Boro Head Chef Drops In On ‘FFIT’ Class

Middlesbrough FC Head Chef Howard Archer was a special guest at our Football Fans In Training weekly session at the Riverside Stadium on Monday.

Howard visited the group in the Hardwick Suite where he spoke about his work at the training ground, dispel some common beliefs about the players’ diets, and making them aware of some of the foods and drinks to avoid when trying to lose weight.

Howard, a chef, and a Boro fan through and through, has been with club for 18 years. He feeds the first team, the Under 23’s the Academy and the staff at Rockliffe. All in all, if the full quota are at work – he will feed 200 people in a day.

With Howard’s duties as of last season including travelling with the squad to every away game, he shared with the group the lengths he and his support team go to preparing the right foods for the teams evening meals, breakfast, pre-match and post-match meals, as well as a few anecdotes (including Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s midnight craving for spinach).

The Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme is designed by the Scottish Football League Trust and targets men aged between 35 and 65 with a waist size +38inches and BMI over 27.

The aim of the course is for participants to lose between 5-10% of their body weight and lower their blood pressure. It gives the football fans a chance to get a behind the scenes look at their favourite football club through stadium tours and visits to the training ground.

“It’s very important that organisations like MFC Foundation are supporting health and fitness in older men,” said Howard.

“I’m 57-years old and I’m not the fittest chap about, but it’s important to encourage people of that age to eat properly.

“There’s a lot of untruths about what you should and shouldn’t eat, so we try and direct them along the right lines, and that means of course exercising regularly too.

“It isn’t always hard work and graft, and with identifying through the players that some food aren’t always exactly as taboo as they’re made out to be.”

For more information on the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) programme please contact