Sports


Football. You may wonder why someone brought up in the Midlands who went to university in Salford got to support Liverpool from an early age. Well, it’s a simple explanation really. My hero at primary school was a fan and so I just thought backing them was the coolest thing to do. The habit stuck.

When I was a student in the mid-1980s, we occasionally used to play football at Strangeways prison (the prisoners weren’t allowed away games. I wonder why!).  The most brutal tacklers were the warders. I was the keeper and got warned that if I cared about keeping my bones in one piece on no account should I save a penalty.

Cycling. I love the endurance challenge of long-distance bike riding. I recently had my first major fall in front of an oncoming car, luckily in a built-up area where it wasn’t travelling too fast.

Helicopters. After leaving university I became fascinated with helicopters and just had to satisfy my curiosity and try flying them. I learnt that it’s a hard and dangerous occupation for amateurs. Some RAF pilots buzzed me on my first solo flight close enough that I could read the markings on their planes. I almost filed it as a near-miss!