I was born in Sefton Park, Liverpool in 1960, a hard-working, multicultural sea port, bursting with international shipping.
From its midst grew a huge music scene led by The Beatles, along with comedians galore and two fiercely rivaled football teams; for a decade or so, it was the place to be.
However, as the city crested its wave and drifted into massive industrial decline, I grew out of childhood and fell into major problems of my own.
However, after two years locked up in a tough Borstal (young offenders’ institution) I sat at my mother’s kitchen table, aged 19, and muttered the following prophetic words, almost in a daydream.
“There’s something about all this, as if it’s a deliberate test,
a riddle that I’m supposed to figure out.”
And I knew in my heart that if I could just find the key, I’d spend the rest of my life helping others do the same.
At the time, I still faced two further prison terms, but I battled for my solution, and when it eventually came it completely blew my socks off. In a remarkable psycho-therapy session, my old identity was left broken on the floor, and I walked away with a new one.
…and yes, for 35 years since, in a way that is hard to explain, my spoken and written words have indeed helped many others do the same…