How Old Do You Have To Be To Be A Steward?

An image showing stewards working at the home of Aston Villa FC

What is the minimum age a person can work as a steward at a sports ground?

What does the Green Guide say: In the fourth edition of the Green Guide reference was made to a profile of 18 to 55 years of age. That profile was revised in response to employment legislation, so in the fifth edition there is no specific age range given.

It is for the employer to determine the minimum age of personnel. The expectation is that stewards will have a level of maturity and life experience to enable them to deal with the complex situations that might arise within the course of their duties, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with customers and spectators with whom they may interact.

What does the law say? Sports grounds are often licensed premises, under the Licensing Act 2003 and stewards may undertake what is considered to be licensable activity as defined by the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (PSIA 2001). Whilst in-house stewards employed by sports grounds where a safety certificate is in place are exempted from licensing by the Security industry Authority (SIA) through an amendment to the PSIA 2001 by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, it is expected that club stewards will also be a minimum of 18 years of age, as that is the minimum age that a personal licence can be issued by the Security Industry Authority under the PSIA 2001.

For those sports grounds that are not certificated and which may not have licensed areas within them, it is up to the employer to decide on the suitability of an applicant to undertake the role of a steward, as defined by the guidance. In such circumstances the employer should consider the implications of employing staff below 18 years of age and undertake a risk assessment for the work activity, as required by the relevant health and safety legislation and regulations.

What does football say: There are two famous quotes from the football world that might be applied to the question?  The first from legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who when questioned about the age of some of his young players opined “If they’re good enough they’re old enough”. The second from TV pundit Alan Hansen who famously wrote off a young Manchester United team stating “You don't win anything with kids”.  Hansen was proved wrong as Manchester United went on to win the Premiership that season, Busby’s comment  will be debated by football fans as long as the game is played.