Liverpool Life 6:05 06122017

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LL s! a m t s i r Ch y r r e M





Liverpool Life




Liverpool Life

contents Vol 6 Issue 5. DECEMBER 6 DECEMBER 19 2017

News 3-10

People 23-31

Tolls anger

Faces behind the headlines

Christmas 11-17

Grad Watch 33

Holidays all wrapped up

We talk to LJMU graduate Adam Jones

The Guide 18-19

The Line Up 35-39

Festive fun in the city

American football, boxing, MMA and cricket

Music 21

Meet Marvin

LL Production: Ed Baldwin, Jade Culver, Jo Cunliffe, Matty Davies, James Farrington, Amy Harding, Jessica Hughes, Jasper Hunt, Steph Kettle, Jordan Reais, Suzy Sankey, Daisy Scott, Tom Swift, Anisah Arif, Becky Jones, Chloe George, Danny Moxon, Matthew Skelly, Sara O’Hagan, Shaniece Thompson, Shaun Driscoll, Shaun Keenan, Shelby Hamilton, Tim Spencer Tanfield, Tom Sutton.


Attack on tolls ‘scandal’ By DANNY MOXON Members of Parliament from across the region have criticised the response of Transport Minister Jesse Norman after a government debate on Mersey crossing tolls. Garston and Halewood MP Maria Eagle, Ellesmere Port & Neston representative Justin Madders and member for Walton Dan Carden are among those who have joined forces to call on the government to reconsider the tolls on two bridges over the Mersey in Halton. Transport Minister Jesse Norman admitted that there had been “some teething problems and snagging”, and promised “further consideration” over the allowing of Halton residents in higher council tax bands to cross the Mersey Gateway for free. He did however say that it would be a “practical impossibility” to extend free tolls to other Merseyside residents as it would cost too much. In a social media post, Ms Eagle said: “During the debate, Merseyside colleagues and I pressed the Transport Minister to review the current system and

scrap the tolls that are causing real financial hardship for many of my constituents. “However, I was extremely disappointed to see such an indifferent response from the Minister who had nothing to say at all about the concerns that we raised.” Following the completion of the Mersey Gateway Bridge in October, a £2 toll was introduced in both directions on the new bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge. In the run-up to the 2015 General Election, then-Chancellor George Osborne promised that residents in Warrington, Chester

and Cheshire West would not be charged, but after being elected, the only people who were given exemption were people who live in Halton. This offer was also not made to residents of large areas such as Knowsley and Liverpool, meaning that the vast majority of people on Merseyside would have to pay. A reported £1 million of fines have already been levied in the first month since the Mersey Gateway bridge opened. Currently, all four bridges and tunnels crossing the River Mersey are tolled roads, a situation which Runcorn MP Mike Amesbury has blasted as “scandalous”.

Pic © Wikimedia Commons

‘No excuse’ for social media identification of Venables By TOM SUTTON Public disgust over the recent actions of child killer Jon Venables is no excuse in law for identifying him. That’s the message from the spokesman for Denise Fergus, whose son James Bulger was murdered by Venables and Robert Thompson in 1993. A worldwide court order bans publication of the identities of James’s killers, with any breach potentially resulting in a two-year jail sentence. Chris Johnson, who is the spokesman for Denise Fergus, told Liverpool Life: “Some believe because of him breaking more laws and the faith he was given that he should lose his anonymity - but that isn’t for the media to decide.” Venables was recalled to prison last month for the second time after he was suspected of having

child abuse images on his computer. A spokesperson for the Attorney General Office confirmed that an investigation has begun into social media messages that may have led to their identification. These fresh allegations follow previous prosecutions over four year ago, when two men posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter that attempted to reveal the identity of Venables and Thompson. Both received suspended sentences. There appears to have been a proliferation of messages on multiple social media sites recently giving information that might identify Venables. Many believe that the identity of Jon Venables should be released due to his actions and previous convictions but he has been given lifelong anonymity.

Breach: Jon Venables

Editor’s Letter

TIM SPENCER TANFIELD Hello and welcome to the final edition of Liverpool Life for 2017! In this special festive issue we will be looking ahead to Christmas and New Year with the best tips on what to see and do in 2018 in Liverpool, as well as rounding up the latest news and sport from across Liverpool and Merseyside We’ve also brought you giftwrapping ideas, plus all the latest Chrimbo fashion trends. As a team we have had an amazing few months producing the magazine for you, our readers. Early in the New Year, our production team will be spread far and wide across the country as we start our work placement and that means the next publication will appear in the first week of February. From everyone here at Liverpool Life, thank you for reading our magazine and we wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Masterpiece moves in

Virgin and Child in Glory (1673) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo has gone back on display at the Walker Art Gallery after major renovation work, which took 150 years to complete, was carried out. Conservators at National Museums Liverpool used infrared reflectography to observe underdrawings on the artwork

Break for commuters as talks lead to bus strike cancellation By TIM SPENCER TANFIELD Thursday’s scheduled Arriva bus strike is now OFF after company officials reached an agreement with Union leaders. This follows after drivers were off on Monday due to lengthy disagreements over their pay, however union Unite has announced that Arriva have engaged them in 2meaningful talks”, leading to a cancellation of the strike. In a post made on the Arriva NW Industrial Action 2017 official Facebook page company representatives said: “At a meeting tonight at Transport House a decision was made as a goodwill gesture to the travelling public to cancel the action on Thursday 7th December. “The cancellation is as a result of a request of ours being granted by the Company to engage in meaningful talks in an attempt to settle our pay claim. “We have made our position absolutely clear that any future dates will continue should there not be a resolution.” Managing Director for Arriva north West, Phil Stone said: “We

On the road: Thursday’s bus strike has been averted are pleased to see the trade unions have announced they have called off Thursday’s proposed industrial action. “It is now the responsibility of us all to ensure we approach new negotiations in an open manner to get this dispute resolved.” Both parties had previously been

locked in a bitter dispute over pay wages. Lengthy disruptions to public and bus union members have been an ongoing issue in the city for some time. Unions have been urging Arriva officials to give drivers a pay rise that is in keeping with the rising costs in the industry.

Metro mayor in Brexit call By MATTHEW SKELLY Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has suggested that northern city regions should be given a ‘differential’ Brexit settlement if Theresa May goes ahead with plans for a “regulatory alignment” for Northern Ireland. Both Steve Rotheram and Andy Burham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, believe that northern city regions should be given more of a say in Brexit negotiations. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones have all called for their regions to retain aspects of single market and customs union membership. Steve Rotheram told Business Insider: “I am worried we will get the same old story with a London-centric approach to Brexit where the government protects the City of London above other industries and that’s our fear. If you think about Liverpool City Region and Manchester City Region and our functional economic geography, we have a bigger population GDP-GVA than Scotland.”

Winter markets bring back festive goodies By ANISAH ARIF

Liverpool Cathedral hosted one of the city’s biggest arts and crafts markets when the Winter Markets returned for another successful year. The event, which was organised by Open Culture, provided a festive shopping experience like no other as the cathedral was transformed into a bustling bazaar of artists, designers, and shoppers. With more than 200 crafts and stalls the market featured everything from painting, clothing, homeware, festive decorations and photography to woodwork, glassware and handcrafted beauty products. In addition, curated artists were selling original handmade work. The Winter Arts Market also featured a vintage fair where some of the district’s best vintage sellers were selling retro clothing and jewellery. It included a food fair that was bursting with goodies from the best artisan food producers in the region. This year, the Cathedral collaborated with Merseyrail Sound Station to provide live music throughout the day. Some of the artists included Molly Hughes, Kingfast and Katie Mac.

The event, which has taken place annually since 2009, aims to provide local artists and crafters with a platform to sell their work directly to the public and to offer the public an opportunity to buy truly original work whilst supporting independent businesses in the local creative economy. Becky Currie, Illustration Artist and a stallholder said: “This is definitely busier this year. It’s nice for people to be able to have their own stores so people can see in person what kind of things people make.” Liverpool John Moores University Fine Arts graduate and stallholder Nathan Pendlebury,


said: “It’s a way of getting your work out there to different people. I tend to send prints of my work just to try them and make them a bit more accessible to a different market. “I did stop painting whilst in full time employment but when the kids came along, the colour came along in the work. I like the work to be playful, cheerful and lodge itself somewhere in between figurative and the abstract.“ The 44 year old has his own studio in Waterloo, just outside the city centre. The 2018 Summer Arts Market will take place at the Liverpool Cathedral on SaturdayJune 2.

No love for little tree By SHELBY HAMILTON

A community Christmas tree has been criticised for being too small. The Litherland tree, located on the corner of Hawthorne Road and Church Road, has been called “small” and “pathetic” by the locals. Every year a tree has been in that spot next to a Christian manger scene, but over the last few years, the trees have been getting smaller. Garry Burns, 34, from Litherland, told Liverpool Life: “There’s a bigger tree in my mum’s bungalow than that thing. Smaller and smaller all the time.” The petite symbol of Christmas is a real pine tree, pictured above. It was planted in the ground so that it can continue to grow and be used yearly and will prevent trees being cut down. The locals have compared it to

other trees such as the one outside Bootle Strand shopping centre, a tree that is more than double the size of Litherland’s and more colourfully decorated. Billy Lee, 26, from Bootle, said: “That tiny thing is a branch, mate. Pathetic show. Ours is massive in comparison.” It doesn’t help that the small pine tree is almost completely

hidden by the, massive in comparison, power box that stands in front of it. However, some locals have taken a liking to the fun-size sapling. June Ramsey, 62, from Litherland, defended the tree, telling LL: “It’s small but we should be thankful that we get a tree. Some places don’t. It’s still magical and I like it.”

Dad pushes limits of fundraising By GEM JONES A Rainford Dad will be doing the equivalent of seven marathons in seven days – while pushing a shopping trolley! Paul Wood, 43, is carrying out the fundraising event to help raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. Paul’s son, Liam, has been a patient at the hospital since he was just six months old. Now eight, he is being treated for Septo Optic Dysplasia – a condition of which there are only two known cases within the borough of St Helens. Liam is deaf in one ear, visually impaired and autistic because of the condition. Paul said: “It’s not life threatening, as in he has medication every day, but if he didn’t have that medication then it could be life threatening. When he does become ill he has what is a seizure, in a sense.” In the past, Paul has carried out fundraising events for other charities such as Age Concern, including competing in the London Marathon, the Transpennine Trail and a 150-hour bike challenge in St Helens Tesco. His seven-day marathon will take place in March. He will begin at St Helens and travel through Southport, Blackpool, Morecambe, Preston, Wigan and Warrington before visiting Alder Hey Hospital and returning to the Saints grounds in St Helens. Paul said: “It’s just nice to be able to give something back.” Tesco has offered to let him use one of its trolleys and have it replaced by their stores along the way if it is damaged. Paul’s shopping trolley will show a selection of sponsors and advertisements, helping him to raise more funds. His trolley will contain all of the things he will need along the way, including a tent, however, he is also hoping hotels may help him out so that he can charge his phone regularly. Paul is doing the marathon alone but has said that he is happy for anyone to go along with him if they wish to. Paul can be contacted if you would like to help in any way.


Table tennis paralympian inspires next generation

Bombed out church gets Festive

By GEM JONES Liverpool-born Paralympian Jack Hunter Spivey is using his experiences to inspire other young people. The Paralympic table tennis player is ranked 8th in the world and 2nd for under-23s. Ten times British Champion, Jack hasn’t lost a match in Britain for the past five years and returned to his home city to visit local schools and share his story. At 18 months old Jack was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. It affects his legs and he uses a wheelchair for ease when getting around. Jack told Liverpool Life: “We had a tough upbringing. We moved a lot around Liverpool. We didn’t have much money as kids but at the age of 10 I went to a youth club. It was like an afterschool club for kids that didn’t have much money so we got our evening meal and we got to meet some other kids in a similar situation. “I found table tennis there and started playing. Originally, I was walking a little bit but I was really frustrated about being disabled. I wanted to be like the other kids and I just didn’t understand why I wasn’t like the other kids. But I just loved

St Luke’s: Festive markets Message: Jack Hunter celebrating with his medals playing table tennis.” Jack told his mum that he wanted to compete, one day, in the Paralympics. So, at £2.50 per session, his mum sometimes had to give up bread and milk so that the family could afford Jack’s table tennis lessons. Jack has now played table tennis for the past 12 years and has been playing professionally for the last four years. He finally made his Paralympic dream come true when he competed in Rio in 2016. As well as giving talks to schools, Jack also talks to adults about an issue close to his heart – mental health. He has suffered from depression and even suicidal thoughts throughout his life.

Jack has used his mental health experiences in order to try to help others. He chooses to give talks to people from all different walks of life, explaining his disability and his mental health. He told Liverpool Life: “I have given speeches where I’ve talked about mental health and my battle with mental health and I’ve gone home and had messages off people saying ‘Because of you I’d never give up.’ I understand that, but it’s ok not to be ok. “I don’t necessarily call myself inspirational because that’d be a bit weird but people get a lot from my story, I think. And that’s the best bit for me – if I can just help one person in the world then I have done my job.”

By BECKY JONES This Christmas, Liverpool Creatives Market is setting up home in the recently restored St Luke’s church, better-known as the bombed-out church. The markets will begin on Saturday, December 9th and will run throughout the day from 11am-6pm. The event will include all the classic festive stalls one would expect to see, as well as fashion, jewellery and food stalls. Attendees can also expect local crafts stores alongside glasses of mulled wine. Locals have been spoilt for choice with Christmas markets this year with the Pier Head and St George’s Hall both playing host to festive treats. The Guide: Pages 18-19

Historic building stars in supermarket advert By ABBY NICHOLSON Hoylake Parade community centre, Wirral, has been featured in Tesco’s Christmas adverts. The building on Hoylake Road was picked up by a local location manager who put it forward for the adverts. The centre will be featured in two out of the five Christmas adverts that will be aired by the supermarket. Gill Norris, 43, the community centre’s development manager said: “It was a really exciting time for us. We were a council-run building until seven years ago and then we became a registered charity. “Every penny that we raise goes back into the building, so for it to be recognised as good enough to be featured on two adverts is a

Community: Locals at the centre huge recognition for all the work that the local community have done.” The Tesco team turned up at the end of October to begin shooting their adverts. They took over the centre with several equipment trucks, catering vans and lighting rigs for two days before leaving. Mrs Norris said: “Everybody

has been really excited! They have been asking when it’s going to be on telly “The location team said that the building would be great for future filming that they’re doing next year.” It was built as a school in 1909 and is now a thriving place for the community hosting 84 classes a week, while also being the hub for the local police station. One of Tesco’s other adverts had received a negative backlash after featuring a Muslim family celebrating Christmas. Some customers were unhappy about the inclusion of a Muslim family in an advert celebrating a Christian holiday, while others attacked the supermarket chain for selling halal meat. Tesco responded to criticism by saying: “Everyone is welcome at Tesco this Christmas and we’re

proud to celebrate the many ways our customers come together over the festive season. “We want our customers to know that however they choose to do Christmas, and no matter what they need, we can help – Everyone’s Welcome at Tesco.” Mrs Norris said: “I think it’s quite disappointing that so many people have reacted like that. There’s lots of people who don’t believe in what the meaning of Christmas is, but they still celebrate it.” For each fresh turkey sold in Tesco between November 6 and December 25 one pound is being donated in equal proportions to FareShare and The Trussell Trust to help people in need this Christmas. The two charities are dedicated to fighting and stopping UK hunger.

LL07 Brexit blow for culture


Croxteth Gems lighting up the family holidays By ROSS HILTON-INKPIN

Croxteth Gems Community Association is running a project to help under-privileged families enjoy Christmas this year. The Twelve Days of Christmas campaign aims to provide people in need with essential Christmas items, such as trees, lights decorations and advent calendars, through public donations. The charity is aiming to help 100 families this year, after helping around 60 families in 2016 The group is also setting up a Christmas Grotto for up to 200 children to meet Santa and receive a gift for Christmas. Local MP Stephen Twigg is supporting the project by encouraging everyone to give what they can to the cause. He said: “Christmas can be a stressful time for families and so I am pleased to support Croxteth Gems in their Twelve Days of Christmas project. ““I have been in touch with the local community and friends across the Trade Union movement to give these families a great Christmas, and I have been delighted by the positive response.”

Support: MP Stephen Twigg is backing the campaign so that Christmas decorations such as lights and trees will go to families that cannot afford them


Brexit threatens the UK’s chances of an economy boost, say academics studying Liverpool’s Capital of Culture Year. Liverpool’s year as European capital of culture in 2008, increased visitor numbers and provided a multimillion-pound boost to its economy, academics have found. The findings come after the European Commission cancelled the UK’s turn to host the European Capital of Culture after Brexit. Five places have already bid to hold the title in 2023 including Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Belfast. Media coverage of Liverpool’s cultural attractions doubled and for the first time in decades, positive stories outweighed negative ones focusing on social issues. It found 85% of Liverpool residents agreed that it was a better place to live than before. Liverpool was the last British city to be a European Capital of Culture, in 2008. Cities from non-EU countries have held the title before - but if a country is not in the EU, it must be a candidate to join or must be in the European FTA or European Economic Area.

Homeless FC’s gift of giving By SAM O’HARA

Liverpool Homeless Football Club have released their annual Christmas toy appeal with the hope of bringing some festive joy to less fortunate children in the area. It’s that time of the year when the Liverpool charity asks people to consider others and to purchase an extra toy to go to children in homeless hostels and domestic abuse centres. They are looking for people to donate an unwrapped gift of no more than £10 which is suitable for a boy or a girl aged between 0-16 years old before December 18th. The chairman of the charity,

John Finnigan, told Liverpool Life: “This is the sixth year we have run the appeal, we continue to have the appeal as there are more people in poverty than ever before. Giving someone a gift at Christmas shows people in need that someone cares.” The charity was set up in 2007 and aims to tackle homelessness across Liverpool through the power of football. As well as having men and women’s 11-aside teams, the charity provides a network of homeless organisations that operate across the region. Mr Finnigan said: “LHFC use football as the catalyst to help our players get their lives back

on track. As well as improving fitness, they help players into training, employment, healthy living and long term accommodation.” Back in 2007 they established a league which is now made up of 18 homelessness organisations and the club also hosts an annual five-a-side league that was founded for those affected by homelessness. Gifts can be donated at a number of dropp off points in the area, including Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services on Dale Street, Anfield Sports Centre and Liverpool County FA in Walton Hall Park.

Appeal: Gifts are wanted to help impoverished children

08 LL FOCUS There is an increasing number of people sleeping rough

Providing hope for the homeless this Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, not one gift in sight, for the homeless were sleeping, under the stars, on a cold winter’s night By DANIELLE THOMAS


hristmas is a time for giving, and what better gift to give someone than a sheltered place to rest their head? All year we wait for the special moment of exchanging presents between loved ones, feeling a sense of pride when you see the happiness spread across their face. Nevertheless, there are some people facing the festive day stuck on the streets, embracing the winter chill with not a single present or Merry Christmas to keep them warm. Liverpool’s Whitechapel Centre has come to the aid of the homeless and set to work as Santa’s little helpers to stop those struggling individuals and families facing the merry season alone. The centre has joined forces with LJMU for a Christmas partnership. Bins have been placed in a variety of university receptions across the city including Byrom Street and Redmonds Building. Where students and staff can donate their presents to the Whitechapel/LJMU Christmas campaign as a sign of support for Liverpool’s homeless people. Speaking of the long lasting partnership, whereby the Whitechapel centre has been receiving the support of LJMU for four years, Ruth McCaughley,

Whitechapel’s Fundraising Manager said: “It has been really good. The fact the university has now placed donation boxes in various venues where people can donate gifts makes us hopeful that lots of stuff will be coming our way and will make someone’s Christmas. “We have already collected over 100 advent calendars from LJMU staff, so those are already out with some of the families and children we support.” The gift boxes can have anything in them, ranging from shampoo to socks, to hairbrushes and canned foods. Seeing as it’s Christmas time, people can also throw in a couple of toys for the children to play with. The centre takes care of the rest; the box doesn’t even have to be wrapped. The Whitechapel Centre is one of the city’s biggest corporate charities, which sets out to provide services designed to help people find a roof to keep over their heads. As the temperature begins to drop and the bitter winter months draw closer, there is no time more vital for the charity to ask all individuals to help them provide comfort and shelter for homeless people this festive season. Miss McCaughley told Liverpool Life about the work that the

centre does to help the homeless: “The Whitechapel centre is open every day. People can come in, have a shower, get a clean pair of socks and have some breakfast. “Obviously everyone has access to support workers and advice about housing but particularly during the winter months, we open the cold weather shelter as well so people can come indoors overnight to escape the Christmas chill.”


here is an increasing number of people sleeping rough in Liverpool. It has reached the point where the homelessness problem is much bigger than anyone could ever imagine. A large number of individuals and families are taking refugee in temporary accommodation, such as hostels, just to give themselves a decent night’s sleep. Without being able to afford a home, the simplicity of presents that many others take for granted is not an option for them. It is reasons like this that make the donation from the public all the more important for the charity. Ruth said: “It is vital, really, all the donations that people give to us go directly to our clients and we absolutely rely on those

donations, for example the clothing that is given to us goes straight out to our clients. To see people showering and putting on their fresh clothes, immediately making them feel better just shows the big difference it makes to people.” Remember, Christmas is not all about the expense and the competition to receive the most extravagant gift. The true meaning behind the day is joy. For the homeless people this Christmas, according to Ruth McCaughley: “Christmas is a really difficult time. Nobody wants to be spending their Christmas day in a homeless centre but the fact that we can give these individuals, gifts and lovely new things- not just second hand things, makes their day a little easier.”

A Whitechaple colection box. Picture © Danielle Thomas


Jan Hughes and Jen Chapman





Donations for homeless dogs

Caring for the paw

even years ago when letting her five dogs into the back garden late on a freezing night, Jan Hughes began to wonder what it must be like for the homeless dogs and people, having to sleep outside through the winter. With that thought the next day she began work on trying to help and started organising what would later become Care for the Paw. Care for the Paw is a charity that helps homeless dogs and their companions throughout Liverpool. The team, which includes Jan and vet Jen Chapman, visit all homeless dogs in the city handing

out food and blankets. The charity also provides a microchipping service for the dogs and ensures that they get all injections and receive any treatment needed. Care for the Paw can also offer a temporary foster care for dogs when their owners are in hospital or unable to take care of them. Jan started the charity by herself by giving away what she could to the homeless a few times a week. After learning more about the problem in Liverpool she decided to form Care for the Paw and once she met vet Jen, who was also helping and treating homeless dogs in hostels, they were able to get organised and help get the

charity up and running. Jan told Liverpool Life how Care for the Paw became the charity it is today. She said: “When you get talking to the people you hear some terrible, really sad stories, and I decided then that Care for the Paw could do something better and more organised and that how we started. “We did start just by just giving out food and blankets and micro chipping, obviously homeless people don’t have an address, so we had a meeting with pet log and a dog law expert and we decided we could microchip the dogs in the owner’s name but use the

charity address and charity phone number. “It’s worked out quite nicely like that because we actually had two dogs that were stolen from homeless guys and we were able to get them back because they were microchipped.” Care for the Paw comes to Liverpool twice a month and are based in The Basement on Parr Street. The charity runs entirely on donations and anything from dog food, dog beds and blankets as well as cash donation will be welcomed. Any donations can be taken to the Basement on the first and third Saturday of every month.


If you can’t stand the heat, then turn off the mat!

Gekko © Bambie Murphy, Liverpool Reptile Rescue


They keep your reptile warm in the winter months, but what are the dangers? Shelby Hamilton looks into the safety of heat mats

ets are part of the family. You just want to care for them and give them all that they need to thrive and live a happy life. However, sometimes, even things that pets need to survive can cause them harm if not used properly by their owner. Heat mats, used to warm the habitat of a reptile can be fatal to the scaled creatures when left in conditions that can cause them to overheat. This can also cause damage to your pet’s habitat, which is often expensive, and to your own home. Reptiles such as tortoises, snakes and lizards when in their natural environment absorb heat

Snake belly burn © Bambie Murphy, Liverpool Reptile Rescue

from their surroundings. When in the UK, where the weather is considerably colder than their environment in the wild, they need a source of regular warmth. Heat mats provide this warmth. Now that winter is upon us, owners may be tempted to crank up the heat. But they should seek the advice of an expert. One common way that heat mats are used is to put them underneath a reptile’s habitat so that a gentle heat can get through to the pet. This prevents heat from the mat directly touching the scales. However, this can be potentially dangerous to your pet and yourself. Bambie Murphy, Director at Liverpool Reptile Rescue, told Liverpool Life what an overheated mat can do. “Not only do they cause damage to people’s homes or enclosures, if inside it can burn the belly of the reptile that lies on top of it, resulting in seven out of ten cases in death.” The rescue centre has now launched a heat mat awareness

campaign because every day an animal and/or a home gets damaged because of a lack of awareness. But the safety issues of heating equipment are not the only problems that the organisation faces. This year alone. Liverpool Reptile Rescue has saved 87 animals, with more currently in the surrender process. Many people do not realise what they are taking on when buying a reptile. Before buying one, there are few things that you should take into consideration. Research which kind of reptile will best suit your personal life. Some require more cleaning, more equipment or more space. You need to then do research on the kind you have chosen. They all have different needs. Look at the food it eats, its habitat and the safety of equipment. Equipment should be purchased from a reputable pet shop, preferably exotic species specific. If you arm yourself with knowledge then you can prevent harming your scaled friend.

Tips to help prevent mats overheating: Purchase a habistat to measure when the heat mat needs to cut off. This is a specialised thermostat Check your heat mat every 3-4 months to make sure it’s in full working order Do not place your mat where there is constant pressure on top of it

Liverpool Reptile Rescue has found that some of the main causes of heat mats malfunctioning are: Decorations with a stone base putting pressure on the mat and causing the rock to super heat. This will melt the mat and burn the base of the enclosure Water bowls causing the heat mat to misshape and reach an abnormally high level of heat Putting the mat at the base of the enclosure can cause it to melt if plastic, burn if wood and burn through whatever the mat is sitting on

Heat mat damage © Bambie Murphy, Liverpool Reptile Rescue

Words and pictures: Shaun Keenan

Over 7,500 red, blue and mini Santas took to the city centre as the annual Santa Dash took place. Wirral and Liverpool-based charity Claire House Children’s Charity was the ofďŹ cial good cause for the festive extravaganza, but thousands turned out in aid of their own charities too.

Starting here - your LL Guide to the festive season


Find Santa in one of his Scouse grottos this Christmas By OLIVIA FRIETT

Santa Land


Pic © @Funfairrides Twitter

anta Land returns in Calderstones Park for a fourth year but this time, with new fun fair rides! All children get a wristband for £9.89, which allows them to meet Santa and have unlimited usage on the rides. An adult’s entry is £2.20 – unless you want to ride the rollercoaster as many times as you want, then it’s £6.60. With two rollercoasters, a Ferris wheel and Santa’s train (plus many more), who wouldn’t want to spend the day at Santa Land? *Santa Land have an autismfriendly day on Wednesday, December 13th

Santa Paws


f course, you love your dog and want to treat them, so take them to the grotto for dogs. At the Baltic Market, dogs will be able to meet their hero Santa Paws and have a picture with him. There will even be stands around the grotto for a range of doggy food, if they have been especially good boys or girls.

Pic © @VetSeekers twitter


Bad Santa

Pic © @eggstoysliverpo

he most legendary Santa’s Grotto in Liverpool is making a return. After appeals from the Liverpool Echo and other Liverpool societies, Lewis’s Grotto has been saved for another year – after all, Christmas couldn’t possibly happen without this classic event. With the traditional elves and gorgeous velvet Santa suit, even the adults will find it difficult to disbelieve in Christmas. If you’re doing your Christmas shopping in St John’s Market, just follow the signs to the Grotto – you won’t regret it.

Pic © @LewissatStJohns Twitter

Lewis’s Christmas Grotto


amp and Furnace on Greenland Street are celebrating Christmas the best way Liverpool knows how – a huge Christmas party. Children and dogs are welcome during the day, but after 9pm, it’s strictly 18+. Camp and Furnace’s house band will perform live, with a variety of festive tunes, or for those who fancy getting up and doing a turn there’s Xmasoke - where one can join the band and sing along to their favourite Xmas song. There’s also a Snö Garden Silent Disco, food traders, a cocktail and gin bar.



ALL WRAPPED UP Alex Amadeo gives LL’s lowdown on the most creative ways to wrap presents this festive season...


Pic © Getty Images

ith Christmas fast approaching, many of you will be buying gifts for the festive season. So why not step outside the box this year and get creative with your present wrapping skills, with these seven gift-packaging ideas for festive, beautifully-wrapped presents? Wrapping, as a practice, has been around for ages. In the west, using paper as a covering for gifts has been a longstanding, if largely luxury-oriented, practice. Upper-class Victorians regularly used elaborately decorated paper—along with ribbons and lace—to conceal gifts. Putting a modern twist on tradition, here is a range of quick, quirky and stylish gift wrapping ideas that you can do at home:

Eco-Alternative Try a very trendy rustic look with your presents this year, by using eco-friendly recycled brown kraft paper. You must be thinking wrapping in brown paper is so boring and old fashioned, but you will be surprised to see all the ways you can create wonderful gift-wraps by adding a little bit of your imagination. Using thick string to tie your wrapping together, finish it off by adding a small branch or leaf to make your gift that little bit more interesting. Keeping it simple never looked so classy.

Colour Pop Make your presents pop this year by veering away from those traditional greens and reds and going as vibrant as you can! Do not be afraid to let your presents stand out under the tree. Oranges, yellows and blues are trending and the cheery colours are sure make an impression.

Pic © Getty Images

Elegant Festive Gift Bags A really simple but elegant gift-wrapping idea this year can save you a lot of time and still make you look like a festive angel. For the small gifts this year, why not use an envelope to hide away your presents? To complete the look, just pull through a piece of string and tie a bow at the top.

The Hipster Wrap Taking over Pinterest this Christmas, is using old maps to wrap presents in. It can look so artsy there is no need to add ribbons or glitter, which can save a lot of time. Another quirky idea is using old newspapers. These materials have a real vintage feel that is very fashionable this season, and it’s eco-friendly too!

Pic © Getty Images More festive wrapping ideas:

Pic © Getty Images

1. Photo Topper. To add a personal touch to your present, why not use a printed out picture to top off your gift-wrapping? Print or copy a special photo onto heavyweight paper, then wrap the package with a wide band of ribbon. Using double-sided tape, secure photo to ribbon. You can use the photos to identify the giver or the receiver, or attach one favorite photo to all your presents. 2. Crisp Packet Gift-Wrap. Help save the planet with a quirky idea that is not only environmentally friendly, but cute too. Giving a new life to your empty crisp packets by cutting it open and using the shiny inside to wrap your present. 3. Parent Friendly. A new trend this year is using children’s artwork as wrapping paper. It’s quick, it is cheap and it adds that personal touch.



‘Tis the season to sparkle SOSANDER – Sapphire Sequin Dress £89.00

Olivia Friett’s seasonal fashion picks to put the twinkle into your Christmas

If eye makeup is anything to go by, 2017 is the year for blue. Whether you’re in need of a classy but dressy outfit for your work night out or if you plan on going for cocktails with the girls, this dress is perfect. Finish the dress with black peep toe heels and a black clutch bag.

The golden sparkle is always a Christmas crowd pleaser. Heels or boots, bold eye and nude lip or bold lip and nude eye, straight hair or loose curls - the choice is yours. The beauty of this dress is that is can go with anything.

Primark – Rose Black Hoody £14.00 Primark is always great for affordable, fashionable clothes. £14 is a great price for any hoody, let alone an embroidered one. Embroidered clothing has been a fashion necessity this year and for this price, it won’t last long.

Topshop – Rose Gold Sequin Dress £59.00

Burton – Black Velvet Bomber Jacket £55.00

Pretty Little Things – Silver Sequin Plunge Jumpsuit £60.00 This jumpsuit is perfect for this season. It’s classy but with an open back and plunge cut to make it a great choice for any occasion. Finish this look with a fur coat to avoid the winter winds or, if you’re brave, a clutch and heels would look just as good.

With the temperature plummeting, jackets are a must. This soft velvet jacket is practical in the winter as it’s cosy and thick but will go with literally anything. Make the practical an essential.

OFFICE – Sequin Converse £20.00

Dorothy Perkins – Sequinned Boots £45.00

Converse always look good with skinny jeans, so these would never go out of fashion – think of them as an investment. Although You can get these in so many colours iand they’re on sale now. Go and check them out and then … checkout.

Even with a plain black outfit, you’ll be sure to dazzle with these boots. The two-tone sequins give off those ‘mermaid vibes’ that everyone has loved lately. A simple black playsuit would make sure these shoes get the attention they truly deserve.



Woolly Wonderland Christmas jumpers are a wardrobe must-have for the festive season. Becky Jones runs through LL’s guide to the top five unisex woolly warmers of 2017


For those that are partial to the East 17 classic ‘Stay Another Day’, this jumper from is perfect. Also available in black and red, this jumper comes in at £29 Pic © Not on the high street


3. Pic © Ebay

Louis Theroux is fast becoming a well-loved TV personality. Get your hands on this Theroux-themed jumper this Christmas, only £14.99 from eBay


This festive classic comes in at a pricey £30 from Next. However, it promises to show off all things Christmas

Pic © Next


“Have yourself a Jerry little Christmas” with this punny political jumper. Corbyn supporters should waste no time in ordering this number from Ebay or Amazon for £17 Pic © Ebay

Pic © Amazon Fashion

Stranger Things fans will love this spin-off jumper. Available from Amazon Fashion for £15.99



Gifts Galore for under £20

Children’s science kit availble at:

Cufflinks available at: Desktop arcade machine available at:

Dog elf suit available at: Yankee candle set available at:



HAPPY NEW YEAR! Alex Amadeo and Matt Skelly give Liverpool Life readers the low down on some of the city’s most exciting New Year’s Eve events Abba on NYE Dance your way into the New Year to the tunes of ABBA at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Featuring cast from the UK tour of hit musical ‘Mamma Mia’, classics such as Waterloo and Dancing Queen among many other hits from the Swedish band will be performed, as guests are encouraged to wear 70’s clothing to get into the spirit and enter 2018 with an ABBA-solute bang.

Playground Enter 2018 with a mix of the high life and a party vibe at Playground’s NYE event at the Hilton Hotel. Offering a mix of house and hip-hop, the high class venue offers a view of the waterfronts surrounding the hotel, where the nightclub is based. For £20, you deserve to enter the New Year tasting the sweet life.

Glitter party at Revolution Revs are going all out for New Year, with two floors open and set to be filled with people looking to go into 2018 partying as hard as possible. Celebrate the first hours of 2018 with chart tunes and glitter everywhere until 4am. With Juice FM’s Anton Powers, the powerhouse DJ of the North-West is sure to put on a good show.

Pump Up The Jam Constellations in Birkenhead are throwing a party for those nineties lovers with classic dance tunes promised throughout the night. If you are looking to get away from a busy Liverpool city centre this could be right up your street. If you do not feel like 2017 is your taste, take yourself back a couple of decades and party like its 1999.

Beauty & the Beast Fancy going to see a performance to kick off your New Year celebrations? Look no further than the Black-E. They’re transforming the iconic building near Chinatown into an enchanted castle for a ‘heart-warming and hilarious family show’. New Year’s Eve will mark the final show after being on at the Black-E throughout December. Not being far from popular drinking spots such as Concert Square and Seel Street- there is plenty of time to continue your celebrations when the play finishes at 9pm.



hroughout the year, Liverpool is bursting with tourists at its many attractions and events but at Christmas time it is bigger and better. With things such as the Liverpool Ice Festival and the Christmas markets there is more than enough to keep you entertained this Christmas. Set within Liverpool’s Pier Head, the Ice Festival has returned with amenities for all the family. It includes thrilling rides such as the UK’s only Ice Jet Ride, the Free Style and the Ice Blast Booster among many others. If the rides scare you off don’t worry, the Pier Head has been transformed into a frozen Winter Wonderland to attract the young and old alike. You can visit the real Ice Bar for just £7.50, which features carved crystal clear ice sculptures such as the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones and Elsa from Frozen. Also featured at the festival is the Ice Rink, which is even bigger than last year’s, ranging from £9.50- £11.50. If you are feeling brave, you could try the UK’s largest Ice Slide, which is 6m above the park and gives you a view of the whole Ice Festival.


heshire Reindeer Lodge, December 2017, Cheshire Oaks

You don’t have to travel to the North Pole to embrace Christmas. In fact, just next to Cheshire Oaks you can visit the Reindeer Lodge, take pictures and even feed all 22 reindeer. After that, you can enjoy the likes of sleigh rides, playing in the snow and visiting Santa.


he Snowman Tour, December 23rd, Liverpool Cathedral

Carrot Productions are bringing two performances of The Snowman to Liverpool Cathedral. The iconic film The Snowman will delight your family at Christmas. Hear some of the UK’s top musicians perform Howard Blake’s soundtrack with a screening of two captivating films with a live orchestra. There will be two showings on December 23rd.

Pic © Nevit Dilmen

The main Christmas markets are situated outside St George’s Hall, with others on Chavasse Park and back at the Ice Festival. There are numerous stalls to choose from, they range from hand-made Christmas decorations to mulled wine to the new but popular Yorkshire pudding wrap. Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a drink or two, so why not visit the many Christmas-themed bars Liverpool has to offer this festive season. If you fancy braving the cold, there is the Bavarian Village in Chavasse Park or if keeping warm is more your style then the Après Lounge at the Pier Head is for you. The most-loved Christmas bar under the tree, Bar Hutte has returned. The bar is free to enter but you can book an individual Hutte for two hours, which can fit up to 10 people. They are perfect for festive parties as they come with festive lights and the upgrade includes festive props and accessories. If you’re worried about the cold weather, the cosy hutte features a hamper of alpine blankets and covered hot water bottles. By SARA O’HAGAN



ictorian Christmas, to December 10th, Speke Hall

Speke Hall has brought back its iconic Victorian Christmas. The rooms will be decorated with handmade garments and a huge Christmas tree in Great Hall. Enjoy the many events on offer: festive storytelling, sugar mice making and solving Christmas trails inside and out of the building. This is the last weekend to go, so make sure you book your tickets ASAP for the perfect family Christmas outing.


ing along with Santa, December 16th and 17th, Philharmonic Hall

Santa himself is leading a festive sing along at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall this December for merry musical fun for the whole family. The musical treat is filled with seasonal favourites that everyone will know, Liverpool’s children philharmonic orchestra will also be performing to help the audience out. Prices range from £14 for adults and from £10 for children. Tickets are on sale now.


ock ‘n’ Roll panto - The Little Mermaid - to December 9th, Everyman Theatre

The Little Mermaid has been adapted into a stage show by writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton. Including a live band and a few surprises along the way, it is sure not to disappoint. The cast includes Francis Tucker and Adam Keast who always bring the audience to their feet. The final performance is on Saturday, so make sure you grab your tickets this week.


laddin, December 15th - 24th, Liverpool Echo Arena

Liverpool’s Echo Arena presents its Christmas pantomime production of Aladdin, staring Leanne Campbell, Michael Auger, Ruby Murry, Mark Jones and Dean Sullivan. The classic production follows the story of Aladdin and his mother Widow Twankey as he tries to win the heart of princess Jasmine. The show is suitable for all and tickets start from £12 from the Echo Arena website.


How to beat the cyber bullies Steph Kettle investigates how education can have the power to tackle online dangers


question that is sure to be in the minds of both parents and teachers, as we move towards a future where everything is digital, is: How do we alert young people to the dangers as well as the opportunities of the internet? There are many issues that come under the umbrella of internet dangers, from cyber bullying, fake news, selfies, body image selfies and even online shopping. Growing up in this modern age, children as young as four are exploring Gameboys, tablets and even phones. It isn’t their fault that they are born into a digital era - however, it’s the issues that come with this that need tackling. Children need to be educated on what is acceptable and what

isn’t on the internet therefore they know how to behave and when to speak up. A recent survey from Young Minds and The Children Society discovered that “of over 1000 people aged 11-25, 46% said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages via social media, email or text”. Many young people are undertaking the so-called ‘keyboard warrior’ role, which is the phrase used to describe someone who sits behind their keyboard and bullies another person in some way, without even realising lots of children are doing this and, even more importantly, parents or teachers, don’t know this is happening. Katherine Mullin a teacher from Phoenix Primary School in Kensington, feels strongly about the importance of the issues of cyberbullying and internet safety. She told LL: “The more people know what to do about it, the quicker bullying can be stopped. As a teacher in Liverpool, I want our children to have strategies to cope if something like this happens to them. “It’s amazing once children start talking together, how much they open up and then everyone gets a strong sense of solidarity at working together to stop bullies.” With 20 years of teaching experience, Katherine has seen the way it affects children, from anxiety and low self-esteem, to skipping school and depression. When it comes to education Katherine is eager to support, and has even written a book - “Twisted Tales of the Internet” - that is used across Liverpool schools. She said: “The Anti-Bullying Alliance and ‘Internet Matters’ are doing great work. The new campaign ‘Stop Speak Support’

is great, too. I think schools have definitely started to work on it, but there is so much more to do, because it’s a growing problem.” There has also been a focus on internet safety and bullying across schools and in drama groups. Liverpool drama group Altru have been covering such themes in their play with local actors. Kate Cotterell, a drama practitioner who leads Altru, said: “Each performance shows what bullying can look like and the impact it can have on people, as well as exploring the causes of bullying and giving practical ideas about how we can prevent and stop bullying.” It is important to share the impact of what cyberbullying can do to young people who are developing, including the way we deal with the rise of social media and what is acceptable to post online. Yes, the internet can be an incredible tool to help with many things such as education, entertainment and keeping in touch. However, when it is used the wrong way to hurt young people and quash their self esteem there needs to be a focus on education to help stop it.

Twisted Tales of the Internet by Kate Mullin © Kate Mullin

Write stuff: An extract from Kate’s book © Kate Mullin

Altru drama group antibullying performance at St Patrick’s, Toxteth © Altru

It’s amazing once children start talking together, how much they open up, everyone gets a strong sense of solidarity at working together to stop bullies



Marvin’s making music



or West Kirby native Marvin Powell music has always been a huge part of his life. From growing up listening to his Dad’s soul collection, teaching himself to play the guitar at the age of 16 and now looking ahead to the release of his debut album, the Merseyside musician looks to the future and discusses life in Liverpool. “I’ve always loved music. When I was younger I used to listen to a lot of Jimi Hendrix and other 60s artists as well as people such as Joni Mitchell. “At the age of 16 I picked up a guitar and started to teach myself how to play. From then I started writing songs and lyrics and started going along to open mic nights and that’s how it all started.” On the back of releasing two EPs this year, Marvin told Liverpool Life about the recording process for each: “For both EPs I was lucky enough to be able to record them at The Coral’s Parr Street Studios, which was obviously a great experience for me. “They rent their space out to other local musicians and artists as well which is brilliant as it gives people like me a platform to record from and gives us a chance to be able to release our music.”

When I’m “writing I like to explore human nature, that’s what really interests me

”Both releases have been received really well. They have slightly different sounds, as one is acoustic and the other has a backing band, but playing them live has been fun. “There are so many great venues in Liverpool, like Leaf on Bold Street which I’ve played loads of times, and then there are ones such as Lark Lane as well which has a lot of cool places too. “Then down the road in Manchester you’ve got places such as the Deaf Institute, which is probably the best place I’ve played in.” Despite learning the tricks of the trade at local venues Liverpool, it is across the water in West Kirby where Marvin feels most at home: “It’s so beautiful there, which is good because it gives me a lot of inspiration when I’m writing my music.

Acoustic: Marvin Powell performing This inspiration is often explored through the singer-songwriters lyrics: “For me when I’m writing I like to explore human nature, that’s what really interests me. “I mean, how can humans not fascinate anyone? But I understand that lyrics are a very personal thing and so are there to be interpreted differently. I just write down what comes in to my head, there’s nothing more to it than that.” For now, Marvin is looking ahead to the new year: “The new album will be released next year, although I don’t have an exact date. “Once it’s all finished and I’m happy with it then we’ll put it out, but until then I’m planning on releasing a couple of singles in the new year.”

@ JP Photography

I just write “down what comes in to my head, there is nothing more to it than that

Check out Marvin Powell Official



As seen on TV/ Hot Water Comedy Club Hot Water Comedy Club lies just off Concert Square among all the big nightclubs and bars, but you’d be forgiven for not spotting it. ‘As Seen On TV’ was the name of the free event and is a regular fixture in the Hot Water calendar. Every Tuesday and Wednesday the club invites people down free of charge to trial new material. The quaint venue has been gathering a large following through social media, regularly posting videos of their comics with some going viral. Resident comedian and host for the night, Paul Smith, got the crowd going before the acts came out. He interact-

ed with his audience and his quick wit and humour. As he picked on the people in front of him, the Scouser kicked the event off perfectly – even with a particularly funny face-off with a heckler. Other names at the event featured the hilarious local comedian Adam Rowe and headliner, Mick Ferry, along with a few announced on the night. Every single person showed off some brilliant material and everyone, myself included, was in stitches throughout the entire night. For a free event, you really will struggle to find anything better.

Matt Skelly



Mac Demarco / Guild Of Students


ac Demarco the ‘richest bum’ as he is sometimes referred to returned to Liverpool to give the guild of students a tour of his new album ‘This Old Dog’ and some older tracks, he definitley didn’t disappoint. The energy in the room was very much in anticipation as the guild waspacked with budding fans all waiting for Mac to serenade us with the songs of this new album. The lights dropped and he and the band took to the stage with his signature quirky shout of ‘cooool’. As soon as he played the first chord of ‘My Old Man’ the crowd flooded into song, this second track off the new album started the night off on a definite high and the rest that followed didn’t disappoint. As with some musicians and live bands the live performance you see can sometimes be a little poor or less than you expected, but Mac held up perfectly and the Live version was in my opinion better than the album with a lot more energy and room to boogie. The last half an hour was littered with covers of amazing hits from through the ages, from There She Goes, by The La’s to Don’t Fear The Reaper, by Blue Oyster Cult, and maybe the crowning jewel, a cover of Seven Nation Army by The White

Creamfields / Steel Yard


ollowing the overwhelming success of this year’s Creamfields, where a sell-out crowd of 70,000 flocked to Cheshire to attend one of the biggest festivals of the summer, the team behind the award-winning festival brought back the Steel Yard Liverpool waterfront event. The Steel Yard superstructure, which was designed and created exclusively for Creamfields in 2016 and is the largest of its kind in Europe, has captured the imagination of electronic music fans around the world. The 24 hour sell-out success of the Steel Yard series of shows - which have so far been staged in Liverpool and London is set to continue. The line-up included Sigma, Sigala, special guest Steve Angello and returning headliner Martin Garrix. Steve Angello provided some of his classic crowd-favourite Swedish House Mafia tracks, matched with cloud special effects and pyro techniques, and his new electronic single, Paradiso, to warm up the crowd for headliner Martin Garrix. After his epic closing of the Horizon stage at this year’s Creamfields festival in August, Garrix’s much-anticipated return to the Liverpool stage was welcomed with an excited crowd. Performing his chart hits Animals, Scared

To Be Lonely and In The Name of Love, and matched with his energetic stage presence, Garrix performed an epic show. Ultimately, the audience rather than the artists were Saturday’s stars against a backdrop of bad weather and windy seafront, they came together to create a day of all-for-one euphoria.

Hannah Wilkinson



Stripes where the entire room begun in a chant of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ Definitely would suggest catching him if he is in Liverpool again.

Tom Sutton

Rating: 

The Salon / St Helens Theatre Within seconds of the expressed thoughts many performance starting, the women in the audience have audience was in an uproar felt themselves but have of laughter. The salon is been too scared to admit. a sassy, hysterical and Out of the whole promodern production that is duction, there is only one guaranteed to put a smile small downside. The story on your face. line was confusing. For the The entire performance first half, it was difficult to was bursting with adult understand where the story humour, mostly referring to was headed and many of sexual jokes and connotathe jokes used were very tions. A topic such as this is location based, one to be approached with But without a doubt, this caution but this cast of indiis a show I recommend viduals nailed the comical everyone to go and see with approach. their friends. I wouldn’t risk The biggest laugh of the experiencing it with family night, happened during an members, as the inapproexplicit striptease scene, in priate jokes might leave for which Philip Oliver, playing some awkward silences on gangster Tony, sexily the car ride home. danced to ‘I just want you It fully felt as though you kiss’ by prince, in a pair of were laughing at yourself tight gold pants. on the stage, as the actors From the get go, aumanaged to capture the dience favourite Sarah essence of what it is like to a White, playing the role normal individual, who gets of sex addict Sheila, had drunk and makes mistakes. the audience in hysterics. Danielle Thomas The character itself was Rating: extremely relatable and


23 Nothing but net for Big win for city business guru basketball coach A local Basketball coach has won the Disability Coach of the Year award at the recent UK Coaching Awards. Anna Jackson, (right), is the manager of the Angels of the North & Wales’ U19 Basketball team. A former GB athlete having represented her country, in a tweet Anna said: “I only went and won!

As a favour can all my followers follow the amazing @MaggiesCentres. I can’t thank them enough for all the amazing work they do for people with cancer.”

Liverpool’s Paul Corcoran, (right), has won the award for Entrepreneur of the year in the the 2017 NatWest Great British awards. The Huyton born entrepreneur, who is director of Agent Marketing, beat off strong competition in his category, creative industries, to win the award. More than 1,300 businesses from across the region entered the competition, yet it was Paul who came out on top. Previously, his name has appeared in the 2017 BIMA top 100 most

influential people in 2006 and he was rewarded as the Guardian Sustainable Business Leader of the Year. The company Paul is currently managing is based in the Baltic Triangle. Over the last 12 months he has

managed to secure its biggest contracts to date and has expanded the company in to new areas, including transport. Speaking of his award, Mr Corcoran said: “The NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrate the very best of British business and I am honored just to have been nominated, let alone to have won. “It was an incredibly special evening. I’m so happy and proud to be bringing this award home to Liverpool.”

PEOPLE L Swim to success Liverpool’s Val Smith is helping raise awareness and money for the Whitechapel homeless charity through her love of swimming. She is using her talents in the water to fundraise for the charity. She is a fierce campaigner and just last January swam the ice mile and is currently training for her solo swim of the English Channel in 2018. Good Luck to you Val!

New role for ex-Red Ben’s talent is pitch perfect Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn, (above), has been named BBC Young Welsh Sportsperson of the year for 2017. The 18 year old has had a huge year since breaking into the Welsh national squad to make his debut for the dragons. He then became the country’s youngest ever goal-scorer with his longrange stunner to beat Austria 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

A regular figure in Liverpool’s under-23 and under-18 teams, he is one of the hottest young talents. His performances have earned him a nomination for the European Golden Boy award this year. This all follows on from successful end to 2016 for Chester born Woodburn. He became the youngest player ever to score for Liverpool against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup.

Ian Ayre, (above), has struck gold after just being named as the new chair of the ACC Liverpool group. The former Liverpool Chief Executive, who left Anfield last month, will be taking over the role of chair from David Mc-

Donnell who is stepping down after seven years. Speaking of his new position, Ayre said: “I am honoured to have been appointed chair of the ACC Liverpool Group board as I embark on the next phase of my professional career. “It was important for me, after leaving Liverpool Football Club, to remain involved with this city.” Ayre said: “I can think of no better organisation to allow me to continue to make a contribution to the region.”


If you are thinking about doing this, go for it. It will not change who you are and you will more than likely be surprised at the amount of support you will get

Before ...

... after Chloe donated 16 inches of hair to The Little Princess Trust

Close shave to help brothers with cancer SHANIECE THOMPSON speaks to Maghull makeup-up artist about her fund-raising bid The brothers have had an extensive rehabilitation process and are making progress but are hoping to raise funds for new prosthetic legs. They have already received nearly £15,000 in donations over the past seven months but are still aiming to reach their £140,000 target. Chloe, 20, told LL: “I always think that we should do our best to help other people, and shaving my head to raise money for charity has always been in the back of my mind. “Matthew is in our friend group and seeing what he had to go through really struck a chord with me. “Both Matthew and Thomas overcame cancer but they both had to lose their right legs, which, as you can imagine, was devastating.” She added: “Since Matthew and Thomas had to lose their hair, I decided to lose mine too. “I donated the 16 inches of my hair to The Little Princess Trust as well so that it can be used to make a wig for someone else who has

lost his or her hair too.” Ms French, a freelance make-up artist, posted live to Facebook when she had her head shaved and has received hundreds of messages and responses to her video. She has raised almost £600 for the Mutch Brothers and donations are steadily growing. “It fills my heart with so much joy to see the generosity of those around me. “A few donors actually managed

to make me tear up. At the end of the day, they are the real heroes here.” The former Deyes High Student added: “My hair will grow back. If you are thinking about doing thisgo for it. It will not change who you are and you will more than likely be surprised at the amount of support you will get.” You can add to Chloe’s donation fund using this link. https://www. hairshaveformutchbrothers The Mutch brothers © Chloe Wright Go Fund Me


young Merseyside woman has said goodbye to her hair in a bid to raise money to support two brothers who have both battled cancer. Chloe French, from Maghull, made the decision to shave her head to help her friend Matthew Mutch and his younger brother Thomas raise the funds they need for new prosthetic limbs. In 2010, when Thomas was just eight, he had to have his leg amputated after a four-month battle with Osteosarcoma. Earlier this year, the Mutch family were faced with the unimaginable when Matthew was also diagnosed with cancer the day after his 20th birthday and was told that he had to start chemotherapy as soon as possible. The brothers have now won their battle with cancer but their fight continues each day. They both have prosthetic legs. However, they are not waterproof, meaning there are still complications when it comes to activities such as swimming or showering.


LL 25

PhD Barber who is a CUT ABOVE the rest

Marcello Dotolo meets a hairdresser with a very unusual background ........................................................................................... The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Samuel believes he is a victim of a government conspiracy that has denied his credentials because of an ethnic prejudice still alive within the Nigerian government. “Because of the civil war, the IGBO people are neglected by the government,” he said. To serve in the Nigerian government’s nuclear sector Samuel has been told that he must travel back to Nigeria and endure five years of military service. In his eyes, that is a death wish. “People serve in the army and never come back. I do not wish to fight for a government as corrupt as Nigeria’s. The best life for me is here, cutting hair. “I trained as a barber by cutting my friends’ hair and found a love for it. I struggled at first cutting European hair because it is very fine and requires a lighter touch.” Samuel’s situation is very complicated. He is unable to apply for the British nuclear sector without obtaining a VISA, which he has told Liverpool Life he is very unlikely to get. For now, his only option is to continue cutting hair, making him easily the most qualified barber in Liverpool.

I do not wish to fight for a government as corrupt as Nigeria

A haircut by Samuel Cassani


he streets of Kensington are filled with sirens and the hustle of late evening traffic. Mini supermarkets and discount stores are closing for business for the night, but one building remains alit among the darkness. A humble barbershop is still open for business. The Beauty Suite is one of the many barbershops open late, but this Nigerian salon is very different from the others. Samuel Cassani may appear to be no different from others in his profession - however, this fresh trim connoisseur’s background is not in hair, it is in nuclear physics. Studying for half a decade at the University of Liverpool, Samuel obtained his degree with honours in 2016 and is officially titled Dr Samuel Cassani. But he told Liverpool Life that he struggled to find work. Samuel said: “I have spent my entire life dedicated to a career in nuclear physics. It is all that I dreamed of as a child. I wanted to help my country advance in the scientific world but my country has turned their back on me, so to speak.” He is part of the Igbo community, an ethnic group native to the present-day south-central and southeastern Nigeria.

© Marcello Dotolo


One man and his murals

You might all be familiar with the Liver Bird mural in the Baltic Triangle - now meet the man behind it and the magic transformation of Liverpool Shopping Park By ANISAH ARIF


iverpool-born Paul Curtis is the artist behind two of the city’s newest creations. Having already painted the Liver Bird mural in the Baltic Triangle, Paul has now created a similarly dramatic painting at Liverpool Shopping Park on Edge Lane, taking over 30 days and using 28 litres of paint to do it. The piece, which is titled ‘The Colourful City’, contains 31 of Liverpool’s landmarks depicting the history of Edge Lane - and the city’s and site’s connection with Meccano, the model construction toys made by Hornby - and Liverpool Shopping Park’s future as a major retail destination. The 100 square metre design can be viewed by shoppers as they enter the retail park. The 39-year-old started his artistic journey and rediscovered his passion for art when he was asked to paint his neice’s bedroom three years ago. His latest work at the retail park joins another installation - a Liver Bird, standing at 11 metres tall and made out of Meccano. “As a teenager I did art at school, as a GCSE. I just used to sketch to relax. Then I started working in the gas industry and stopped doing it for a long time. “I got made redundant three years ago and then went travelling for a year. I didn’t know what to do whilst unemployed, and then my sister asked me to paint her daughter’s nursery. So I did that

Proud: Paul Curtis stands in front of his mural. Pic © Paul Curtis and took a few photos, and that kind of gave me confidence with compliments from friends. “In my head as a teenager, you either have people who are starving trying to be an artist, or people who are making billions, but it’s only a few and I didn’t think I’d be

one of them who would just earn a living from it. “ However, despite being given such a big opportunity, Paul says he did not know whether he would stay within the art industry. “If I’m honest I don’t know if I’m going to stay in art. I may go back

into oil and gas industry because it is much more secure in terms of salary. But I’ll have to decide when I get to that stage.” Paul’s artwork is the second art installation at Liverpool Shopping Park and his next big job includes work within Everton FC.



Artist comes clean and showcases hidden talent


Hannah Wilkinson speaks to local artist Billy Scott about his new exhibition

illy Scott is not your typical brooding artist - he is a hard-working Liverpool City Council cleaning manager with an extraordinary talent. The father of three from Anfield has been producing line drawings, sketched in pencil or graphite, since he was a child. After attending Anfield Comprehensive, Billy started his working career in 1984 at the age of 17 on a Youth Training Scheme with the city council in the then Central Liverpool Training Workshop, studying signwriting. While there, lecturers spotted his artistic flair and he embarked on a sixmonth study of art, building up a portfolio of work to be presented to Liverpool School of Art and Design. Having turned down the chance to undertake a degree in Fine Arts, Billy put studying to one side and continued with art as a hobby, concentrating on portraits of footballers and celebrities. Billy said: “I’ve done it on and off since I was a kid. There have been years where I have not done any art, but over the last couple of years, I’ve really started to do a lot more celebrities, as it was mostly footballers before.” For years, his art was just a creative hobby that Billy did in his spare time in his garden shed at his home in Anfield. “I never ever anticipated that they would be shown, I don’t do

it for that, I do it for me and if people like it then it’s great.” It wasn’t until a few years ago, when Billy started to post some of his art on social media, that many of his friends even found out about his talent. “Friends and family started to give me such good feedback. Not many of my friends knew that I drew before then.” To date, his hobby has seen the body of artwork grow to include more than 500 drawings, most of which remain in his private collection. “I’ve worked for the city council for 30 years and they have been asking for about 12 months to showcase. I’d been reluctant to do it until two months ago when I realised I had about 500 in my private collection. I have 180 on show here for the next six weeks. “Apparently, some are up for sale however my intention is not to sell or make money but to just show people my work.” Billy’s first art show, Simulacra, opened on Saturday November 25th at St George’s Hall and features portraits of a range of celebrities including scouse icons The Beatles and Billy’s personal favourite, David Bowie. The exhibition will show in the North Entrance via Heritage Centre at St George’s Hall from Sat November 25th 2017 – Sun January 7th 2018, 10am-5pm daily apart from December 24th26th and January 1.

Pictures © Hannah Wilkinson from St George’s Hall


Business is Blooming Foam Flowers are the future By Shaniece Thompson


erhaps one of the most disappointing thing about a wedding is the bride’s bouquets that are almost instantly thrown away once the celebrations have finish. A Maghull florist has come up with a way to make any flower arrangements everlasting and her success has not gone unnoticed. Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne was awarded the Best New Business of the Year at the 2016 Country Brides North West Awards, and has been unstoppable ever since. Award officials have again nominated the floral boutique and the business is urging its customers from all over the country to vote. Owner Joanne Wildman has been praised for the originality of her ideal of everlasting Foam Wedding Flowers. The artificial features mean that there is yet another element that newlyweds can preserve to remind them of their special day. The exceptionally life-like flowers come in a vast range of colours, types, sizes and arrangements and they have sent brides all over Liverpool into overdrive. Joanne told Liverpool Life about where her inspiration came from: “My best friend Louise was getting married back in 2008 and asked me to do her wedding flowers. My partner John was amazed by the bouquets and button holes that I had created. He asked ‘why don’t you do this as a career?’ It was a lightbulb moment. “So here I am, owning my own business. I started off in my conservatory at home doing weddings with only fresh flowers to building my very own workshop in my back garden and this is when the

Owner of Foam Wedding Flowers, Joanne Wildman

A New York Wedding featuring Joanne's bouqets request of foam wedding flowers began to increase. “I took the idea and ran with it. I even had couples from London and Scotland coming to stay in Liverpool just to visit me and order their wedding flowers. Some couples even have me ship or fly their arrangements over-seas to their wedding destinations. “ Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne opened its doors back in January this year and is located on Liverpool Road North in Maghull. The is on one of Maghull’s busiest streets, with customers and passers-by always dropping in to have a look at Joanne’s creations. One particular feature that attracted a lot of attention recently was the shop’s window display for Remembrance Sunday featuring a silhouette tribute to soldiers in action. It appears the future is all roses

for Joanne with the wedding waiting list longer than ever before. “It is safe to say that we take pride in our work and aim to give all of our customers exactly what they are wanting. So, it is amazing to know that all of our hard work does not go unnoticed. We are very hopeful that the success of Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne will continue to grow.” The County Brides Awards are set to take place in June 2018, but votes are being cast now.



M.E to Etsy Steph Kettle speaks to a young woman who turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans


fter being diagnosed with M.E four years ago at the age of 19, Jayne Tapp was told to she could never work again and was forced to move home to be cared for full time. This was a huge knock-back for such a vibrant young woman. ME (which stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a long-term chronic illness that affects many of the body’s systems including immune system and nervous system, meaning that even the smallest of tasks such as brushing her teeth or reading a book would leave Jayne debilitated and experiencing extreme exhaustion. Suffering with her condition Jayne was bed bound and experienced intense fatigue: “The only way I can describe it is like being the hare stuck in a tortoises body; I was ready to take on the world, but my body just wouldn’t let me” She visited the Prince’s Trust in Liverpool, who helped her undertake an enterprise course to start her own business. Jayne didn’t give up and persisted until just over a year ago she launched ‘Jayne Tapp Design’, where she is now a full time artist and designer creating personalised wooden cards, gifts and keepsakes. The business is an online creative market that acts as an outlet for people to create their own crafts and sell them online. It was a perfect opportunity for Jayne to design her own work at her own pace, in her own time, without the pressure of a work place.Jayne told LL: “After three years of living a life controlled by illness it was a huge challenge getting back into employment and work. “But by setting up my own business it means I am now in complete control and can manage my business around my health” This journey of sheer determination has paid off for Jayne, and

she has recently celebrated one year since her business start up date, and one year of a positive change that wasn’t stopped by her illness.


er passion to design keepsakes and wooden gifts came from her idea in creating an alternative to a standard greeting card. “I wanted to start a business creating products to help us celebrate those things, and much more than that products that will be kept for as long as those memories. “I wanted to create an alternative to a paper greeting card, that would be treasured forever and never end up under the bed or in the bin!” Jayne said. The notion of not giving up really came into practice for Jayne. Having fallen ill very young her friends and family were extremely supportive alongside the doctors and charities. LL asked Jayne if she had any advice for someone in the same position as her. She said: “I was only 19 when I became ill and I was an extremely ambitious and independent person, I realised there is no shame in asking for help. “My other peice of advice is to absolutely everybody , which is to never let anything in your life define you.”

 To view Jayne’s designs visit: www. shop/JayneTappDesign

Setting up my own business means I’m in complete control and can manage my business around my health

All photographs © Jayne Tapp Design


Time to

Go Global



iverpool students now have the chance to travel and study abroad thanks to the Go Global initiative. Go Global is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and at LJMU students can benefit from a special fund which is is aimed at encouraging people to broaden their horizons and improve their employability by experiencing different cultures and international activities. LJMU students can receive up to £1,500 to put towards their Go Global travels, which includes individual projects, volunteering or working abroad. The destination is solely the student’s choice. It ranges from Asia to Africa and cities across Europe. The application process is simple and

easy. It is practically handed to students on a plate. Students simply fill in their details and answer the questions with as much motivation and desire as they can. Being bold, positive and making themselves stand out is required - previous experience in travel is not. All the Go Global team ask is for students to be passionate and demonstrate how this experience will benefit you. Previous students granted the Go Global fund sang its praises. Liverpool Life sat down with three former travellers to discover the real reasons why students should grab this opportunity with both hands.:

ll igna ly W i m e: E Nam 21 to : edia e oron g A n: T ical m attended o o i s t a ed we of Loca rest ttend nday : “I a very Mo and the ights.” d i d tI ic s a. E ions Wha in Canad h of sess the icon it rt k s i o e v e w w to ’s ut l day was free e abo a ful ld m of those o eI t m d i t n e ne the y frie be on no o it: ”M going to for but hen d i d s s w e a I li y w Why ought it yone app nd happ o r h it. I t that eve I was bey s thing ly gets so l a u has t . ac field s trip it.” “Thi fessional ntly : I got e m ta ro is ins lped my p it he proved ng like th w o i im H th ively ome mass iencing s d out.” r n Expe you sta es mak

Nam e Age: : Victori a We 21 lls Loca tion : Zim aney babe m He : Ada Wha e ich, m a N t , Mun Paris m a 2 vatio I did: “I d 2 r : d n st Age mste nnen an ing jo called An ayed at a ion:A u n ani telop Locat , Lauterbr bs in arious m volve e Par the li e a c i l n und v and c o onser Ve k. Th d wal r on en a d ev kin prepa c lture velle “I tra g up the cu ring f losures, h g the lion olunteerng did: erdin ood.” s, cle in ns alo I k io a t t o u a s it h a , g ele t e n s W p i in o n r f g u phan My f er o in E ts an a numb cities d on a vourite m g at a in lp horse ce e e h mo the s perien tars i safari an ry: “Defi life ex out of e way.” h a t is d t n n It wa e: “I been s one the midd sleeping itely going opnever ped m un le of the a good ce it hel forget. I’d s w a most of the Afr derneath o w a H r p is e h f v t e o Why amaz ican ’ll n ange re and b ing e o that I y befo o have a ch hadn’t bexperi ush. oppo thers sh r t n u o ences rt ould me t the c that I . comf unity to do it ity for ltures or d : portun erience cu not t t zone w o someth “You hav xp o in h e efiand e make mention ilst trave g out of the ould d lling e.” along your the a r o f it: “I w If I could o the w d the w mazi s ng fr orld, ay las other to anyone. a heartie ould t a li fetim nds you hy sh mmend this it again in W e.” do reco I would nitely .” t a e b


Jordan, right, had rarely been to London previously


a model career B SAM O’HARA speaks to Jordan Wain about working as a model for some of the world’s most prestigious brands

eing scouted outside Primark isn’t the usual route to becoming a Gucci model, but that is exactly what happened to one former Liverpool John Moores student. Jordan Wain, from Cheshire, was on a day off from university when he was approached by a lady claiming to have connections in the modelling industry and that she wanted to scout him. The 22 year old told Liverpool Life: “My first reaction was that the girl in front of me was having a laugh at my expense and I half expected a camera phone to be whipped out to catch the prank.” Luckily for him though, he went with her to London the following week and was signed by agency Wilhelmina London. Since then, Jordan has modelled for some of the world’s biggest brands at some of the most prestigious events. He said: “The two brands that stick out for me are Gucci and Dior. Dior was fun but working with Gucci is a different class.” He has also represented Y-3, Ben Sherman, Paul Smith and Acne Studios, to name a few. Modelling offers the opportunity to travel the world and see places that most people can only dream of seeing. That is exactly what Jordan truly loves about it. When asked what his best experience has been so far through modelling. He said: “I have to say that the whole experience has been amazing for meeting new people and making a quick pound here and there, but the travel has to be the best part.” As a model it is possible to be in three different countries within a week working different jobs and Jordan is planning on trips to Tokyo

and Seoul over the coming months. He loves the excitement that exploring the world can bring but admitted it can be tough at times, as he spends large parts of the year a long distance away from his family, friends and home comforts. The former student had rarely been to London before he began modelling- now he is frequently travelling there to work. He’s currently preparing for his fourth fashion week, when he’ll be modelling in London, Paris and Milan. As the life of a model can too often be short-lived, Jordan knows it could potentially be his last so he is determined to make it one to remember. Knowing all too well of the harshness of the fashion industry, he offered some advice to up-and-coming models out there. He said: “To enjoy fashion week you cannot fall into the mistake of taking yourself or your work too seriously. You are bound to be dehumanised or disrespected by casting directors who have no time for peasants while sitting in their golden throne of power and influence.” Although he is thoroughly enjoying the experience, he does not see modelling as his long-term career. He said: “My dream from modelling would be to book successive campaigns and earn as much as I can during my short modelling stint that will enable me to focus fully on a different career that would give me fulfilment and happiness.” It’s fair to say, though, the former LJMU student doesn’t regret taking the risk and following the modelling dream. It has given him life experiences that he can cherish forever both on a personal and a professional level.

Jordan regularly works in Paris

Sightseeing in Milan Photos @jordanwain


Busy bees at the Hive

Professional: The fully-equipped hair salon On the up: A climbing wall has been fitted for those who are feeling adventurous

Ringcraft: The centre’s boxing room



ince opening in April, The Hive Youth Club now has well over 6,000 members. The Birkenhead-based youth club has a variety of facilities for those aged eight to 19, alongside facilites for those with disabilites up to the age of 25. The eager staff spend their days with the members, and work hard to ensure the smiles on their faces. Working long hours, most of them seven days a week, they say it’s very rewarding to help. Dougy Oliver, the Inclusion Manager, said: “From a personal point of view, this is without doubt the most amazing place I have worked. It is an amazing organisation to be a part of with an extremely passionate team.

“Seeing the difference The Hive has already made to so many young people in such a short space of time is incredible and I really look forward to seeing this continue going forward.” They have many facilities including a boxing room for children to let out their rage for whatever reasons, a huge climbing wall, and a make-up and hair room which was designed and funded by a prestigious, famous hairdresser who gives the occasional talk to the children. The fully-functional gym is available to all members. However, not all of the equipment is suitable for the under-13s. There is a huge arts and fashion room, in which they create outfits and performed a catwalk show, opening up the doors to friends

Feeling brave: A skate park with ramps for the daredevils and family – the first time nonmembers were allowed inside. Included in the membership is a gigantic sports hall suitable for all indoor sports, and an outdoor football field. Celebrities come to help promote the good cause of The Hive. Recently, they had members of Hollyoaks cast come and play a game of football.


t is important that they raise awareness of The Hive to increase their members and voluntary funds. They only aimed to reach 3,000 members, but reached this in 22 days and then doubled their year’s target within seven months. Dougy Oliver said: “We promoted The Hive in lots of different ways, including outreach to all of the local schools leading

up to opening. Local press was used to promote us and also social media. “It felt amazing knowing the difference we could make to all those young people. “We had a brief celebration amongst us and the young people on session, but then back to work as there was still loads more to be done and more members to recruit! “We are always amazed by the fantastic support given to us by our volunteers and founder patrons and we are so grateful for their support. “I think it shows how much people believe in the offer and the benefits to young people on the Wirral. Their generosity is really appreciated and we couldn’t do our work without them.”


Adam’s Everton dream F By TIM SPENCER TANFIELD

Box seat: Adam working at Everton’s Goodison Park

On the spot: Adam interviewing Gary Lineker

or Adam Jones, life as a journalism student at LJMU was everything he had hoped it would be. Now, after graduating in the class of 2015, his university journey has taken him all the way to Goodison Park as a reporter for his boyhood team, Everton. Having done work placement during his third year at the Liverpool Echo, in August 2015 Adam went back and asked if he could do another two weeks. “They offered me a freelance job, which was only meant to last a month. However, I ended up staying there for nine months. “After that, the central sports team at Trinity Mirror offered me a place to work with them, and then I eventually found my way back at the Echo as a reporter for Everton.” For Adam, becoming a sports journalist was the culmination of years of hard work: “About two years before I came to university, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to learn the basics and the essentials, and the work experience I picked up gave me a great insight into how a newsroom works.” An avid Everton fan, being given the chance to report on his child-


Blue views: Goodison Park

© Creative Commons


hood team has proven the ideal job: “I got the call on transfer deadline day that there was a job opening and that they wanted to speak to me about it, which was odd, it felt very weird. I took a day to think about but to be honest it didn’t take much consideration before I said yes.”


aving previously worked with helping set up websites such as Football. London, for the 23 year old, when the Echo came calling it was a no-brainer. “I get to report on the team that I love, as well as travelling to different football grounds around the country. The opportunities and people you can connect with is fantastic. “I’ve only been here under two months and have already interviewed lots of players, it’s such an eye-opening experience.” While securing the perfect job in Liverpool was a key step, for the graduate from Tuebrook this is just the start. “It’s my dream to one day be on the national newspapers, and its every sport journalist’s wish to cover a World Cup or a Champions League Final. “Covering a wider variety of sports in the future is also something that down the line may be more appealing to me.”

I loved my time at LJMU, it was incredible



Jürgen the pig predicts positive performance from Reds By DANNY MOXON


‘psychic’ pig living on Merseyside has predicted that Liverpool will win in their upcoming derby clash with city rivals Everton. The boar, named Jürgen as a homage to the Anfield club’s manager, was found as a piglet near Melwood, the Reds’ training facility in West Derby. He now lives at Freshfields Animal Rescue in Homer Green near Crosby, and has garnered something of a reputation for being a clairvoyant. The prediction process involves putting some of the hog’s favourite foods inside blue, red and white boxes, to represent Everton victory, a Liverpool win or a draw

respectively. This time, bread was placed inside each container, and Jürgen forecast a hat-trick of successes for the team managed by his namesake. John Rullo, Fundraising Manager at Freshfields told Liverpool Life: “He’s been here for a while now, and he’s grown quite a bit, but we also think he has gotten a bit wiser with his predictions as well.” After victory against Brighton at the weekend, Liverpool have gone eight games unbeaten, but must face Spartak Moscow in a crunch Champions League match on Wednesday before the derby. Everton won their first game under new manager Sam Allardyce against Huddersfield Town, but haven’t beaten their local rivals in

Hats off: Jürgen in the Christmas spirit seven years. Jürgen has made prophecies prior to the last two clashes between the heavyweight Merseyside clubs, and successfully predicted backto-back wins for the Anfield outfit. Before the last derby match, he appeared to being going for the blue box, only to switch to red at the final moment in a telepathic twist. There was no indecision this time, however, as the preternatural porker only ever showed interest in eating from the red container. Jurgen has a busier few weeks ahead than anticipated, after Monday’s FA Cup Third Round

© Danny Moxon

draw pitted the two great Merseyside clubs together once again. He will have to use his gift one more time than he thought this season. Possibly the most well-known ‘psychic’ animal was Paul the Octopus, who rose to international fame after predicting the outcome of some matches in the 2010 World Cup, including Spain’s eventual tournament triumph, before sadly passing away later that year. If Jürgen continues to correctly predict the outcome of Merseyside derbies, then there is no reason why the swine couldn’t go on to be the next supernatural sensation.

Other famous four-legged psychics ...


he fame of Paul the Octopus at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, who correctly predicted the results of all of Germany’s matches, led to a dramatic rise in interest in the ‘psychic animal’ business. Here are a few other creatures who made the news for their supernatural seeing: 1) Geda the Monkey: Geda lives in Shiyanhu Ecological Tourism Park in China, and is one of the latest in a long line of all-seeing animals to be hailed in the international media. The primate originally turned head with another football prediction, when he correctly called Portugal’s shock Euro 2016 final victory over much-fancied hosts France. But Geda’s real moment in the sun came after when he focused his clairvoyance on politics – more

specifically the U.S. Presidential Election. When asked to choose between Hillary Clinton and eventual winner Donald Trump, the supernormal simian wasted no time in going to a cardboard cut-out of the latter. He even went on to climb on the cardboard Trump and plant a kiss on his lips. 2) Boots the Goat: Boots is a performing goat who lives on a farm in Roxburghshire, Scotland, after he was rejected by his mother.

He has been trained to do stunts being tackled by dogs in shows, but the buck also moonlights as a political predictor. Boots also tried to foresee the winner of last year’s presidential election, but was less accurate than Geda, after backing losing candidate Hillary Clinton. His knowledge of U.S. politics clearly needs a little work, but he seems to have a much more educated insight in home affairs after correctly predicting that Britain would vote for Brexit – something which many political commentators failed to foresee. 3) Oscar the Cat: Oscar lives at a hospice in Rhode Island in the USA and has garnered a reputation for being a clairvoyant cat, but where the others were harmlessly predicting outcomes of events, Oscar’s apparent

gift had much more sinister undertones. Staff at the hospice started to notice that when he decided to curl up on the bed of a patient, that person was likely to die just days later. To date, he was foreseen the deaths of more than 100 people. Ironically, Oscar is used by the hospice to help comfort lonely patients. Oscar had a brush with death himself in 2013, when he had an allergic reaction which meant his heart stopped beating.


LL 35

THE LINE UP 1. Tim Abraham talks to JMU Journalism

OLI FELL speaks to former Sky Sports cricket correspondent Tim Abraham about the lack of cricketing stars from Merseyside. See page 36 for more.

2. The ‘Butcher’ Lee Chadwick talks about his MMA career

SHAUN KEENAN speaks to MMA fighter Lee Chadwick about his tenure in the fight game before the crucial stage in his career that saw him become the Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion. See page 38 for more.

3. Tony Bellew vs David Haye rescheduled

DANNY MOXON looks ahead to the highlyanticipated rematch of Tony Bellew vs. David Haye. See page 39 for more.

4. JMU Fury suffer setback in race for playoff spot

SHAUN KEENAN speaks to JMU Fury’s Bob Evans after the US football team suffered their first loss of the season, and looks ahead to next week’s matchup against UcLan Rams. See page 39 for more.


The wait for international Scouse cricketers continues ... 13 and out: Liverpool cricketer Allan Steel played in 13 Tests for England © Wikimedia Commons

OLI FELL speaks to former Sky Sports cricket correspondent Tim Abraham and investigates why a city with such strong sporting pedigree repeatedly fails to produce elite cricketers


iverpool has never been famed for being a cricket city. Despite Lancashire playing several games a season at Liverpool Cricket Club in Aigburth, it has been 68 years since a Scouser has represented England. Only three Liverpudlians have earned caps for the test side since England acquired test status in 1877. Ken Cranston appeared for the national side in 1948, making him the most recent Scouser to play cricket for England. Born in Aigburth, Cranston played in eight matches for England scoring 209 runs at an average of 15. He was appointed Lancashire captain in 1947 but retired soon after to pursue a career in dentistry. Allan Steel, perhaps Liverpool’s most famous cricketer, played in 13 test matches. The West Derby native was considered second best only to legend Will Grace. He also played in the infamous 1892 test in Australia when the Ashes was formed. Steel was an all-rounder who averaged 20 with the ball and 35 with the bat. So why has there not been a player as good as him since then? Tim Abraham, ex-senior reporter and cricket correspondent at Sky Sports, spoke to Liverpool Life about the possible reasons

why Liverpool hasn’t had a big cricket name in 70 years. He said: “It’s a football city really, and here you have two big clubs. It’s all about Everton and Liverpool. That takes up people’s attention and time. “You talk about the Liverpool and Manchester rivalry, but Lancashire’s ground is based in Old Trafford.” So, why such apathy towards cricket in Liverpool? The Liverpool and District Cricket Competition is the highest tier of recreational club cricket in Merseyside. Founded in 1850, the competition is the only ECB accredited Premier League in Lancashire. Teams like New Brighton, Formby and holders Ormskirk compete in the top division. “There’s some lovely grounds and great cricket clubs in Liverpool, it’s about not having a big team on the door step., said Tim. “Even if you look at the England squad now, there’s only really Jimmy (James Anderson) who represents Lancashire.” Haseeb Hameed, Lancashire opener, has been playing at Formby recently and has been touted as a potential star of the future. However, Hameed is Boltonborn – the search for a Scouser to break into the England team goes on.

Never stumped: Tim Abraham has reported on cricket around the world, and now lectures at LJMU


LL 37

How Blues community initiative is giving the boot to poverty By EVAN FYFE Everton in the Community have issued an appeal for used football boots to help disadvantaged children in the Merseyside area. Cruyff Court, a new state-ofthe-art 3G pitch on Spellow Lane, was opened by the club in May and is used for various community outreach programmes. Unfortunately, some of the more disadvantaged children are unable to participate in sports activities due to a lack of footwear, leading the club to appeal for donations. Anthony Harden, support worker at the centre, told Liverpool Life: “Being able to play sport, and in particular football, can help to build relationships, self-esteem and confidence, in addition to just wanting to play football as an enjoyable activity. “A number of our programmes include us working with young people and young adults, who live in deprivation, have little or no money and ultimately can’t afford much. Many of our participants do not have the appropriate footwear and sometimes can only play in their one and only pair of shoes. “These can quickly become wrecked when playing sport, so by having a collection of boots and Astroturf trainers, we can allow participants to keep their own trainers in good condition.” EITC was formed in 2010, aiming to use sport to motivate and educate the nearby community. Whilst being the club’s official charity, it is a separate, self-financing organisation, and

therefore relies upon donations and financial contributions from the public. Anthony said: “We also take some of our participants to tournaments around the country to different football stadiums and training grounds to represent Everton. “Some can sometimes struggle to attend as they don’t have any boots, so again, this will allow people not to miss out on the fantastic opportunities of playing at premier league stadiums. Any help would be much appreciated - and would be helping the participants of our programmes greatly.” Boots can be dropped off or posted to the community hub (Spellow Lane, L4 4DF), or EITC can arrange collection.

ABOVE: Unused football boots are wanted to help disadvantaged children © Evan Fyfe

ABOVE: EITC’s free school on Spellow Lane in Walton

Champion boxer to headline World Series By CHLOE GEORGE The World Series of Boxing will be coming to Liverpool in March 2018 as part of the tour of the country. World Championship bronze medallist Peter McGrail will headline the event, which will take place at the Echo Arena. The British Lionhearts will take on Italy in Liverpool, and team GB’s best fighters will then be on a tour of the country.

The World Series of Boxing is a competition that is designed to bridge the gap between amateur and professional boxing. Bantamweight Peter McGrail brought home a gold medal from the European championships and last year received a bronze medal at the World Championship games. Liverpool was chosen to hold the World Series as a result of the British Lionhearts’ decision to move the team out of London

and around the country for the group stages of the 2018 season. The decision was made so more fans could have the chance to watch the games. The World Series will be in Liverpool on March 2nd. Other dates include Gateshead in February and Newport in April. Liverpool, South Wales and the North East of England all have strong boxing conections. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

Peter at Goodison Park © Peter McGrail Twitter



From zero to hero ... Shaun Keenan talks to Liverpool’s MMA fighter Lee Chadwick about world titles, going solo and the feeling of fighting in front of his home crowd


ee Chadwick admitted that he had huge doubts about his tenure in the fight game before the crucial stage in his career that saw him become the Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion. ‘The Butcher’ is old school when it comes to MMA and the Liverpool-born fighter has been in the sport of Mix Martial Arts since 2006. The 11-year veteran has jumped from last to champ over the last couple of years, and even trained himself independently for a while, a situation he felt lost in. He told Liverpool Life: I’ve had problems with teams in the past. “I went through a phase where I left my first team and went solo. I had a few fights while I was just training myself. “I didn’t know which direction to take, team-wise and I didn’t know what team would suit me as a fighter and which would suit my style. “I knew for a fact that fighting at the highest level, which I have done for a long time, wouldn’t work unless I found a team that I could settle into and would have my best interests.” The 32-year-old defeated Victor Cheng last month to win the Cage Warrior World Title, but it was a chance that Chadwick was starting to doubt would ever come his way. Chadwick had his first professional bout with Cage Warriors in 2006, but he didn’t return to the organisation until 2017, where three convincing wins earned him a title shot and eventually delivered the gold. “Yeah, I was floating between shows. “I have had a great relationship with Cage Warriors and they wanted me back on the show a while back, for a couple of years, but I didn’t go to them because the contracts were not great. “But, I knew how big they were as a show, they’ve come up a lot (since my first fight) European wise.

“They’re like a stepping stone for the UFC. I thought if I am going to get a shot in the UFC and get a shot at the Cage Warriors World Title now was the time to take it. “That’s why at the start of the year I took the step to put all my cards in the one basket and give it a shot,” Chadwick said. Chadwick, who has had over 40 MMA fights as an amateur and professional, confessed that it was the biggest moment of his career when he had the title wrapped around his waist in front of his home crowd at the Echo Arena. “It was amazing, best feeling in the world. “It was the pinnacle of my career so far and it has given me a lot more belief in myself.” Building up confidence was a big obstacle for the ASW trainer, based in Leigh, but after two first-round stoppages in 2017, and years’ of hard work, Chadwick has propelled himself to where he is today. “At the start of the year, when I went back, I got a good win over Tommy Quinn in the first (round). “I went on to fight Andy Manzolo in Bournemouth, who was the home favourite, and I stopped him in the first as well, so I built my confidence up throughout this year. “But I have been working hard for a couple of years to get myself to a level where I thought I could step up again.”

ABOVE: Lee and his Championship title belt © Lee Chadwick


move to the UFC is the ultimate goal for Chadwick, but he is determined to fight after Christmas and he revealed discussions are underway with Cage Warriors to fight in Liverpool on the stacked February 24 card at the Echo Arena. “I have been in talks with Cage Warriors and we’ve got the UFC knocking on the door now and asking for more information. There is a UFC in March. “They haven’t got any places on there yet, so if I get my shot on March 17 in London, it’s looking like they’ll have to be a last minute

ABOVE: Lee with coach Daren Morris © Lee Chadwick pull out or a fight in the middle of the year. “So, I am thinking of defending my (Cage Warriors) title in February to keep myself active and to get one more fight outside the UFC, which should push me right into the mix.”

Middleweight title belt


Fury aim to bounce back from season’s first setback

Bellew ©Wikimedia Commons

Bellew vs. Haye set for rematch

By SHAUN KEENAN JMU Fury are looking for a quick turn-around in their forthcoming match against UcLan Rams next weekend after suffering their first loss of the season. Fury’s 30-9 defeat versus Sheffield Hallam Warriors was their first of the campaign, after they recorded convincing wins against Leeds University and the Sheffield Sabres. The Warriors, who also picked two wins before their away test in Liverpool, moved to 3-0 for the season, while Fury’s record was reduced to 2-1. LJMU’s American Football team aimed for the playoffs before the start of the season and Club President Bob Evans still believes that is possible, despite their recent setback. He told Liverpool Life: “It’s difficult to judge how the team will react to the loss. While Sheffield were heavily-favoured, I think the scoreline flattered them a bit, and the game was tight until a couple of mistakes on our part saw Sheffield take a lead. “I still feel we’re in with a chance of making the playoffs, but the result against UcLan Rams will be key. “We need to bounce back and head into the Christmas break 3-1, which will put the team in an excellent position going into the end of the season.” One problem university teams often encounter is their best players leaving the squad after their graduation, which is usually the time most players begin to hit

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Setback: A JMU Fury player is tackled their peak. However, Evans believes that as American football grows in the UK, the calibre of player involved with JMU Fury will improve year on year. “The very nature of American Football at university dictates that the team changes massively every year. Players hit their peak as they enter their final year,” he said. “They graduate and the process of starting over happens again. While the sport is still a minority sport, we don’t get players who have played all their life, like rugby and soccer, so this is sometimes the first time they’ve been involved in the sport. “Saying that, as the popularity

© Shaun Keenan

of the sport grows, we start to get players who have played at youth level and have an idea of what is expected. “This year’s team has benefitted from this as students join us who have played locally before coming to university. “Going forward, keeping hold of the players is important. “The sport can be quite physically demanding as well as time-consuming, and as student life starts to take over, priorities start to change. “I feel we’ve got the opportunity to make the playoffs this year, and depending on the draw we hopefully could have a couple of weeks of post-season football.”

Fight promoter Eddie Hearn has announced that Liverpool’s Tony Bellew will rematch against David Haye next year. The two heavyweights will fight once again on May 5th at the O2 Arena in London. The duo faced off earlier this year, when Bellew won by TKO after Haye’s trainer threw in the towel. The ‘Hayemaker’ picked up an injury in the sixth round of the fight and ultimately lost the bout.The rivalry between the two has been infamously bad-tempered with a fight breaking out at their press conference. Both fighters were complimentary in the immediate aftermath, with Bellew crediting Haye for his bravery, and Haye saying that the ‘Bomber’ was “by far the better fighter”. Everton fan Bellew is sure the meeting with Haye will take place, and is also targeting his next opponent. He said: “I am confident that the fight will go ahead. It’s a long time to recover. It’s six months from today. I just want it to happen now. “My plan is to meet David Haye head-on in the ring, knock him out, and then turn my attention to Tyson Fury.”

Football fans in support of local foodbanks By CHLOE GEORGE “Hunger doesn’t wear club colours”: that’s the motto football fans across Liverpool are sharing as they come together to support foodbanks. Fans of both Everton and Liverpool football clubs are working with each other to collect donations for people in need with the Fans Supporting Foodbanks campaign. The initiative sees collection

points being placed in both Goodison Park and Anfield on match days. The campaign was conceived by Everton and Liverpool fan groups and was quickly taken on board by the clubs and match organisers. Organisers welcome donations of dried, canned, perserved or packaged food at the mobile points that are set up before the game. Foodbank charity The Trus-

sell Trust estimate that more than 14m people live in poverty, and foodbanks have seen a 13% increase from the previous year. This will be the third season for the initiative, and previous matchday collections have helped many people. Fans Supporting Foodbanks were recently nominated for an award from the Football Supporters Federation for Fans for Diversity.

© Wikimedia Commons

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Picture © Shaniece Thompson Produced each fortnight by LJMU Journalism Students