Money Matters – John Hendrie

Money! Money! Money! We talk to former Middlesbrough FC star John Hendrie – scorer of the last ever goal at Ayresome Park – for his thoughts on finances. John is now a matchday corporate hospitality host at the Riverside Stadium…

Does money make you happy?
I wouldn’t say so. I certainly wouldn’t say money is the most important thing – your health and family are far more important. Money can give you some creature comforts but it certainly doesn’t give you happiness.

What was your first paid job?
I remember going potato-picking in fields near my home in Kirkintilloch in Scotland when I was a lad. I’ll tell you what, that was back-breaking work. I came away with a couple of quid in my pocket and the next day they couldn’t get me out of bed, I was so stiff! In terms of a real job, well, I left school on Friday afternoon and that evening signed as an apprentice for Coventry City. That was 1980. My first wage was 20 quid a week. Less than 18 months later I was playing in the top flight at White Hart Lane against World Cup winners Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa.

What’s your best financial tip?
Stay married! I’ve been married to Linda for 33 years. She’s due the Queen’s Award for Industry!

Are you a saver or a spender?
Right through my football career I was a saver and investor. Now I’m retired from football, I’m more of a spender. Most lads loved their flashy cars but I was always different. Rather than blow it, I ploughed the majority of my wages into my pension. As a result, my footballer’s pension is my biggest asset. There were a lot of tax breaks back then and I had a financial advisor as a brother-in-law, so I took some good advice.

What’s the biggest drain on your resources?
My family. I’ve got four adult kids. My daughter Lauren got married recently in Gilling West, near Richmond, while my eldest lad Joe proposed to his girlfriend recently. So I’m starting to spend all that money I saved!

What’s the most you’ve splashed out on a single item?
A car, I guess – probably my wife’s Range Rover. Cars don’t really do it for me, but you need one for yourself and one for the Mrs, so we’ve got two cars.

What’s been your biggest financial mistake?
I had a property investment in Scotland which didn’t go too well, shall we say. I was part of it with other guys and few of us were left to bear the brunt. It meant my pension fund suffered a wee bit but it wasn’t life-changing. As I see it, you win some, you lose some.

What’s been your best investment?
Probably my house – fondly known to our kids and their partners as Hendrie HQ. We’ve been here, in a quiet village, for 19 years and its value has gone up dramatically in that time.