Along with most importantly being a husband and a father to a junior school age boy, I’m also a sports fan, a music fan and a technology geek. I like things to work the way that they were intended to and will always investigate to find out why when they don’t and then fix them if I can!
From a young boy being introduced to computers at primary school, I developed a healthy interest in technology. Despite the disappointment of my dad going out to buy ZX Spectrum 48k in 1984 and returning with an Acorn Electron, because it “would be better for you educationally”, I embraced the opportunities that presented me with. I spent many a Sunday afternoon with the Acorn User dutifully typing out the provided code for a game and then spent the rest of the day debugging it for about 20 minutes of actual play! My passion for computers was ignited and especially in coding. This has continued into my adult life and it has now become the focus of my career.
Sport also played a huge part of my childhood and I was a keen footballer, trying to emulate my heroes of the day at every chance the weather allowed. I played competitively until University for various Sunday League teams with some success. My whole family are Liverpool supporters and I was taken to Anfield at the age of 7, sat on a bar on the Kop and another great passion in my life was born. I have had a season ticket at Anfield since 1989 and have been to hundreds of matches, at Anfield, around England and in Europe. Although football is my main sport, I will take a keen interest in almost any sport and will watch them on the various media platforms that are available. In particular, I enjoy watching rugby league and, through a family-friend taking me to Central Park to watch them as a teenager, I have an affiliation to Wigan Warriors. I occasionally attend the odd game, usually with my St Helen’s supporting father-in-law, which can make an awkward journey home! Cricket is another sport that I like to watch and I enjoy all forms of the game, following England avidly.
From the age of 6 to 21 I was an active member of the 1st Ashton-in-Makerfield Boys’ Brigade Company. Through the experiences shared with others, I developed friendships that have lasted to the present day. Beginning in Anchor Boys at age 6, through Junior Section and Company Section, we attended many different activities alongside the weekly meetings such as camping expeditions, canoeing, football, sports days and weekends away. In 1994, those of the same age as me completed the requirements for the Queen’s Award, the highest award a member can achieve, and were privileged to be part of the Royal Review that took part that year, parading through the streets of Windsor, up to the castle and then being inspected by HM Queen Elizabeth II. I believe that my personality traits were most influenced by the objectives that the Boys’ Brigade promotes and the people who gave their time to run the company I attended.
They say that “silence is golden” but I much prefer to have the air filled with music if I’m given the choice. I have an extensive and eclectic music collection which ranges from music from the 60s through to the current day. My preferred genre is biased towards the indie/Britpop style with Oasis, The Wonder Stuff and Paul Weller being among my favourites but I like to explore their inspirations and will give anything a try! I enjoy live music and I have been to many gigs from small venues such as the Deaf Institute in Manchester to see up-and-coming or more obscure acts to large scale concerts at arenas, stadiums and open air locations – highlights being the 1996 Oasis gig at Knebworth and Elbow at the Manchester Arena.