Micky Gynn made more than 450 League appearances in the engine room for Peterborough, Coventry City and Stoke. His happiest moment came when he helped the Sky Blues to victory in the 1987 FA Cup final, but it was all downhill from there.
“I’ll never forget the day Coventry City let me go – or the manner in which they ended my time at the club. It was a two-minute meeting with manager Bobby Gould in 1993. He called me into his office and said they wouldn’t be offering me a contract and that they were getting rid of me. I told him I wanted to stay at the club, but he just said, ‘We’re giving you a free transfer.’ I’d been there for 10 years and was part of the 1987 FA Cup final team, I thought I deserved more than two minutes. I don’t know where Bobby Gould is these days, but I know where I’d like him to be.
So I moved on to Stoke City but I had to retire in 1995 due to injury. I knew I’d have to get another job as back then there wasn’t the money in the game that there is now, so I became a postman. My patch is in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, a big village between Coventry and Leamington. At the interview they said that they were looking for someone who could work well in a team, so obviously my playing days stood me in good stead.
When I first started I’d get people saying ‘Aren’t you Micky Gynn, the footballer, why are you delivering letters?’ I also got called Postman Pat, although I’ve never had a black and white cat called Jess. We had a tabby cat called Jazz who followed me on my round for a few years, but he died last year. He’d have probably jumped in my van if I’d had one.
A typical day for me means I’m up at three o’clock in the morning and home around 5am for breakfast. Because of the odd hours, I lose track of what I’m supposed to be eating. I don’t know whether to have a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea or a full meal with a glass of red wine. I live in the village myself, so I deliver my own mail as well as everyone else’s and it certainly wakes you up when you open your bills at five o’clock in the morning.
After breakfast I’ll have a quick shower, check Teletext for the sport and just relax for an hour or so before going back out on my round until about three in the afternoon. I tend to be in bed by 8.30pm, although on Friday’s it’s nearer 7pm because the week tends to catch up with me.
The job’s been a learning curve for me – I never realised it could be so dangerous. On one occasion I was delivering a letter to a farmhouse and this little girl came to the door. The next thing I know, this great big Rottweiler comes racing past her and jumps on me. I was lucky it only bit me on the arm!
Then there was another time when I was cycling along on my bike and a car came flying round the corner and knocked me off. I ended up on its bonnet. There was no real damage done, apart from a few scratches to the paintwork.
After that they took the bike off me and gave me an electric car, one of these things you plug into a socket to charge for a couple of hours. I don’t like it very much, so I do my round on foot instead.
It’s not just letters though, I deliver packages too. The oddest thing I’ve had to deliver so far was a box, which was humming. I asked the lady who I delivered it to what it contained. ‘Oh it’s just some insects,’ she said, ‘I’m breeding’. The biggest thing I’ve ever delivered was probably a car-bumper. You could tell what it was by the packaging. It was the shape of a bumper.
I’ve delivered footballs a few times and I’m always very tempted to kick it along the street out of habit. It’s the same with wearing shorts every day and running on people’s lawns. They shout at me to get off their grass, but I’m so used to running on grass from my playing days that it’s hard not to.
One of the things about delivering post is that you get to hear all the rumours in the village. I’d probably have to change my round if I ever spilt the beans, but let’s just say there’d probably be a few divorces if they found out what people were getting up to…”
Interview: John Wright. From the May 2005 issue of FourFourTwo.