IT was refreshing to read that Gretar Steinsson, the latest Icelandic footballer to play for Bolton Wanderers, has been happy to set up a home for himself and his family in Bolton.

He always likes to live in the town where he plays — Gretar had previous spells in Switzerland and Holland — and he sounds genuine when he says his wife, his young son and himself feel “really at home” now that they are Boltonians.

I understand this philosophy because I have always felt the same during my decades in provincial journalism.

Living “on the patch” has always seemed to be the right thing to do, but many colleagues over the years chose to live in nearby towns so that they could keep their professional and private lives separate.

That was their choice and I understand it.

Other professions contain individuals who prefer to commute from afar rather than risk local involvement and potential challenges.

Many footballers, in particular, live some distance from their club so that they avoid long discussions on tactics and occasional abuse from opinionated fans.

I have never met him, but I suspect Mr Steinsson is a competent type entirely capable of holding his own with anybody now that he is part of the Bolton “family”.