Pat Nevin - former footballer, DJ, commentator and author

Season 2 Episode 1 of the ScotsCare podcast

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Pat Nevin Pat Nevin

Summary intro

Marcus speaks with Pat Nevin, a Glasgow boy that tried to avoid becoming a footballer, but fate had other ideas! Pat played at the top, with Chelsea, Everton and Scotland, representing his country 28 times. But there’s more to him than football, he’s an articulate man that has lent his skills to commentating and recently writing two books about his experiences in the beautiful game, Football and How to Survive It and The Accidental Footballer. Pat also speaks about his upbringing, family, the difficult culture around Rangers and Celtic, working abroad and the lack of information there was about autism, to help with the upbringing of his son.


[Music] hello I’m Marcus Railton and welcome back to the second series of the ScotsCare podcast. ScotsCare is the only charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged Scots in London through a range of support including Financial grants, advocacy, counseling and sheltered housing for older Scots, job coaching, social events, befriending and support for Children and Families the Charity’s been running for 400 years to help break the cycle of poverty experienced by some Scots.

In the new series I’ll be chatting with guests from all walks of life from celebrities and authors athletes and actors business entrepreneurs to academics all with one thing in common Scots Heritage and they enjoy a good blether.

Coming up in the second series of the Scots care podcast we have the bestselling author the Hebridean Baker, star of London Kills and The Bay Sharon Small, menopause expert Ruth Devlin and the co-founder of the Scottish business Network Russell Dalgleish amongst a host of other great guests, but to kick off the first episode I’m joined by former International footballer commentator writer DJ Pat Nevin. I caught up with Pat from his home in theScottish Borders near Berwick Upon Tweed it been a full-on week for him but he was still in great form, we spoke about his son’s autism and how much the family struggled in the early years due to the lack of information available. Simon even pops in for a brief chat during the podcast Pat spoke about his early years growing up in Glasgow and how the city has changed hugely. We covered his football career from Clyde to Chelsea and his Scotland days all in Pat’s typical laconic style.

Pat has written two books so far both bestsellers we chatted about them when the next one would be out and the possibility of a Pat Nevin novel. So here we go kicking off the second series of the Scots podcast with Pat Nevin.

ScotsCare, the charity helping to break the cycle of poverty some Scots find in London [Music]

Hi Pat thanks for doing this.

Absolute pleasure Marcus, um you caught me after doing one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a long time.

So you did you say to me you were was it this week you were in Spain or was it last week you were in Spain.

Yeah so I had I was gery then Spain then uh I did three different games in Scotland that time I was also

making a pick of the week for Radio 4 as I was doing it um so there’s a million jobs all going on at one time was

juggling up them all at the same time Al so I thought Spain was a holiday when you said to me you were off to Spain so

you were working yeah well if you can call Real Madrid versus Bayern Munich

working yeah I was working do you know what we my wife and I we we went to Barcelona in January and

it was lovely and we were sitting on the beach front and I was thinking this is the worst the weather gets here we and

people were rollerblading up and down the beach front and playing volleyball and then you know and the weather had

been so miserable and it’s the cultural difference it’s just a million miles

from Scotland or even where I live outside London now it was wonderful H you’re you’re absolutely right f it

happens sometimes um we’ve had a terrible winter someone said to me a local farmer said we’re not having

spring this year we’re just going from Winter straight to Summer I’m thinking yeah I get that where as you know I was

in Barcelona three weeks ago and it just feels so relaxed and you think why do we

not do that you know why don’t we not sit outside and half cups of coffee or tea and glass of wine I tell you what

because you get hyperia most of the as simple as that but said that London’s is actually

that much better than you know Scotland for that sort of weather you can do it far more frequently in London you can do

in in Scotland yeah where I am we I I was when I moved down to London I was I

was at ITN as a journalist and then as I’ve had kids we’ve kind of got further out and further out so I mean I’m in sorry now but you know sometimes it’s

too hot and we’ we’ve got quite we got a three-story house and then you know concrete tiles in the roof and the the

bedroom is just too hot in the summer so it’s it’s it’s a nice problem to have isn’t it but we seem to have done that

as well here it’s it’s hot today it’s 18 or 19 degrees but we seen last week I had the heating on and this week I’m

complaining about the heat so it’s I need I never complain about heat never

ever complain about heat can be anything as soon as it gets to the 70s and 80s in

old money I’m out running and I love the the even 90 I love running in that so uh

that’s I never complain about he have you ever played in the Middle East have yeah um the kind of weirdest places I

played um certainly Thailand Hong Kong places like that are I find really

incredibly difficult because it’s a different type of heat obviously you’ve got the you know wet heat as as it were

um but I remember I played one game in I was at Chelsea and we had some time off

it was a freeze a deep freeze in England so we couldn’t get any games played so we went to the Middle East to play uh

again and that game was um it was extraordinary and the most extraordinary thing about it and I’ll tell you the

edited version was um we went out to start the game and um we couldn’t start

even though there was 30,000 fans in and the referee was there and the opposition team with there we couldn’t startop and

it was like a bit weird and we didn’t know what was going on you know it’s foreign country Middle East Etc anyway

after about 45 minutes when you know most of the fans did to praying and things like that at various points um

eventually we allowed to start because the guest of honor had arrived we didn’t know that was the problem the guest of

honor the problem was had that guest of honor been Nelson Mandela I’d have been really impressed by that that been okay

but it wasn’t we were against Iraq in Baghdad and some BL called Saddam

Hussein no yeah oh really so playing in

that heat we had 45 minutes to wait with all the fans in we met Sadam afterwards

we just to get handshakes all and all the rest of it um but it was a weirdest thing because we couldn’t warm up

because as you are alluding to it’s damn hot yeah it is it’s crazy hot I I worked

out in katar and I worked out in and apart from the heat you just got to get used to the cultural differences as

well where things move slower you know we’re all kind of rushing about like ants here but you know you just got to

when we were there we’d ask somebody to do something and it would take 45 minutes to an hour to get anything done

and then after you’re there for a wee bit of time you kind of realize why because you can’t run about like a nut case there you just you drop into a

puddle you know yeah I have to say I was out in qar for the World Cup um and I

went running every day and it it really is incredible you people just look at you there why are

you running why are you not inside in an air conditioned gym running and I was

running along the kind of roads and things like that and there nobody else whatever most places you go in the world

if you go for a run or a jog there’s some other people doing it right no no no but you know what p in all

seriousness it’s a big problem for them that’s when I was out there we were working for a company and we were it was

part of a kind of corporate social responsibility thing because 25% of

kataris have got diabetes diabetes 2 because you know the diet’s not great

and the Heat’s so bad and they just don’t move and so they’re trying to put all this infrastructure along probably

where you were running along the front there to try and get people to exercise a bit more it’s it’s a big problem for

them yeah and I can see that I can understand that but I suppose wherever you go there are problems you know

certainly back in the UK B problems in America as well you know just getting

the right types of food because the right types of food is sometimes really expensive you know it’s cheap B Goods

you know so you’ve got all sorts of problems everywhere so it’s it’s about a trying to educate yourself and B you

know whatever regime stroke government you’re working under to try and do the best to help the education of people so

that’s a big big part of all socities yeah you’re quite right let’s go back to the beginning you and I were both

glaswegians you were you were born in East End and your father was a crane driver your mom was a homaker mean

Glasgow I I don’t go back to Glasgow much these days CU I I went back when my parents were alive and then my dad died

during covid and I could of lost any reason now to go home as it would be so

but the last time I was home it was massively changed you know it was massively Multicultural and Cosmopolitan

but it wasn’t like that when you were growing up in the late 60s and 70s was it um well in my high school there was

only one one primary scho was one boy of color um and he turned out to be my best

friend he was a great goalkeeper um and you kind of weird when you look at it

now you go to Glasgow I was I’ve been in glasg quite a lot in the last three or four weeks oddly enough and it it does

hit you it absolutely hits you the culture is much much wider now and it is variety of Nations I mean lots of Polish

people Eastern Europe lots of ukrainians currently at the moment as well so there’s a wide diversity of people it’s

Scotland is very welcoming you know I think people generally me not everything you can’t be that General but it is very

welcome with people coming in and certainly that’s a positive I see in our nation because you know Scots have

traveled all around the world you like to be welcomed where we go you know and

I think that’s one of the things that Scots have always understood and but it is culturally changing it’s massively

different from it was you just have to walk along you know even the West Ends you know up there I was went for

something to eat the other day there and it’s very noticeably different but generally and I mean I say that

generally it’s incredibly welcoming Mar the other thing we need to remember is for people who don’t know Glasgow that

well are we have a different kind of Outlook of when the the Indian and

Pakistani and balori diaspora came in originally we as a city felt madly in

love with the food yes yeah and every people talk about Scottish food what is

the best Scottish food and from the outside we’ll think it’s either haggus or you know you boiled MBS fried M it’s

not it’s chicken tal it’s G of MadAss it’s all that the Scots eat that just as

much as just about anything else so we’ve always been encouraging of different you know cultures coming in oh

definitely I think I think glass wegian Curry is just is one of the best curries I’ve ever tasted you know and then then

then just talking about the Nan bread alone they’re just so different to any Nan breeds you would get anywhere else

and I the last time I went to Glasgow I was walking along the front and um and I was showing my kids uh finished in Crane

and it’s just when I was reading about your dad being a crane driver it made me think of this and I came home and I bought a an oil painting a little oil

painting about 20 cm by 20 cm over the finishing Crane and my oldest lad Noah thought it was Bonkers he’s going Dad

it’s a it’s an old crane I oh this is just this is an iconic landmark and I’ve

got it up in my my dining room now and I just I love it it’s it’s all dark and gray and it just typifies what Glasgow

was like growing up for me it’s really hard to explain to people the importance of that area as the heavy industry was

dying down in the Glide um I was about 15 16 17 I kind of get photography but I

was using black and white photography at the time we didn’t have camera phones folks um and that was one of the places

I took a lot of photographs down there by the C is you know old the Der buildings and the cranes and there was

more than that left not just the one finishing crane there but you knew the industry was dying or just about dead

but there was such Echoes there was such sadness and there also such memories of

what Glasgow had been they had to change so quickly and it’s such an effect because a lot of the immigrants who come

from Ireland or wherever to work there you know including my great grandparents

um but then losing those inds a lot of people left

you had to go south you had to go to London you had to go elsewhere abroad um so it’s kind of not just a big crane

it’s what it says to us in the background of yes yeah I like I like that you recognize that when we I was

born in Mary Hill and then we moved out to Clyde bank and the whole whole of Clyde Bank was about John Brown Shipyard

and you know every boy every every kid in my class the dad was in in the shipyard and then like you say when we

got a bit older that shut down and it killed it killed C bank for a for a long time everybody was unemployed it was

just it was it became an extremely poor town to live

[Music] in Scott care the charity helping to

break the cycle of poverty some Scots find in [Music]

London let talk about when you were grown up as a lad you were a Celtic supporter and like I said I was born in

Mary Hill so I was a partic thistle supporter I I remember Alan Ruff being in gold for for them because I always

felt and you’ll understand this to when somebody says who do you support he said partic this so it was always a we bit of

a safer option when you were a kid wasn’t it and the next question is usually no but who do you really

support you you know that’s true don’t you everyone always n no but who do you really support see as that a a cop out

or be you know just try not to get into trouble in case you’re talking to the wrong people and but it was kind of

weird thing in Glasgow I mean I ended up playing for Clyde which was obviously another smaller team in Glasgow as well

um and but the Celtic Rangers thing was absolutely gigantic it was huge it was a massive part of it I grew up following

Celtic as a kid all my family did as well you mean the the SL give away is um

many years later um i’ signed for Celtic as a kid s form Etc they let me go and I

was playing in a a boys club game for a gapc United one and I was C forward when I was 17 and I

was I was doing my degree and you know wasn’t interested in becoming a professional football but I scored four

goals in this C final and I was walking off and the Glasgow Rangers Scout came walking up towards me and these were in

the bad old days where there are certain people who weren’t certain people who weren’t signed for Glasgow Rangers at

the time of course yes and he walked up to me goes hello my name is and I went yep my name is Patrick Kevin Francis

Michael Nevan goodbye and anyone who doesn’t

understand that the concept is they didn’t say Catholics and we’re named like that with all those kind of very

Catholics in names he couldn’t sign me anyway so was was it Morris Johnson was

he the first Catholic that uh was signed for Rangers H allegedly yeah Al I do

it’s if you want to delve into the history a little bit more um John

Spencer quietly for that um been signed on but you know that’s that’s kind

of there’s question marks of that but the most obvious and clear signning but

I mean that’s gone now I thought have to say Morris and I we knew each other we were exactly the same age we played

against eache each other and in the same team under 11 um and we couldn’t be more

different types of people you you just totally opposite types of people you know what your interests were you know

he might have get out to the nightclubs well I was going down to the i in London you know slight slightly different places that we hung out when we were

playing in London um but I always admired that he had the guts The Bravery

the stupidity to actually go and do that to sign for Rangers now lots of Celtic

fans will not feel that way but it it didn’t it started to break down the my

the worst Tabo in Scotland and we talk about various difficulties we have but um religious divide in Scotland

certainly west of Scotland is a thing that disappoints me most about my entire country if I’m hands up honest of it I

can’t be B with I have no time for it um so when I was growing up it was all around but my family never partook in it

we just supported a football team we never had anything got to do with bigotry or inequality we just didn’t do

that um and it’s the one thing that if I could fast forward and make that better quicker I would do that man yeah for

anyone who doesn’t know we’re talking about Morris Johnson who played for you played for Rangers first and then signed

forel no played for Celtic and then yeah sorry played for Celtic then played for Rangers which you know at the time

was seismic wasn’t it yeah I actually went I was playing for Scotland once so

his career path I think was Patrick thisle on to Watford then back to Celtic then eventually goes to Rangers right so

I was um I was driving one day um and I was was in Scottish board and I was

driving down toward WS Chester where I was living I was driving a van that actually had some furniture in the back

to take down back to Chester as I was drive along the BBC had this news report

BBC in English BBC as it well UK BBC say Morris Johnson has just signed for glasow Rangers and I thought you idiots

because he’d been noted he was about to resign for Celtic that day and had P been pictured with a Celtic strip on the

day before and I thought the abuse the BBC going to get for getting that one wrong imagine getting cel

mixed up half an hour later a Scottish journalist came on and said Morris jnon

has se for Rangers I honestly nearly wrapped my van round the

tree what and years sometime later and we

were in the Scotland Squad together we’re going to hamon for a match nobody was sitting beside Mojo and uh I went

and sat beside him and just give him a b backup because he’s just same for Rangers and

honestly what he was getting put through by both SE of fans was extraordinary he

Public Enemy Number One in the country um and but not just this country another country too in Ireland Northern Ireland

as well that wasn’t getting down very well so it’s phenomenal phenomenal stories around Morris we ended up

playing together at Everton uh he came down and sign for Everton and uh the stories followed him but you can say

that about a lot of players that we play yeah and I suppose the one thing that if you could take anything that’s positive

about the the criticism that he got was thank God there was no social media back then because that’s that could have been

horrific it was B it was bad enough as it as with death threats and stuff like that that were coming from allegedly

coming from paramilitary organization so no laughing matter in many ways you know and both sides of the dividers are say

um social media you Morris known Morris just would have ignored it anyway care

such an exe character most times and we do such extreme things um and it’s it’s

kind of weird I remember once you know when we were at Everton and we were organizing the manager said we’re going

to go in a little pre-season to a different places you know we might go to

and anyway it was decided we go to Northern irand up you know in the Northeast northwest coast of Northern

irand and everyone chatted away and said yeah it’s a good good idea and then was moment silence and then I’ll not use the

expletives but you’ve got to be effing joking says Morris

Johnson death threats I’m not going there I’ll put yeah yeah I think I think

one of the other times where I’ve kind of felt emotionally challenged in football

was I think it was when Paul Gasco and was he playing for Rangers at the time in the Euro 96 tournament and then he

took the ball over Colin Henry’s head and scored for England and I kind of like that was phenomenally emotionally

confusing for me as a fan because you know he’s he’s scoring for England at the same time is it was it was my

Glasgow Rangers Hero it is one of the things that does happen sometimes we know as players we know we can do that

we we we can play one thing and against the other I mean I’d often play I

Remember playing against Tony cotti and I was playing for Scotland against England but we were roommates and played

together at ever how weird is that you know your roommates like just the

weirdest thing but we manage as as football folk when we play We compartmentalize very very well but I

think I think it is harder for fans particularly if you have such huge characters and you’re invested in one or

two or three who are your kind of iconic characters and it is a difficult thing but you know you have to manage you have

to make a decision when your heart when you’re a football fan sometimes tells you yeah when I had that even playing as

well I can remember once playing for Everton and the Chelsea fans I’ve been played the year a couple times at

Chelsea and you know I got sold to Everton that was a bigger Club back in those days Everton and I thought to

myself but what happens when I play against Chelsea the fans are so I love them so much they are so kind to me and

and I thought the worst thing could happen is if I get through one and one year a goal at the shed end yeah could I

do it could I actually do it they’d be so kind of hopefully someone who’s got a

bit of a heart a bit of a soul yes I got a oneon-one in that first down at

Stanford bridge at the shed end and being a soless get that I actually am I

rounded the goalkeeper David B and slid it into the net and it was the weirdest thing we have these things in football

don’t we where you’re completely conflicted yes but sometimes your heart

tells you and sometimes your head tells you what the right thing to do is yeah and and you know you’re you’re a

professional you’re paid to do a job and uh and I think what I read I think it’s quite well documented and and there’s

lots of articles that said about you when when Chelsea first came calling you turned them down because as you said

just earlier there you were doing a degree now when I read that I read that in two or three places and I thought

that what a decision to make Pat because were your parents involved at that is 17

or it just it seems to demand a massive amount of maturity to to not just sack

off the the university oh my that s stupid but my mom thought it was mature um actually

the book I I wrote book four years ago called The Accidental football which actually deals completely with that and

it became such a complex thing that you know the intro of the book is about that is about the fact that you know how you

can find this dichotomy that you can absolutely love playing football which I Ador and love doing but I don’t

necessarily want to be a professional footballer you know and I didn’t particularly in fact often say um I

tried really hard not to be a footballer and failed miserably at that which is a

kind of odd way to take it but the reason is I love playing I didn’t like

all the other sides of it no interest in Fame no interest in all that side of it

couldn’t care less never have um but I wanted to do the degree finish that knew

that anything could go wrong in a football career if you did that and I was having a good time in glass school I

was a student and then sure after that um Craig Brown the Clyde manager watched

me playing saw me playing and said come in play with us and I said I can’t I’m doing a degree and he went well we are

only parttime it won’t affect your degree we can give you 30 quid a week and I said where’s the

pen because I hadn’t realized you could kind of do to both of them at the same time but yeah I turned down Chelsea for

a year and because you know he wanted to finish his studies I was very very happy in GL school um didn’t have massive

interest in having that as a job as a professional career uh but after a year for very

complicated reasons I wanted to go and play in the world youth championships with Scotland I’ve been me as I tried

not to be a footballer you know weird things kept on happening like I get divisional Player of the Year at Cay

would’ win the league I went under went with the Scotland under 18s to the

Euros European youth championships and not only did we win them I get played of

the tournament I’m thinking this plan’s not working so it was a very very weird

thing but it made sense to me at the time because if you all my family had all

gone into higher education so that was the norm for me in my family six

siblings that’s what we do so football would be a weird left term for us um so from the

outside it looks strange and I hopefully I’ve saved and the various things written particularly in the last couple

of books I’ve WR it does make sense through a rather skewed Vision it has to

be said yeah I I think in The Accidental football like you say you talk about that a lot and I I want what I wondered

was how you straddled the two camps because you know you’re a you’re a fan

of Joy Division and the Smiths and you like art and you like photography and and then in the world of football it

seems quite different I worked for a big football organization for a while and it was

very uh slightly misogynistic lots of machismo and you know I I wondered if

you ever felt socially isolated when you were in the kind of football world or kind of missed the the cultural

enrichment of your other world but why miss it you can still live it it’s only your

work a few hours a day yeah you can do your work I mean I found them an interesting group as well um yeah

there’s bter there’s wups there’s people people that say misogynistic things or

say you know you read books you must be gay kind of thing you get all that

garbage back EV I was kind of maybe had a bit of confidence about my own

attitudes and thinking well you call me G you like I don’t happen to be but I don’t even find it a particularly

offensive thing to say so what okay that’s probably quite ahead of its time I I’ll grant you that but my attitude

was no I’m kind of comfortable who I am comfortable and more SC I’ve get more interest more and friends and I think

the important thing is you know you be yourself and if you’re not yourself and you try and fatting too much with

everyone else if people are going to ambil it they can SP their AR they can see that so the important thing it’s to

try and be yourself but I understand and very much underline this it’s not always easy it isn’t for a lot of people it’s

not always easy H to be very easy for me because I was comfortable with being an

outsider very comfortable uh kind of liked my interest and wasn’t going to be pushed came from a family that you know

had their own very strong ethical outlooks and Views and uh I mean I could

go into deep language about it but let’s forget that let’s just say the phrase my dad would say to me if you were thinking

of doing something just because other people would do it which is so if he jumped in the C would you to do that as

well and that’s it and you know that phrase yeah is a classic phrase of be

yourself you be learn what you have to learn be educated if you can possibly be educated

and that that’s what I had I didn’t have the silver spoon in the mouth when I was growing up in East End of Glasgow I had

better than that now the Golden Spoon of two fabulous parents now lovely family

and that gives you the strength and confidence to be yourself children and families are Scots Care’s top priorities

they were most of our help goes Scots care offers Financial grants

counseling rest bites holidays and days out to the likes of London Zoo and winter wonderland we see helping

families with tailored support as key to improving the lives of Scots in

[Music] London and and when when you lived in

London you didn’t live the you know the kind of the Charlie Nicholas Morris Johnson lifestyle but you’ve always even

though you’ve been you know you’re a DJ you’re a commentator you’re you’re a football player even even then when you

didn’t live your private life in public was that going of go was that the same just going back to who you are or was it

was it a concerted effort to say I’m going to separate this bit off my My Wife and Kids and keep that private

great question it’s actually both um it’s who I was I didn’t really fancy you know now and again You’ find yourself in

a situation I mean very rarely in a place where we have fancy nightclub

Paparazzi all that sort of stuff of boring I wasn’t interested I just

happened to I prefer be down at the the Opera House the Bley or go to see a gig

or you go to see a movie or go to see a talk by a film maker you know that’s

what I to you know so that’s you you follow your interests now doesn’t make

me completely unusual for a football to some degree yeah but how many people

have got those interests in the general population it’s probably quite not a small percent but it’s not the majority

so I think football people are kind of like a kind of normal cross-section Society you get all different interests

within it so yeah I would steer clear of things and you were dangerous now if you

worked in the media which you have you know you understand that there there’s an Unwritten deal somewhere there if you

go and play that media game and you’re advertising things and you’re tunneling up in the red card and you’re showing

who you are right in those days fine but you’re now part of us yeah if you

misstep you’re going to get it and particularly the red tops at a time I knew that I understand that I understood

that so I wouldn’t have taken that chance I thought no no perfect normal

life quiet life things that have interestes in and but it wasn’t always quite go mad g go to The Clash or

whatever you know it’s not all quiet but you understand there there is an an

invisible line there where if you go and live this celebrity lifestyle I mean you

can still work in the media and T I worked in television and radio and you know still do and write for newspapers

but that’s not celebrity life is it that’s doing a job yeah when you do that

job and then you try to sell yourself in other ways that certainly at that time

was seen as celebrity lifestyle okay you belong to us and you’ll pay the price if you step up

and in both of your books that that you you’ve written recently over the last few years you know I suppose they’re

Memoirs but they don’t really read like Memoirs in a way because I I in your second one I got quite stressed reading

it because you know you’re talking about your time at mother well and towards the end of your career and you’re kind of

mid to late 30s and it reads like a roller coaster in Parts it almost it reads like a novel

in part I was kind of immersed in you as a character and was that deliberate or was that just way it came out onto the

paper can I just say thank you to you for saying that that’s exactly what I

was aiming for precisely um I’ve read lots of Memoirs before some good some

bad some indifferent football ones are you know don’t really interest me greatly um oh I scored a goal at the

back post I don’t care and I don’t think many people do you know you get through it and what are you learning um I I

wanted it to be more character driven I’m not the only character in it the first B my dad’s probably probably the

main character although my dog Shandi is a big character in it

too people they fun stories about the dog but you know they one of the great things about if you a great reader which

I always have been is that you understand the importance of good characters so characterization is

important so if you’re playing a football and you look around there are damn good characters there right about

you know they are interesting Gaza who you mentioned big dunan Ferguson you know some of around you they are great

characters so okay take those characters you know you don’t have to adapt them that much you just see where they fit in

it’s it’s a lovely thing to build and the second one if you go talking purely stylistically I knew I knew that what

was happening in the whole story because the whole idea was I knew it was going

to happen it’s a three part thing it’s three books and there’s third one something come and it’s done in such a

way that they couldn’t be done as well book too long anyway but I always knew

that this one the middle one the second one would turn into what I hope would be almost a thriller at the end yes what

what’s going to happen you know you oh my God because I knew plenty of people didn’t know a played for mother well you

know being chief executive can’t remember what happened unless you happened to be a mother well fan and

people out with you know and this a little bit of time ago as well so it’s gone faded in people’s mind so I wanted

to bring that back in in the kind of there’s Jeopardy there there kind of whoa what’s going to happen so I’m sorry

if it made you feel bit UPS because it was meant to do that oh in a good way

because I felt you were you you know there’s other football and then then there is a glimpse into your private life you’re you’re very honest and you

honest about your your son Simon and his your his autism and you know and and the stress that put on the family and the

fact that these days we know so much more and you can get a diagn for when

did you get a diagnosis for Simon because you must have you must have been going through hell in the early years just wondering what the hell was going

on huge ous about it funny enough time has just arrived back um in the house

there as we were chatting just now um there was no knowledge I mean even the

wording wasn’t clear back in those days and it’s something that’s hard to explain that you’re basically drowning

in a sea of ignorance because you don’t know what to do you want to do the best for your child but you you have no idea

what’s wrong you have no idea why it’s happening you have no idea if you do anything wrong um you try and get help

information not help as in just information I don’t want anyone to you know say you’ll take this problem from

you not it’s not that it’s because you know that that’s what you’re going to have to live with the rest of your lives

um but you know information so to do the right things by Simon um so that was an

incredibly difficult time I’ve never spoken about it in my I’m nearly 6 now

I’m 6 um and we’d never spoken him it’s not because we were hiding it’s because it’s

up to Simon to talk about it when he’s ready and it’s only in the last couple years he said yeah okay talk about it

can I tell you we story about it because there are stories in the book of Simon and the reason why they’re there is a to

explain you know people who are in the public eye sometimes you give them dogs abuse yeah they’re human and they living

pains and difficulties too and they’re all the same right and it was to explain that to people and it wasn’t a get a

violins out was me kind of thing the other thing to very much underline is

what we could have done with was a we bit information help little tips here and there um also people saying you’re

not the only one you know and we felt completely I right so writing this was

to say right here’s here’s our bit how it went you don’t know what you’re going

to go through next but hey we got through it and we’ve come to some great

places at the end of it and some of the happiest moments in my life involve Simon and you know you have to stand

back a we bit sometimes and look at that and I tell one tiny lovely little story

which has not in any of the books yet um the second book arrived which is the one that Simon’s in football and how to

Survivor and I’d say to him mind if I about him he said yeah Simon’s now 33 by

the way still living at home so I the book arrived and it’s uh see it green

one behind me yeah it’s arrived and it’s a lovely feeling you’ve written a book

especially if you’ve written it yourself it’s not ghosted i’ write more and stuff so I’ve sat at the table um breakfast I

said well s the books I this you join me to read part of it to you right all

right except found a bit of it Simon and read through it read through it bored

not interesting wants to get downstairs and listen to the play with the computer right fair enough good job done get it I

had to do a game that night up in Glasgow so I got in the car and drove up my wife came back for what later

and well there how you doing you’re going for a run there Simon now this oh

just doing this is my friend Marcus hello hi nice to meet you you too

you do that Simon take care look Co hey that’s first time

ever so um he came I went out to do this game and

Simon I and I said show Simon a bit he wasn’t interest she said he’s not shot

up about it since really that’s Lovely isn’t it it great so Simon’s he’s doing well s Works uh he’s a driver um if R

special education or needs kids he’ll he will always be with us um but he’s got

he’s done so much more than we would ever have believed himself capable of um

so that’s what I kind of wanted to share as much as anything else that through the difficult and hard times you know

there there are positives in it yeah I think it comes across you know it comes across brilliantly in the book you know

the it’s light and shade and you know and this here’s my one final question to you Pat or maybe it’s more of a request

and it’s kind of come out of everything you you know you wrote about your family life and you wrote about the time at mother well would you please write a

novel because I I would love to read a pat Nevan football based you know it

doesn’t have to be a murder mystery but you know I think I because and I think you know if you hadn’t used The

Accidental footballer as a name that was that was just a brilliant title I know

funny enough uh it’s the one thing of all the stuff I put out the the cover

art is not mine the guy that was brilliant and the title The footballer

wasn’t M I wish it was I wish it was but it was that was um the guy who looked at

towards the editing because I kind of tend to write too much so I’d written 140,000 words for the first one um and I

kind of I could tell so and he said to me look you got to go into fiction you

got to do that just you know it’s it’s a style that I think people would like and that’s he’s a good editor you know and

he’s and he never editing people don’t understand it he never wrote a word or cut anything he just said look do you

think that’s a bit needs a bit tightened or you know that sort of stuff what do

you think about this is that a bit journalistic so to be talked about in that that level of intelligence and

belief in your abilities as a writer was a great thing um but I tell you a we story about that because we’re listening

here um I wrote the first book and I didn’t tell anyone writing I just wrote it and then gave it to this publisher

Mon and uh he said the lovely thing he well you can write this is just what you

want to hear right and and a few people looked at it before it came out it was

just about to come out the day it was coming out they took me out for a Rel lunch down in London down just place off

the mile and we’re sitting chatting away and he said look the people I’ve talked

about and I’m going to review it given it great reviews and it’s we think it’s going to be a Sunday things best um have

you thought of writing one all right yeah here is brilliant us be yeah there is I love

that the point being I love writing I absolutely love the creative process so

um when I get the third one out of the way which is um which I kind of need

leave a we well because there’s been two quick succession yeah third one in the

style the actual subject Matter’s totally different so it needs a little bit of a bread uh after that if I’ve

survived I’ll life life never mind football um I definitely would love to

do some novels that’ be brilliant Pat thank you so much for speaking to us today you’ve been a joy and uh I wish

you the best of luck and to you too Marcus and everyone listening the Soul tire donor Club is our monthly giving

Club could you spare a monthly donation of any amount to help homeless and

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