As a young lad growing up in the Dingle area of Liverpool it was my ambition to play football, I used to practice every day when I came home from school, just waiting for my local youth club The Florence Institute to open, I would then go to the club for proper training.
At the club we were lucky because once a month we would be taken for training by two Liverpool first team players Billy Liddell and Alan A’Court, who came to the club by bus because neither had a car (imagine today’s players doing that).
The Florrie, as it was known by everyone was the making of me, and I can not thank every body who put in so much time and effort to keep lads (most living in poverty) on the straight and narrow.
Billy Liddell and Alan A’Court would hold discussions after training and would talk about fitness, lifestyle, and respect, coming from people you looked up to it hit home and has stayed with me ever since.
At school I played every sport and at that time was not interested in music at all, all that changed when my friend at school Eddie Miller asked me to go to a street party with him one summer’s night.
I called at Eddie’s house, and he came out carrying a guitar, up until then I did not know he played music.
The houses in the street were big old three story houses and there were about five steps up to the front door, Eddie sat on the top step and began to play, soon a crowd of about thirty people were gathered around all singing, I was totally transfixed and decided there and then I wanted to learn to play the guitar.
Over the next six months or so Eddie taught me to play, Eddie by then was in his own group called the Miller Brothers, so I would just play on my own at home.