Posted by: mads04 | January 31, 2013

Aftermath and “I wana be a footballer sir”

The only people who knew about my situation was my mate who I played at Altrincham with for years Gary Scott, who was my assistant(allegedly) at Leigh Genesis who i was manager of at the time and he only knew because one day we were playing up Middlesbrough ways and as I was getting changed he looked at me and said fuckin hell Mads watch that grid lad! I had lost about two stone and was basically wasting away. The other person who knew was my boss in work Lynda who I had to tell so I could go to my appointments without it looking suspicious and also because she pulled me one day and asked if everything was ok and I got a bit upset telling her about my appointments and how everything was just up in the air. To be fair to Lynda she was fantastic with me and I’ve heard how some people with MND are terrified to tell their employers because they’re scared of the reaction they might get but Lynda was spot on from day one.. So anyway that’s where I was at that moment looking like a refugee, knowing without confirmation I had MND and worst of all watching Liverpool FC failing miserably under Roy Hodgson!

Doc Davies gave me a number for the MND clinic and told me to give them a ring the next day and they would inform where I went from here, I left the hospital and rang Jayne to tell her I was on my way to pick Sonny and Vinny up, Vinny had been on my case to go for a run that night around the park and as I was on my way home i was thinking I have just been told I have a terminal muscle wasting disease and here  I am rushing home so I can have a run with my boys! I then rang Scotty to tell him how I got on and he said “Am I getting me suit out then or what” in a reference to his funeral suit, if you have been around a football environment and changing room sense of humour you will know that the banter has no mercy and i wouldn’t have it any other way. “Unfortunately mate, yeh” I replied, silence for about ten seconds “fuck me you are joking aren’t ya”. He said, “No mate I’m Donald ducked lar” after the if you need anything don’t really know what to say talk I said “see ya later” and put the phone down. I’ll be honest with you it hadn’t sunk in one bit but I still knew I was in the shit. Scotty text me later on saying all joking aside mate if you need anything im here for ya mate  just let me know. Don’t start all that soppy bollocks!! i text back.

I told Lynda the next day on the phone she started crying and asked if I told Jayne, I told her I’m leaving it until after Christmas I didn’t want to ruin it for everyone, she understood but didn’t agree with it, she thought Jayne deserved to know which was right but it was my decision. I was off to Germany the following day with the boys so I needed to just focus on that, we were leaving the Taekwondo club at 12 midday by coach and the journey would take about 16 hours(it took 21!). We had to travel to Doncaster first and pick up some team mates from their club, we took up our positions on the coach at the back with Dot and Mike who were with their grandson Aaron and Biba and her dad Pete with Biba’s kids Hollie and Shay, Pete is Pete Best who was the original(and best!!) drummer out of the Beatles so to be sitting next to a living legend in my eyes on the trip was brilliant. I love my music as you will find out in later posts and I loved the Beatles (typical scouser)

The trip started in good spirits lots of banter, the kids were made up and it started snowing on the M62. After a couple of hours on route the coach began to go cold,little did we know that the heating had broken at the back of the coach and everyone down the front was trying to convince us that it was cold down the front of the bus aswell but after spotting them with their shorts,flip flops and sombreros on i was beginning to doubt them!

Ian who I had been best mates with for years  text me to see how it was going, I know Scotty spoke to Ian on a regular basis and I hadn’t really spoke to him about not telling anyone, so I text Ian yeh things are ok and I put I’m going to text you something and I don’t want you to tell anyone, now saying that to someone like Ian is pure torture he can rabbit on for days, has the gift of the gab and could talk his way out of a heavily guarded slimmers world meeting, he’s a bit of a salad dodger is Ian! but I would rather tell him myself rather than here it off Scotty, Obviously a bit of a shithouse trick telling him by text but I couldn’t exactly ring and tell him because I was on a coach full of people and plus I  only had 1000 minutes left on my phone!. So I sent a long text to explain what had happened and asked him not to mention anything to anyone. “I hope your joking” was his reply. Oh yes I always joke about shit like this!! I could see where he was coming from because we always take the piss out of each other but even for my sense of humour this would have been a bit extreme. “Unfortunately no mate” I replied.

Mini Madog

“What do you want to be when you grow up mark” “I wana be a footballer sir”

As kids in Liverpool footy was everything to us and we had a boys club just down the road from where i lived, which had a snooker table, pool table, table tennis or taybo as we called it, a darts room and a floodlit five a side pitch at the back, now five a side pitches in the early eighties were virtually non-existent and it was the only floodlit pitch in the city and it was all ours. The boysie as it was called was the mutt’s nutt’s for ten pence you could play anything, footy, pool, snooker, taybo, darts and we were all proper scally’s who loved a laugh. Frank and Dave  who helped  run the club had their hands full most days and the odd time you would go over the top and Frank would bar you for a week, which wasn’t good, you would try and sneak on the pitch at the back but Franks window overlooked it and he would spot you and tell you to get off and you couldn’t even get a game of togger (Football). Overall we were good kids and they were great times. I used to go down some nights and the big lads would be on the pitch which was shit because they ruled the roost and played till the lights went off at ten and us younger kids rarely got a sniff of a game. So some nights in the summer we would go down early and play till they turned up then stay and watch. There was one time the older lads were playing and one of them got injured and had to go off, so one team was short of a player. Otch who was one of the older lads who we looked up to pointed at me and said you’re on ours, I shit myself and walked on the pitch.Now you have to remember these lads were five,six,seven years older than me there was no free kicks you got the living daylights kicked out of you it was the original murder ball. All my mates were staring at me cursing me because we all watched and waited for this moment to be called upon to play with the big lads, And to make things worse I was the youngest there so this was a massive boost to me but a proper kick in the bollocks to them! Otch said “you’re a good little player mate stay up front and be a nuisance”. I never even spoke back I was shitting myself, so as the game went on I’m thinking I’m ok here not much going on I wasn’t getting the ball much but fuck it I was on the pitch, then the ball comes to me, shit first touch (story of my life) and it goes towards Evo who by all accounts was cock of the brook and known for being a proper hard case. Every time Evo had looked at me before this moment I hadn’t made eye contact with him scared in case he said something to me, he might only want to say “Alright mate” but to me he was King Kong. So here’s little me , 4 stone wet through eight years of age in a 50/50 with the cock of the brook 15 stone about seven years older than me and ready to swat planes down at the top of the empire state building! You could say this was defining moment in my tackling career but at the time I was just hoping that I didn’t wake up in Alder Hey Hospital so I went flying into Kong with everything I had, about what seemed ten minutes later Kong was picking me up off the floor saying good tackle mate all the older lads were laughing at either my bravery or probably stupidity at taking on Evo, but after that night, every night I went down there  I got picked to play so I must have done something right and that is where we learned to play footy.

Thanks for all your kind comments from my first blog they really do mean a lot to me and also thank you for raising awareness for MND Stay positive and more than that stay smiling!!

To be continued………



  1. It’s lovely to read this story about when you and my dad were younger an it brought a smile to my face that you took him on haha xxx

  2. Mark great blog mate you should tell some stories about the flathouse footy team and how Evo used to play Robbie Rollins before you

  3. Haha mark didn’t know wether to laugh or cry another brilliant post ! I think your next ventre should be to write a book I for one already can’t wait for the next instalment. Brilliant X

  4. Keep them coming Mark!
    Love reading them but they always leave me speechless!
    Sounds like you have a great bunch of friends, & well I know your #MND friends are alright haha 😉 x

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