Well what can I tell you about myself…well let’s get this over asap, ‘cause I haven’t had what
you might call a distinguished life…
So, I was born at an early age and all that, in fact in Norton-on-Derwent, which is sort of right next to Malton, which
is sort of not far from York. But anyway…
I have lived all my life in Pontefract, Ackworth and Castleford, all in the county of West
Yorkshire. I went to what was at that time the Grammar School in Pontefract, the King’s School (now King’s
High School) and then to Ackworth School, which if you don’t know it is a Quaker school in Ackworth. After
leaving school I went twice to Wakefield District College, dropping out once and getting thrown out the second time for
not going much and failing my end-of-first-year exams, it was at a time when the Jam was all that mattered in my life. That’s my only excuse and I’m sticking to it.
I spent a few occasions in the early to mid-eighties working for my Dad’s firm (he’s
retired now but he was an architect) because it was the only job I could get (plus I was spending all my post-Jam and college
days following the Gents) and then a couple of jobs with other companies that he managed to get me.
In 1988 I married my first wife having met her at a Gents’ gig in Knottingley and we
had three children who are now 18, 18 and 13 as at September 2006. We separated
in 1993 and I spent seven years single and then married again to a girl twelve years younger than me in 2002. We separated and divorced in 2005 just after I erm…”came into some money”.
I was made redundant from around three or so of those jobs my Dad got me, which takes us to
about the mid-nineties and then, whilst doing agency work, the only other work I was able to find at the time and having reach
mid-30s, I was sent to a temp assignment with West Yorkshire Probation Service in Pontefract.
At that point, having not really been over-bothered about any of the jobs I had been doing over the previous eighteen
years, or for that matter working at all, I fell in love with the Service and its mission and realised that this is where
I wanted to be. When the temp assignment finished after nearly two years, I set
myself the task of joining permanently, which I managed in 2002, having done so many interviews for different positions in
different WYPS office that I had just learnt all the answers. That’s where
I’ve been since. I’m very proud of my job and what we are trying
to achieve, which is helping people to change through statutory intervention and it really does annoy me when I see ignorant
morons in the media attacking the Service when they know nothing about what we do and why and how we set about it.
On other subjects, I’m quite a bit of a Leeds United supporter and I went to every match
for six seasons in a row from 1987 to 1993 (I suppose I’d have to say it started when the Gents were starting to peter
out), and these days I don’t go quite so much, having given up the season ticket when Ken Bates got involved and I won’t
play to that twat’s tune, no way (I’m very principled me!).
The next major thing that happened in my life is that in June 2003 my best mate in the whole
word, whose name was Shaun and was 38, died very suddenly of an undetected heart condition Cardiomyopathy. It was something affected me so much, especially the first-time experience aspect of it all, that I wrote
some thoughts down about it all and then the volume of writing became so much that it became a book, which I published myself,
with hardback and dustjacket etc, the proper stuff, and is still available if you want to buy one, every penny of which of
the £8 I charge for them goes to the Cardiomyopathy Association, which as you might guess, is the relevant charity. I’m not going to include big banner adverts for it on this website, because I have to say that I’ve
always been slightly uneasy about taking money for a book about bereavement and death etc, but if you want one you can email
me. At least it will prove that you read this particular page in the Gents’