I always say about that 1970 injury that cost me so very much, and hurt so much, it was like watching all of my toys being put under the tree the night before Christmas only to wake early to find Santa had not come. But as luck had it I found out there was no such thing as Santa as I missed my first ever Christmas in 1997 and first ever, as my mate TD calls it ‘Old Years Night’ because of his birthday. Being in that eight-and-a-half week coma was quite a mixed bag for me, or should I say, coming out of it to find my whole world had changed, only this time forever. Apart from my wife deciding to leave me once she saw the state of this five and a half stone weakling, I was faced with never being able to run again, which was much like telling Francis Albert Sinatra, he had lost his voice and could no longer croon. No, there is no word for such a voice. However, as we all learn, life goes on and on turning up at Seattle’s new training ground I put on the bravest of faces in front of the new Sounders of today, I simply could stand no longer as my legs began shaking. The last time I shook on a Seattle training field was after being out with Adrian Webster, Steve Buttle, Mike Ivano the night before.
I can only finish this piece by saying how grateful am to both Bobby Moore and Jimmy Gabriel on that fateful day at Stamford Bridge, a place that I loathe these days, but back on this particular day it was the greatest stadium on earth. One other strangest thing was that when that “moron” Bruce Anderson sacked me and I could not find another club, I ended up going back to Chelsea under Ken Bates, and then Stoke City again (all down to Waddington) and somehow turning a one month loan into a three year contract by help saving them from relegation. When I signed for these four Saturday afternoon’s my old club were fourteen points adrift at the bottom of the table, and that was in the days of two points a win. We won three of them, something they had not done since the ‘Old King’ died, and I was the Red Adair of the Victoria Ground once more time – yeah I had done a similar thing four years before arriving in Seattle. With my first time around, my heart was still in the Great North West and to make things worse, so was my wife, who stole my two boys from me. But thankfully, I have got one back and although it does not make it right, I am saving like hell to return to Seattle with him by my side and, of course, this time, Adrian Webster.
Keep the motor running David!
As I write the following comes through by Email:
SOUNDERS DRAW 1-1 WITH SPORTING KANSAS CITY TO CONCLUDE PRESEASON WINLESS AGAINST MLS FOES
By Matt Pentz of the Seattle Times
Seattle finished up the Desert Diamond Cup on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City at Kino Sporting Complex, tying despite sustained pressure, a stronger starting lineup and a smooth finish from Obafemi Martins just after halftime. The Sounders conclude their preseason schedule winless against MLS opposition, with three losses to go along with Saturday’s tie. In fairness, though, Chivas USA racked up a 4-0-3 record last preseason, and Seattle’s most-successful spring – in 2013 – resulted in its lowest league finish to date.
Seattle hosted something close to a first-choice starting 11 on Saturday – Frei; Mears, Marshall, Evans, Gonzalez; Pappa, Azira, Pineda, Neagle; Dempsey, Martins – validating coach Sigi Schmid’s pledge to use the match as a final tune-up. Connor Hallisey fired Sporting Kansas City in front after just eight minutes. And though the Sounders controlled possession for the rest of the first half, KC took a 1-0 lead into the break. Martins pulled Seattle level on the hour mark, finishing off a straightforward attack with a breakaway goal. The Sounders continued to push for the go-ahead tally, with Martins twice coming close into the ensuing minutes, before Pineda was sent off with 14 minutes to go. Pineda’s card will not carry over to next weekend, with the Sounders open the regular season against New England on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.
Monday 2 March 2015
Like Bob Geldof, and millions of other people who love a weekend of fun,’I Don’t Like Mondays’ and today is no different as I wake and it takes me longer to find out that I’m still alive. Since 15 December 1997 I have just took one day at a time and that day becomes tougher. That was what made that memorable trip to Seattle even the more memorable and absolutely incredible. For you, it might just another trip, but once you’ve been told you were 15 minutes away from losing your legs and that one of those surgeons (probably like a bad manager today?) was adamant that the life support machine should be turned off, trust me, you look at things through different glasses, and no, I don’t mean pint or rose tinted glasses.
As you should know by now my favourite glass whilst in Seattle was a crystal one with Crown Royal poured on top of crushed ice and joined by Canada Dry Ginger Ale and a slice of orange. The orange being the final touch, and my special oranges were bought at Albertsons in Factoria Square opposite from Harris Furniture Store where I tell you about Hymie Harris owning, and the lovely man who took me to the Sonics match. Whilst on the subject of Factoria Square, our late night sop-off was El Toros which was tucked away in the corner of the square. We would arrive there around 2am., just because there was a fantastic photograph of El Toro. It looked like We could that old, old Mexican looked like a hundred and twenty year-old Jeff Bourne, or his long lost father?
He would always sit beneath it. It was the most wonderful scene at that time of our escapades of the day. If only we had the mobile phone then, and had we, I would now be showing you the picture of Jeff and the man above him. I was very sad to hear on that visit back that Jeff had passed away through Motor Neurone disease only nine weeks after being diagnosed with the illness. He was the only player that I kept in touch with – although I went to find Roy Greaves once in Bolton – and I would go to his pub he ran in his hometown of Linton in Derbyshire. Bourne who I will tell you about later as a player, was a great lad, so easy going and the brunt of our locker rooms jokes. He took it like being left out of the team, but when he played, he certainly could. Brian Clough used him as a bit-part player much like Roger Davies, who was a completely different type of player and person, Had Jeff had Roger’s belief in himself I might use use what Sir Alf Ramsey once said of me, “There is no limit to what this player can achieve?”
Having said that I could write a brilliant book about several players that I played with that self same infliction. And the saddest thing is that all of them not only had great ability but were great lads. One in particular I recommended to Alan (Hinton) was Alan Dodd at Stoke City, but after Alan and I approached him he would not leave hie beloved Endon on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent.
What a talent, what a waste! I spoke to him only the other week, but I also spoke ton him years earlier about his decision not to travel and he was desperately sorry, and that was when I found that afterward he joined a team in Sweden. The only thing I can tell you is that when we signed Rene Almquist who played for Sweden, he loved Seattle like the rest of us, and he was also a great lad, yeah, Alan, you know you should have listened to me, and that was exactly what he admitted to me. Aren’t the connections in our game quite amazing!
Anyhow, on my return I found the changes to be a complete and utter shock and although we never went to look for El Toro I know it has now been replaced by the likes of Musashi’s, Toshi’s Teriyaki’s and Square Lotus.
I have a feeling that El Toro was more me?
Whenever I write since that day 18 years ago, I always think that I am much like what I can only allow Wiki to tell you. I saw the movie and apart from being scared (who wouldn’t be?) it was much like my situation, only there were different circumstances in the events leading up to our automobile crashes.
Misery (1987) is a psychological horror novel by Stephen King. When King was writing Misery in 1985 he planned the book to be released under the pseudonym Richard Bachman but the identity of the pseudonym was discovered before the release of the book.
The novel focuses on Paul Sheldon, a writer famous for Victorian-era romance novels involving the character of Misery Chastain. One day he is rescued from a car crash by crazed fan Annie Wilkes, who transports him to her home and, once finding out what he has done to Misery in his latest book, forces him to write a new book modifying the story – no matter what it takes.
Paul Sheldon, the author of a best-selling series of Victorian-era romance novels surrounding the heroine character Misery Chastain, has just finished the manuscript of his new crime novel, Fast Cars, while staying at the Hotel Boulderado; since 1974, he has completed the first draft of every one of his novels in the same hotel room. With his latest project finished, he has an alcohol-induced impulse to drive to Los Angeles rather than fly back home to New York City. However, a snowstorm hits while he is driving through the mountains. Sheldon drives off a cliff and crashes upside down into a snowbank. Paul is rescued from the car wreck by Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who lives in nearby Sidewinder. She takes him to her own home rather than a hospital, putting him in the guest bedroom. Using her nursing skills and stockpiled food and medical supplies, including an illicit stash of codeine-based painkillers, Annie slowly nurses Paul back to health. She proclaims herself as Paul’s “number one fan,” being an avid reader of the Misery Chastain series. However, when she reads the manuscript for Fast Cars, Annie argues with Paul on its violent content and profanity, causing her to spill his soup. Saying that the accident was “his” fault, she punishes him by withholding his medication, then forcing him to wash it down with soap water. Paul, who has done extensive research into mental disorders, suspects that Annie is dangerously disturbed. When Sheldon’s latest novel, Misery’s Child, hits the shelves, Annie buys her reserved copy. She doesn’t know, however, that Paul has killed Misery Chastain off at the end, intending to end the Misery series and re-establish himself as a mainstream writer. Upon learning of the main character’s demise, Annie rages at Paul before leaving him alone in her house for over two days lest she do something “unwise”. During this time, Paul suffers from extreme pain and withdrawal from the painkillers; by the time Annie returns, he is close to death. Annie forces him to burn the Fast Cars manuscript – the book he hoped would launch his post-Misery career-and presents him with an antique Royal typewriter, for the purpose of writing a new Misery Chastain novel that will bring the character back from the dead. Paul bides his time and writes the book as Annie wants, believing her fully capable of killing him. He manages to escape his room while Annie is on an errand, touring the house in search of more painkillers. He is almost caught by Annie, but manages to return to his room before she enters the house. On another occasion when Annie is absent, Paul escapes his room again and steals a knife from her kitchen, intending to kill her. On the way back to his room, he finds a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings from Annie’s life, suggesting that she is a serial killer who murdered her own father, her college roommate, and numerous patients in several states-thirty-nine people in all. She was arrested and charged with killing several babies at a Boulder hospital, but was acquitted. He also finds a magazine clipping about his status as a missing person. Annie eventually reveals that she knows about Paul’s excursions from his room, and punishes him by cutting off Paul’s foot with an axe (hobbling). Later, when Paul complains about a missing letter on the typewriter, she punishes him by slicing off his thumb with an electric knife. A Colorado state trooper eventually arrives at Annie’s house in search of Paul. Realizing a chance for escape, Paul alerts the officer by throwing an ashtray through the window. However, Annie surprises the trooper, stabs him repeatedly with a sharpened wooden cross, then finally rides over him with her lawnmower. She temporarily hides Paul in the basement while she departs, meaning to dispose of the trooper’s body and his police cruiser.
Paul finally finishes writing Misery’s Return and calls Annie, who has been eager to read it, to his room – knowing that once Annie has read the completed book she intends on killing both Paul and herself due to the police getting ever closer to discovering she killed the state trooper. Paul surprises Annie by using the single match she provided him with to light his cigarette (having convinced her that smoking was his normal practice after finishing a novel) to seemingly light his manuscript on fire in front of her – having first soaked it with a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid he smuggled to his room from the basement. While Annie frantically tries to put out the flames, which by this point have spread to her clothing, Paul lifts the heavy typewriter and throws it down hard onto Annie’s back. The two engage in a violent struggle, with Paul stuffing Annie’s mouth full of the burning pages. Annie gets to her feet and steps forward to attack Paul but trips on the typewriter, causing her to hit her head on the mantelpiece. Although first appearing to be dead, Annie awakens and crawls towards Paul who, in turn, frantically crawls away from Annie towards the door. Just as he reaches the threshold of the room, Annie reaches Paul and tries to strangle him, but instead she collapses from her injuries. Paul then crawls out of the room, closes the door, and locks the bolt that Annie had installed. After slumping down in front of the door, Paul feels Annie’s fingers tugging his shirt from under it. Horrified at the question of how she is still alive, he pounds at her fingers then makes his way to the bathroom for more Novril. He finds and swallows some and sleeps against the door. Awakening, Paul musters up the courage to leave the bathroom in an attempt to escape, uncertain if Annie is either alive or dead. After slowly crawling to the parlor, he sees headlights through a window and two state policemen approach the house. He finds an ornament of Annie’s and throws it through the window to get their attention. When they find him, Paul warns them about Annie still being alive and her being locked in the guest bedroom. They leave him to investigate. When they return, they tell Paul that they had not found anything but a shattered bottle of champagne and the room burned. Paul screams until he faints. Later it is revealed that Annie had escaped through the window and gone out to the barn in order to get a chainsaw to kill Paul. However, she had died in the barn due to the skull fracture inflicted when she fell against the mantelpiece, one hand grasping the handle of the chainsaw.
Returning home to New York, Paul submits Misery’s Return to his publisher; it was earlier revealed that he burned a decoy of the manuscript instead of the book itself. Paul’s publisher tells him that the book will become his greatest bestseller, and wants him to write a nonfiction book about his ordeal. However, the ordeal is far from over for Paul: he suffers nightmares about Annie and continues to have withdrawals from painkillers. He has also become an alcoholic with writer’s block. Eventually, after a random encounter with a child pushing a shopping cart containing a skunk in a cage, Paul has the same spark that inspired him to write Fast Cars and begins typing about this boy and his skunk, weeping as he types, both in misery for his shattered life and in joy that he is finally able to write again.
One of Stephen King’s inspirations for Misery was the reaction his fans had to The Eyes of the Dragon. The fans rejected The Eyes of the Dragon because of its lack of horror. Paul Sheldon feeling chained to the Misery books by his fans was a metaphor for his feeling chained to horror fiction. Another source was King’s addiction to drugs and alcohol, and his struggle to give them up. “Take the psychotic nurse in Misery, which I wrote when I was having such a tough time with dope. I knew what I was writing about. There was never any question. Annie was my drug problem, and she was my number-one fan. God, she never wanted to leave.”
I know that might have been a little long and drawn out but it was very significant as I was a writer, although I had just finished my first book, ‘The Working Man’s Ballet’, which I decided to write from my bar at home in Bellevue on my 30th birthday at 2am. And yeah, I had that crystal glass in my hand, and was overlooking Seattle. And after he came round after Annie (Wilkes) had found him it was the beginning of his ‘Misery’ whereas mine came about as I woke to my Annie (Roberts) where I was soon to find that she had decided to leave me – and my ‘Misery’ which I have since overcome. In fact, it was a great part of my rehabilitation, as every fight I went into, I was fighting her and the Demon she carried with her. Although her beauty far outweighed that of Miss Wilkes the saying “Beauty is only skin deep” springs very much to my mind. I then worked it all out that through this happening that my car smash, hit by a Mr. Ashgar Fatehi, was absolutely no accident . The police allowed him to walk away with no charges when he hit me in the back as I stepped onto the pavement in the Mile End Road, east London, less than a mile from the Royal London Hospital.
This is all explained in my last book ‘From the Playing Fields to the Killing Fields’.