Back on a cold Christmas Eve night in 1969 I came into the world at the world’s best hospital, and so my love for West London was born.
My first memories are from Wendell Road, just off the Askew Road. My Dad worked at Claridges and my Mum worked part-time.
We went to Ravenscourt Park at least once a week, weather permitting. I clearly remember the red ash pitch, many a cut and graze having since healed!
(Top picture from 1970: I was held by a woman I can only remember as Renee. Second picture: Standing in my old house with great wallpaper!)
At the age of five my Dad took me to Loftus Road. I wasn’t impressed, I was cold and tired and when I heard the whistle three times in a row I was glad to hear it, I was ready to go home, but I didn’t know I had another half to go!
A steward lived just round the corner and Dad met him at ‘The Sun’ public house in the Askew Road.
In the summer of 1976 we moved near Olympia, where I spent a great deal of my life.
One afternoon I asked my Dad if I could go with him to Loftus Road; he was apprehensive but said yes.
We left early and I saw my Dad talking to the man he’d met in the pub, only it was at the stadium, moments later we sat in the South Africa Road Stand. My love affair was only just starting.
At twelve I went with friends, my Mum was a nervous wreck.
I don’t actually have a favourite moment from my spiritual home, but I have favourite moments. Trevor Sinclair and his overhead kick in the FA Cup; Gary Micklewhite scoring the tenth and final goal of one of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen; Gary Bannister scoring a hat-trick against that team up the road in a six-nil mauling; beating Wigan to go to Wembley. I could go on.
I spent a few years away from where I grew up and when the chance came up to come back to West London I gladly took it.
Due to health conditions I was forced to give up physical work in my mid-thirties and didn’t have a clue what to do? Then I found writing.
Writing about the area I love helped me with my first book, ‘Break in to Murder’, it’s set around Holland Park and up from the school I went to, Cardinal Vaughan.
In my second book, ‘Cat got your tongue,’ I’ve combined my fascination with crime and my love for QPR with the Police force named after former players. An estate agent goes missing, but all is not as it seems!
Sadly in 2012 Alan McDonald passed away suddenly; a player in my all-time top five. I just hope I’ve done his memory proud.
The job of an author is to get their work read and rarely is success an overnight thing; writing what you know about is so important and that’s what I’ve done.
I’m a proud QPR fan and Londoner; a successful author will be added to that list.