Mud, Sweat and Shears is the story of Roy Oldfield - groundsman at Burnley FC through the 1970s and 1980s. It tells of how he went from miner to parks and recreation man and eventually became one of football's most-respected turf men. On the pitch he saw more bad times than good, but his offer to "Av a brew" was gladly accepted by a procession of football greats: from Brian Clough to Bill Shankly, and Denis Law to Kevin Keegan. He faced daily battles with the weather and directors, but single-handedly produced a pitch which received continued praise from players, managers and referees well before the modern immaculate pitches. Roy used his wits, a mower, wheelbarrow, a couple of forks and sand; in an age when most pitches turned to mudbaths at a drop of rain and games were played on snow. This is a unique football book: through a groundsman's eyes, and it tells the story of what typically went on behind the scenes at one club before football became the multi-million-pound industry it is today.
Roy Oldfield wrote his story with former headmaster Dave Thomas, who has been writing books on Burnley Football Club, 15 in total, since 2003; two of them being the acclaimed biographies of Harry Potts and Jimmy Adamson. In his time as a headteacher he was a regular writer for the Times Educational Supplement and wrote short stories for the Dalesman magazine.