truly is the global game and brings people together.

What reaction do you get from visitors?

The visitors are always great and you can see how receptive they are to what we do as a visitor experience team as a whole. It’s a nice feeling when you are asked something by a visitor and you can help them out.

Any famous visitors you’ve come into contact with?

I had a wonderful day helping the England women’s team that played in Mexico in the 1971 World Cup. They were at the museum for their reunion, many of them hadn’t seen each other for 40 years. I operated the elevator all day for them to go to the top level for their event, it was an absolute honour and a joy to speak to them all. They were lovely.

What is your fave object in the museum?

Out of all the wonderful things we have in the museum I love the England World Cup winners section – Geoff Hurst’s shirt, the 1966 final ball and replica Jules Rimet trophy. I always enjoy talking to people who remember the tournament and especially those I’ve met that were at some of the matches. Iconic.

How have you coped with the lock down?

I’ve been doing OK, I think! I’m so thankful that we’ve got a big garden, especially with the great weather we’ve been having. I’ve been doing plenty of little jobs that we’ve been putting off for ages. Like a lot of people we’ve been doing Zoom quizzes with friends and family which has been an absolute godsend, it means so much to be able to see each other and socialise, albeit in a new and different way.

What are you most looking forward to about getting back to the museum?

I’m excited to get back to the museum to see everybody again! We’re going to have a big role in getting people back to normality again (or some version of it!) and I’m looking forward to see how we’re going to go forward. It will be different for sure, but I have every confidence that we’ll be fine.

If you are interested in volunteering at the National Football Museum email: volunteering@nationalfootballmuseum.com