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Growing Up

My mum and Dad still live in Cramlington, my dad, David is a Safety Advisor and my mum, Katherine teaches at Cramlington First School. I've also got a twin brother, Steven, who was also a player and we both had a few trials together. He was actually offered a Pro contract at Hearts and they only offered me YT terms! He was working for Orange at North Tyneside but is now with Northern Electric down in Leeds. I've also got two older sisters, Sarah's a year older than me and lives in Sheffield where she went to University. Vicky's my eldest sister, three years older than me, she manages a hotel down in Leeds.

  Don't look!
 My brother and I

I went to school in Cramlington, starting at Cramlington First School, then to Southlands Middle, and finishing at St.Benet Biscop High School in Bedlington. I still keep in touch with a lot of my friends from those days - Tony Clark, Graham Redpath, Craig Banks, Alistair Dewer.

I played for Cramlington Juniors as a kid, it's a good set up there and a quite a few lads have gone on to sign pro… I played with Martin Taylor - who's now at Blackburn. Andy Sinton and Graham Fenton are also Cramlington old boys and I know Graham's parent (who's parents I know well).

The Cramlington Juniors

As a kid I didn't have any particular interest or hobbies outside of football. All I could think of was playing, and having a twin brother to knock a ball about with was great.

My brother  My Parents

As I got older I played for Northumberland Boys and also the Catholics of Great Britain, we played in the Catholics Olympics - international football! At 14 I signed schoolboy forms with Newcastle - who've always been my team. In the picture you can see my brother and I in our Newcastle away kits from the 1983/84 season. Kevin Keegan got us promoted that year, so it was fantastic for me that when I signed for Newcastle, he was the manager. I used to play Centre Forward, it was John Carver who turned me in a midfielder.

A few clubs were interested in me and I had trials with Man City, Hearts, Everton, and Leeds. I went down to Leeds with my brother, and got homesick. He stayed and had his trial and went home, I think I was about 15 at the time. It's funny that I've now got my brother and sisters living in Yorkshire and I'm the only one left up here.

Next Part: Life as a Pro



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