I have a photograph of myself taken in front of the statue of Billy Bremner outside Elland Road, the home of my team Leeds United.
A bit sad for a grown man, you might think.
But for the five-year-old me, King Billy was – with the exception of my parents and they had their doubts about that – the most important person in my life.
Which is why I understand and applaud the Posh fans who raised money for the newly unveiled statue of their hero Chris Turner.
Legend is a word bandied about all too easily in the world of football, but you only have to talk for a few moments to one of the London Road faithful to understand Chris Turner was just that.
Like my hero, Chris died young, much too young. He was 64 when he died in 2015 a victim of that horrible illness, dementia.
His achievements as Posh player, captain, manager and chairman are now cast in bronze.
But impressive as those achievements were, it is clear from the comments of players and fans that first and foremost Chris Turner was a good man.
Credit should go to everyone who made the dream of a lasting memorial a reality – raising £100,000 in 18 months is no mean feat.
It was a very public show of support and respect, but there was also a very poignant and personal aspect to the unveiling of the statue.
His widow Lynne, who was guest of honour at the ceremony, said: “I have my man back, and he’s at London Road.’’
After 30 years in journalism it’s not often that a story stops me in my tracks, but the antics of former Sawtry College head teacher James Stewart took my breath away. He fiddled the school and therefore its pupils out of more than a hundred grand, frittering it away on booze, betting and skiing holidays. He regularly had sex on school premises with another adult.He even “adapted parts of his office for such purpose.’’
Now, I’m assuming he didn’t move a four poster bed in there – as presumably if he had his misdeeds would have come to light sooner –so in what way did he “adapt’’ it. The mind truly boggles.
Easy come, easy go
I’ve bought my Euromillions ticket for tomorrow night’s draw where the jackpot prize is an eyewatering £115million.
I’m already daydreaming about how I will spend my winnings. I used to think if I won that sort of money I wouldn’t know how to spend it. So I’m indebted to Peterborough City Council. They tell us the cost of replacing Rhubarb Bridge would be £20-30million. So if my numbers come up you’ll find me at the Rhubarb Bridge shop buying four of their finest. You can keep the change!
Another day, another drama at Peterborough’s Passport Office and another wasted wedge of public money. For the fourth time in as many months there was a significant emergency turn-out after a suspicious substance was found in a package.The offending substance this time turned out to be coffee. If you can get fined for staying too long in a supermarket car park, surely careless actions which waste police, fire and ambulance resource should result in a fixed penalty notice at least.
Diary Of A Bad Dad
One of the joys of parenthood is witnessing your child’s mental development.
All of a sudden that tiny little pink thing that could only communicate by burping, trumping and crying is coming out with words and amazing you with its burgeoning thought processes.
I was chatting with Schoolgirl T about right and left (her mum still struggles, I think it’s a female thing to do with directions).
Toddlernator the Terrible piped up: “Is this my right hand?’’
It might have been a guess but he was right.
“Clever boy,’’ I praised him.
He beamed back at me then paused before putting his left hand in the air and asking: “Is this my wrong hand?’’
Not for the first time I was stumped. “Er, yes and no,’’ I answered feebly.
I was worried my inadequate answer might have baffled his nearly three-year-old brain. But I know he will work it out for himself soon enough.