You know the name, now get to know the person. Mark Somerfield, director of Direct Textiles, discusses breaking ribs, house music and combine harvesters

How long have you been working in the industry?
I started working in the industry in 1986 at the tender age of 16 – I knocked on the door of a local screen printing company, and that was that. I ended up as the production manager after five years, before the next adventure started: in early 1991 I was approached by Sericol, who we purchased most of our inks from, and before I knew it I was traveling the country selling Sericol’s textiles products to all the screen printers in the country. Sericol was a fantastic company to work for, we had our own international training centre and support in every major country. When my second child arrived, the constant traveling was starting to become harder so I made the massive decision to leave and set up Direct Textiles Ltd.

What’s your most over-used word or phrase?
There will be quite a few, but the office staff will tell you I always say, “We print T-shirts, that’s what we do.”

Which tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?
I still spend quite a bit of time in the car and find the day-to-day music a little monotonous. I still try and relive my youth, I’m afraid, and listen to lots of house music from back in the day. Not sure my dance moves are what they used to be, though.

What’s your favourite sports team?
I am a big Nottingham Forest supporter, and have had a season ticket at the famous City Ground for years. I was lucky enough to see the Brian Clough days when Forest were winning almost everything going. Good job my memory is still okay.

Tomato ketchup or brown sauce?
I like both as long as there is a bacon sandwich involved.

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?
I once broke a couple of ribs slipping on the ice when I was getting out of my car. I was at a trade dinner a few days later and had a number of customers on the table – unfortunately I sneezed and the pain was unreal. I sunk under the table and couldn’t get back on my seat for at least 10 minutes. Obviously they all found it very funny.

What’s your most unappealing habit?
My wife says I snore, but I’ve never heard it and don’t believe her.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Watching Forest, and early doors with the lads in my village pub.

What’s your hidden talent?
I played football at quite a good level, and still think I can play a bit. I was recently asked to play in a charity match and afterwards decided it’s probably time to hang my boots up for good.

If you were to pursue another occupation what would it be?
We live in a little village and love the countryside, so something to do with farming. I’ve always wanted to drive a combine harvester.

If you could be anywhere on earth right now, where would you be?
I do a bit of sailing, around the Greek Islands normally, so I’d be happy to lose myself doing that for the summer.

Which gadget or app couldn’t you live without?
Sat nav. Not sure how we survived without it. Maybe it’s just made us lazy, but I can’t imagine a car full of A-Zs.

If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?
Brian Clough: Why was he never given the England manager’s job?

Mark on holiday with his family

Sailing is a favourite pastime