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Liverpool Life

Fashion Forward Fabulous night of style and diversity

Liverpool Life contents Vol 7 Issue 3 November 07 - November 20

Looking for Albert...

How to build an Egyptian Pyramid


Church hopes to unite community


Is the rise in car theft your fault?



Empire Police build their name

Grad Watch talks to Jess GrievesonSmith

Latest fashion trends for fall

The risks of weight loss in MMA fighting




16 Women in business

Neil Mellor helps to launch football academy



Liverpool One

© Adele Matthews

Cover story: The fresh faces of fashion ... p17

LL Production: David Haycocks, Angelica Day, Hannah Conboy, Shannon Lyon, Lucy Jones, Sean Whelan, Chloe Smith, Megan Tattersley, Simran Roy, Adele Matthews, Nick Ware, Liam Cork, Emma Fegan, Liam Plumbley, George Adams, Annie Williams, Tiarnan Quigley, Lori Dudley, Stephen Killen, Chantelle McKeever, Seanan McSheffrey Front cover picture: Marina © MDAV Photography



Alex collecting his award © Alex Brooker

Delight as LJMU’s Alex tops Power 100 By SIMRAN ROY

Comedian, actor and TV presenter Alex Brooker has been recognised as the UK’s most influential disabled person. Alex, an LJMU journalism graduate, topped the Shaw Trust’s Power 100 list of “young and talented leaders of tomorrow” who have had personal experience of disability. Having started off as a presenter for Channel 4’s coverage of the 2012 Paralympics, Alex’s big break came with Channel 4’s The Last Leg, co-hosted with stand-up comedians Adam Hills and Josh Widdicombe. After receiving the award, Alex tweeted: “Very proud to be number 1 in Shaw Trust’s Power 100 most influential disabled people in Britain”.

Smiles all round © Christiana Wallace

Sea of colour for 5k fun By NADIA BREEN Thousands took to the streets of Liverpool to participate in the Scouse 5K to raise money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Sponsored by Arriva, the race began at 9.30am outside St Luke’s Church on Leece Street and finished on Lord Street in the heart of the city centre. Participants chose to walk, jog or run around the city while wearing colourful wigs just for fun. Iconic buildings including Philharmonic Hall, St John’s Tower and The Cavern Club were passed on the route, as various bands played in the streets to entertain spectators and motivate runners. Midwives and healthcare assistants from Liverpool Women’s Hospital also took part. Christiana Wallace, 48, from Liverpool, took part with the team as her dad passed away with cancer. She told Liverpool Life: “It is important to raise money and awareness. The atmosphere while running was brilliant as everyone was in a good mood.

“The bands were great and the supporters waiting along the route really helped as everyone was laughing and cheering. We will definitely sign up next year again.” Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation was founded in Liverpool in 1990 and is the UK’s only lung cancer charity. They fund more than £1m worth of research every year and run campaigns to promote awareness. Mike Grundy, deputy Chief Executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, told Liverpool Life: “It was a wonderful event for us. The weather was perfect for a decent run and we were thrilled

to see so many people turn out to take part on our behalf. “What was also so encouraging was the number of people who chose to come along and support the runners. That made for a wonderful atmosphere with a real sense of community. “We thank each and every one of those who took part or who cheered along the way. Lung cancer is a massive challenge, and for those affected by it, everyone who runs or supports the Scouse 5K is a true hero.” Entries are already open for Scouse 5k 2019, with a fee of £20 for adults and £10 for under 15s.

BUSY: Public showing support © Christiana Wallace

Granby winter gardens blossom


Work has now started on Liverpool’s Cairns Street to transform ruined houses into an indoor winter garden area for the community. The Granby Winter Garden is the latest project by Granby 4 Streets TLC in partnership with The Bluecoat and aims to provide community-led artists with a creative space for workshops and activities that will be open soon for use. The idea first came about back in 2015 when 4 Streets acquired

houses from Liverpool City Council as part of a £1 housing scheme to repair as social homes, but two houses were in such poor condition that they could not be restored and so the winter garden idea came to light. Resident and community gardener Andrea Ku told Liverpool Life how the local community took action. She said: “This is part of a story when all the houses were boarded up and the few that stayed while most of the houses were empty wanted to prevent

crime and dumping of rubbish and anti-social behaviour. So they decided to start planting up the streets, they painted curtains and cats peering through on what would have been the windows and that is kind of how the whole thing started.” Andrea said it will be a unique space, full of opportunities for local people including gardening workshops she will lead and people will be able to take home cuttings to have a piece of the winter garden for themselves. She added: “It just gives the

whole place something extra, I don’t think there is anything quite like this in the country and also the trees that we have are very rare, such as southern beeches that originally came from the mountains of Chile, so they’re quite a spectacle in itself. “The community is very close knit, they have all come together through gardening and you’ll see Cairns Street has now come alive with greenery. You can see what people have done. I think having this winter garden space will create a base for the community.”

THE GUIDE Festive return for popular market



iverpool’s annual Christmas markets are back for another year of festivities at St George’s Hall. The 60 stalls are set to open on November 16 and will stay open for the five-week run up to Christmas, finishing on Sunday December 23. The popular German-style bars will also be making a return where visitors can enjoy a range of hot and cold food, including mulled wine and hot chocolate and

of course bratwurst and gourmet burgers. A popular choice of food last year was the Yorkshire pudding wrap, which attracted national news coverage. St George's Hall will also play host to the storyteller performance of Charles Dickens', A Christmas Carol, which will take place in the Concert Room, on the same stage that he author gave his famous Penny Readings. The Ice Festival is due to

return to Liverpool’s iconic Pier Head for another year. It features Liverpool’s biggest ever ice slide and an outdoor ice rink with a backdrop of the world famous Three Graces. More rides and games such as a helter skelter and a Santa's train. Suited for all ages and abilities, the rink has a canopy to keep everyone dry whatever the weather. Ice activities will run from November 10 to January 2019.

Pic: © Adele Matthews

Pic: © lant Madudu

Epstein Theatre's American dream

Requiem to remember



he Epstein Theatre on Liverpool’s Hanover Street will host a trio of American music star tribute acts at the end of November. Fans of The Eagles, Glen Campbell, and Elvis Presley can look forward to three nights of live music, and relive all their favourite classic hits. Kicking off the musical nostalgia on November 28 is Talon: The Best of Eagles, a seven-piece band which has been described by Eagles songwriter, Jack Tempchin, as performing the songs “with reverence and super talent”. The following night hosts Rhinestone Cowboy – The Glen Campbell Story, and finishing the week off on Friday, Gordon Hendricks, the world’s number one Elvis tribute will be in the building.

To book tickets you can go online at A second date has also been added for the eagerly anticipated production of ‘Something About Simon’, celebrating the life and music of singer-songwriter Paul Simon. The show premiered at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Hanover Street, last night and continues tonight. Liverpool singer-songwriter Gary Edward Jones said: “I’m a self-confessed fan of Paul Simon, both the man and his music. “And it’s been a real honour and privilege to work with co-producer Bill Elms to create a show to celebrate Paul Simon’s incredible talent.”



or Remembrance week, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic will perform Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ at Liverpool Cathedral. The poems of Wilfred Owen, who grew up in Birkenhead, were Britten’s inspiration for the pieces of music. Conductor, Andrew Manze, has invited orchestral musicians and choristers from both Britain and Germany to join together for the evening’s special concert. There will be no interval within the concert which will commemoriate 100 years since the guns fell silent. Tickets can be purchased at with prices ranging from £19-£60.

THE GUIDE Community celebrate unique bar's birthday


The Brink, the revolutionary dry bar on Parr Street, has marked its seventh birthday with a variety of community-centric celebrations. The Brink is run by national charity Action on Addiction and has already helped thousands of people to rebuild their lives. With a welcoming space where people from all backgrounds can dine, hang out, socialise and relax without feeling isolated. The venue has created 17 new

jobs and worked with 30 volunteers this year alone, most of which have been filled by those who are in recovery. Carl Bell, 52, The Brink’s mnanager, told Liverpool Life: “The inspiration behind the set up of The Brink was the founder Jackie Johnson, who lost her brother to a drink driver. “Rather than wanting to blame the driver or the people with drinking issues, she thought that the

positive response would be to open a safe social space for people who want to socialise without drinking. It took her a few years to gain enough support from the charity and Liverpool City Council to get the venue open.” Mr Bell added: “I am 11 years into recovery and being part of this, with it being the first of its kind in the UK, and reflecting on what we have achieved, is comforting when we realise that we have helped peo-

ple change their lives for the better. “It helps even those who fear going into therapeutic environments initially to tell someone that they have a problem with drink or drugs. “We were fortunate enough to be able to celebrate our seventh birthday and commemorate our achievements as a community by enjoying food and music. It’s important that we continue to help those in need and we look forward to the next seven years.”

Leaping into special anniversary Review: By CHRISTA DALEY


Leaping dancers. Pic © Alan D Smith

erseyside Dance Initiative are kicking off their 25th anniversary with one of Liverpool’s most anticipated dance festivals, writes Christa Daley. LEAP is an important moment for MDI, as it has always been the organisation’s flagship programeand this year is in partnership with Liverpool Hope University. It is also part of the Liverpool 2018 celebrations which coincides with ten years since the city received the prestigious 2008 Capital of Culture title. In tribute to the Suffragette Movement and the centenary of women winning the right to vote, this festival presents ten days of exclusive performances from a variety of local talent with thought-provoking routines, each containing a strong female protagonist. It will run until November 12 and

will feature a whole host of diverse performances, with a closing act supported by Liverpool ONE at the Epstein Theatre. The festival will also mark a final LEAP for MDI’s Artistic Director Karen Gallagher MBE, who will leave the role this autumn in order to pursue new interests and a range of exciting projects. She has championed the development of dance across the Liverpool City Region for three decades. Over the years, Karen has made it her mission to ensure people are at the heart of each programme and that dance is seen in Liverpool and beyond. Karen told Liverpool Life: “We have really looked at the power of dance, and how it can transform people’s lives. We started to unpick the whole topic in terms of suffrage and women being strong, taking

a lead and the idea of democracy in our society and how important dance is as an art form, which is why we have 98% female-led festival. “There are still some women who don’t have the right to vote in some countries, so it’s important that message gets across the globe.” Liverpool is known for its art and culture and MDI want to make dance a huge part of that, ensuring the city is a dance destination which can build and grow audiences where people can come and see the talent. The programmes celebrate inclusivity which allows a huge mix of opportunities, not just for people to take partbut also for people to enjoy. To book your tickets and join in with the celebrations visit https://

“Warning: This show contains strong language, strobe lighting, dry ice and latex.” Are you sitting comfortably? Because it’s about to get much better. Bold, anarchic, eccentric and fearless are words that can be used to describe the performance of Slap and Tickle at the opening for LEAP Festival at The Capstone Theatre. Breeching the boundaries and resisting ‘authority’ Liz Aggiss takes her audience on a cultural journey of contradictions, interpretations and propaganda of women with a courageously daring and surreal concoction of displays. As a soloist she blurs the lines of high art and pop culture. Contextualising the stage with a content-driven world she embodies feminist dance practices that speak to, and for, all generations, integrating humour into a course of three acts in conjunction with an array of ‘games’ for the audience to get involved in. If you are easily offended, you’ll get over it. Come on everybody- let’s have a party!


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Young artists draw on mutual support



recent fine art graduate has launched a campaign to unite young artists and to discuss the lack of postgraduate support for art students. Sally Slingsby, 22, graduated from LJMU this year with a degree in Fine Art and has since gone on to receive a six-month residency at the Royal Standard, an art gallery based on Mann Street in the Baltic Triangle. She was also awarded a spot at the Liverpool Independents Biennial, which ran from July to October. As a digital artist who mianly uses video, Sally explained that her work was not very saleable. She told LL: “The type of work I’m doing is a reflection and exploration of how we behave as a society.” In July, along with a group of other artists, Sally founded the Your Arts Worth (YAW) collective. The aim of the group was to provide a space where students and young artists could create and showcase their work. The group holds workshops in subjects such as poetry

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ART WORKS: ‘The veneer of intimacy’ - a visual project on Sally’s website readings and ‘zine-making socials. The collective is completely independent and is funded entirely by what the group invests, which can be challenging at times. Sally said: “It sounds so silly but things like printing paper, or getting adverts out there are so difficult without funding.” Sally credits fellow artist and co founder of YAW Danielle Waine for her incredible use of time, space and materials during the collectives time with the Independents Biennal. Despite being in a better position than some, Sally said: “When I graduated I was absolutely terrified of what I’d do next.” She had noticed that many of her peers felt the same way. A lack of government or university initiatives to support graduating art students had inspired the concept behind last month’s ‘A Day in the life of an Undergrad Artist’ – an event described as a self-help group for artists. The event was received well by participants. Sally said: “I was really overwhelmed by the turnout for the event. I wanted to get artists,

students and everyone in between into the Royal Standard and create a space where they can discuss what is important, a lack of support or structure toward what they’re going to do next.” Graduates from various institutions were in attendance as well as freelance artists ranging from 18 to 30 years old and a member of the Liverpool Biennial team. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness among art and student communities, creating a regular ‘zine to be distributed in universities and businesses across the city. In the future, Sally hopes to make the event a monthly occurrence where artists from any background can speak about the sustainability of their art practices, careers or mental health, among other subjects. She wishes to hear from as many people as possible, regardless of location or practise. Contact her via Instagram (@sallyslingsby) or her website:

Sally at work in her Royal Standard Studio, left, and an advert for the the Zine Making Social


Fashion for fall Liverpool Life’s hottest autumn trends MEN


Trainers, Dune £90 Cut out boots, TK Maxx £19.99 Leopard top, Primark £6

Jumper, River Island £16

Ripped jeans, Topman £36 Gold hoops, £4.50 leopard belt, £10 both from Accessorize Leopard dress, Newlook £15

Zip neck sweatshirt, River Island £32

Jumper, Burton £25

Jacket, Burton £65 Fluff clutch, Roman £25

T-shirt, River Island £22

Feathered trim jeans, Simply Be £35

Holdall, M&S £109

Fringed jacket, Next £65 Earrings, River Island £12

Leather skirt, M&S £39.50

Ripped T-shirt, Blue Inc £9.99

Jumper, M&S £39.50


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Diversity's no drag for Azzuro

Azzura ready to perform © Azzuro Penderghast By ABIGAIL LAWRENCE


zzuro Penderghast is a Belfast drag queen who performs fabulous lipsyncs, hosts quiz nights and delivers stunning makeup tutorials. Azzuro’s drag career began back at her hometown in Belfast, before branching out to the nightclubs in Liverpool. She now works at the Out bar, housed on the former site of the Lomax in Cumberland Street. Azzuro said: “I used to like feminine things when I was younger. I used to wear stick-on earrings and stuff, and then when my mum would leave the house I used to put her heels on and run about!” Azzuro’s passion for drag lies in performance and entertaining people, and drag is a way to express this. “I find myself that I am much more confident when I am Azzuro. I’m not very confident as a boy. When I’m Azzuro I am the most beautiful person in the room, and I’ll tell everyone this. I feel like it’s more of an expression of freedom for me.” The distinctive makeup is an essential part of the drag scene, with Azzuro producing some dramatic over-the-top camp looks.

Her must-have products include the Kat Von D contour pallet, NYX cosmetics lingerie liquid lipsticks, Duo eyelash glue, and the Makeup Obsession highlighters. The makeup masterclass hosted by the queens at Out has proven to be a popular event.

"Drag is great and fun, you can break through any boundaries and stereotypes between gay people and straight people" It highlights just how much work and preparation goes into being a drag queen. It brings in people from all different lifestyles, regardless of sexuality or gender. It is something that everyone can enjoy and learn from. The art of drag is slowly becoming more mainstream since the popularity of TV show

RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has led to an increase in people wanting to try it out themselves. Azzuro said: “When starting out you don’t need to be this glamourous, feminine queen who looks perfect. “You should know that you’re going to begin looking a mess. I started off looking so ugly, but I still entertained and got a job from it.” Drag is nothing new and is not going anywhere any time soon. It dates back at least to Shakespearian times when women were not allowed to perform on stage in plays and when the term drag meant ‘dressed as a girl’. Drag today is about more than just a man dressed as a woman - it blurs the lines of gender and sexuality completely. Azzuro added: “Drag is great and fun. You can break through any boundaries and stereotypes between gay people and straight people. “It’s like, ‘Oh there’s a man in a wig shouting at people over a mic’ - and that’s funny, everyone of Pics: Courtesy regardless of gender or sexuality finds Hamilton that James funny. "So let’s just realise that we’re not all that different, deep down we’re all the same people, and we just have different preferences.”


Make-up artist to the stars



rom her success as a makeup artist to her prosperous launch of Liverpool’s first vegan and cruelty free beauty business, there’s no doubt that any creative venture Carrie Jones embarks on is one of great passion. Throughout her career, her skills have led her to receive recognition from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Vogue, Tatler, Cosmopolitan and ELLE. One of the many peaks of her career was working with the musician P!nk, creating some of her most fierce looks. She has travelled the world painting faces including Gok Wan, Olly Murs and David Guetta. She said: “When I decided I wanted to be a makeup artist, no one was really a makeup artist and back then it wasn’t really a thing, people never really got their

Unpretty Studios ©Emma Fegan

makeup done professionally but that was good because it meant I had to aim high. I had to work in fashion, TV and with celebrities, which have bettered my career.” Just a girl from the small town of Huddersfield, Carrie moved to London to enhance her skills. She enrolled at the School of Media and Makeup and worked solidly for 10 years before settling down in Liverpool to build her own empire alongside her wife, Alyx Steele. Today she sits confidently and full of pride in her very own studio, ‘Unpretty’, rocking a bold smoky eye and influencing the new generation. “We promote individuality, we know how important it us to discuss what people want and we are never into transforming people. Nowadays on social media, makeup has gone a bit crazy showing transformations and people looking like a completely different person. “That’s not necessarily always what the person wants, we just want people to leave feeling empowered, but still looking like themselves,” she said. As she cuddled her wife and business partner,

Alyx Steel explained how Carrie came up with the unusual name. She said: “Unpretty means diverse, free spirited, badass, whoever the hell you want to be. Society’s version of pretty is now a bit extreme so we wanted to have a place were individuals could come and feel okay with being themselves and finding their own version of what pretty is. “We both worked in the creative industry for years and we now have our own little creative project that we can put our heart and soul into.” Carrie felt it was time for the world of makeup to take a more animal-friendly stand and took matters into her own hands opening the first 100% vegan and cruelty-free beauty studio in Liverpool. “I think if people always knew, it would have never been a thing. Once we tell people what their fa-

Carrie Jones and Alyx Steel, ©Emma Fegan vourite makeup brands are doing, they’re outraged. This is not just a trend. Young people are becoming more and more aware these days and can clearly see what goes on from the vile videos on social media.” Only four months since the opening and the studio is already thriving, but this is just the beginning for Carrie. She aims to spread the message worldwide and plans to create her own Youtube channel to begin vlogging. “This studio is just our pilot at the moment, we are just finding our feet with this one and then we are going to try expanding on a global scale.

The Wright way to celebrate food and drink

Jade Wright. ©GoodTaste


or Jade Wright, editing a magazine was always a dream. Now, the former Liverpool Echo journalist has made it a reality with the launch of Good Taste. Jade Wright, who is originally from Manchester but is now based on the Wirral said: “The food and

drink sector in the North West is booming and we wanted to celebrate that. I have been writing about food and drink for years, and over that time, I have seen the scene blossom. There wasn’t a publication that celebrated that, so we decided to launch one.” “We aim to offer readers all the latest news, reviews and interviews for bars and restaurants, as well as sections for lifestyle, entertainment, families and travel. We have a quarterly magazine, monthly newspaper and website and social media updated daily.” With 20 years’ experience in the journalism industry, Jade, 39, began her career as a journalist at the age of 18 “ I started off at the BBC when I was 18, doing a day’s work experience that lasted four years. After that, I finally went to university, studying English, with the intention of going

back into broadcasting.” “While I was there, I started writing for the student newspaper and fell in love with it. I freelanced my way through uni, writng for anyone who would have me. My favourite was a dog magazine.” Growing up it was always a dream of Jade’s to be the editor of her own magazine, a dream that she did not think would happen to her. “Honestly, I didn’t ever think it would be possible. I love to write and I assumed I’d end my days as a feature writer, but the opportunity was too good to turn down.” After university Jade did a Journalism MA and then spent just over a year on the Oldham Evening Chronicle. “From there, I got a job at the Liverpool Echo, on their features desk, writing about food and music. I was there for 11 years.” Speaking of her greatest

achievement to date, Jade said: “Oh that’s a very hard question! Personally, it is having my daughter. Professionally, it is always the next project. I think we all hope our best work is still to come. “We’re launching a newsprint edition of Good Taste at the moment and we’re slowly creeping our way across the North West, so hopefully a little more geographic spread by this time next year.” Jade gave her advice to young journalists starting their career. “Write every day and read as much as you can. No one is born a journalist, we all learn. I was lucky to learn from some fantastic journalists. Everywhere I have worked, I started at the bottom and been able to learn from more experienced writers. So, whether it is a blog, work experience or freelance work, try to write as much as you can.”



Pic. ©Anna Finlay Nina, who is raising money for Alder Hey © Anna Finlay

LL 21

Time to trek to raise money



woman is set to complete South America’s most famous trek to raise money for charity. Principle Civil Engineer, Anna Finlay, will be taking a break from her arduous day job and hiking along one of the most famous routes in South America. The 37-year-old is hoping to smash her target of raising £4,000 for the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, West Derby. The climb is called Inca Trek and will take its hikers up three mountains to discover the breath-taking view of a 4,200-metre drop. Anna Finlay, known to friends as Nina, told Liverpool Life: “I like to try and help out where

I can and I also like to challenge myself so it seemed like a no-brainer. “Alder Hey is a very worthy cause. What inspires me is the wish to help others.” This is not the only charity work Nina has taken part in. She said: “I usually try to fundraise for homeless charities; they’re at the forefront of my drive to help other people. “The last year or so I’ve been trying to help out the HOPE project. It’s run by an amazing lady Sarah Morton, who helps a lot of the homeless people in Liverpool. I really admire that, I think it’s wonderful.” Nina added: “I’m working to raise funds on my own. The

requirement to do the trek is £4,000. It sounds a lot but I’m keeping positive about hitting the target.” The fundraising fanatic will be thrown in at the deep end, as she will be tackling the trek with a group of strangers. The civil engineer said: “I am a little worried about the lack of oxygen. However, I’ve started weight training and rowing again three or four times a week, so hopefully I’ll have the lung capacity and fitness to see me through by next October.” Nina has also arranged two raffles to help raise money alongside her Inca Trek. Nina told LL: “I would prefer to put all monies towards the

“Alder Hey is a very worthy cause. What inspires me is the wish to help others” Alder Hey Hospital © WikiCommons

charity, so I came up with the raffle idea. “The idea is that people donate £5 or £8 to the just giving page depending on the raffle they would like to enter. “I will be doing a live internet winner’s announcement on November 30th.” Another event dedicated to raising yet more donations for Alder Hey, with dates still to be announced, will be a live music and band night in Stamps Bar in Crosby. Nina will begin the Inca trail on October 12th 2019. To get involved and donate, please go to:


LL 22

How to give the gift of life Charlotte Rowe recovering © Charlotte Rowe By MEGAN TATTERSLEY


o look at Charlotte Rowe, you would not think, at such a young age, she has saved someone’s life. Sitting in the coffee shop, wrapped up in a stripy jumper with her university books tucked away, she looks like many other student in Liverpool. However, just 19 months ago Charlotte donated her bone marrow to save another person’s life. The 19-year-old joined the blood stem cell register after the charity, Anthony Nolan, visited her school. Around 18 months after signing up, in 2017, she received an urgent missed call and found out that she was a potential match. Miss Rowe said this was a shock because it is rare to match someone, especially so quickly. After receiving the phone call, the next step was for her to get her blood taken. Ten containers of blood had to be filled, with nine of them eeding to be a match. Charlotte came back with a 10/10 match. The Cornwall-born student stressed how reassuring the team at Anthony Nolan are. Throughout the stages of her donation, they reminded her of what the process would involve and always asked her if she was sure that she wanted to donate. Over a week, a month, half a year and

a year after the blood transfusion she was given questionnaires to check on her mental and physical health. “Due to my A-Levels I had to have my blood transfusion either the time before or after my exams. The team completely understood and worked around my schedule,” she said. Currently Charlotte is off the donation register, as there has to be a two-year period between different donations. She says they will contact her again soon, asking if she would like to re-join. When asked if she would recommend others to join the register she said: “Absolutely. It was so easy, everything was paid for, and it only took a day out of my life.” While being off the register and coming to study in Liverpool, Charlotte decided to join the charity Liverpool Marrow. From experiencing what it is like to donate blood, Charlotte believes she can help encourage other people to join. “A lot of people just don’t know what it is about, so many people come up and say ‘Isn’t that so painful?’ - but that’s a big misconception,” she says. “For about a week I was more tired than usual but after that I hardly knew I had done it.” There was an opportunity for Charlotte to meet the person she had saved but the recipient did

not want to. Another volunteer for Liverpool Marrow, Morven Elizabeth, has experienced first-hand how life-saving signing up can truly be. Eight years ago, Morven’s dad Malcom was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. After undergoing courses in chemotherapy, the doctors knew that the best chance of survival was a stem cell transplant. After what felt like a long wait Malcom had a match.


he donor was not allowed to be identified straight away so her family fondly called him ‘Mr A+’ in reference to his blood type. After two years of being anonymous, Malcom could finally meet his donor, Steven. They first met for a coffee then later went for food with both of their families, which lasted five hours. Morven said: “Despite studying English Literature, I was at a complete loss for words. How do you say thank you to someone for doing something so incredible?” When Morven attended university, she decided to join the Marrow society, which she has been with now for three years. She explained to LL: “I feel passionately about helping to raise awareness, fundraise, and most importantly, sign students up to the Anthony Nolan register to potentially give someone a second chance.”

“How do you say thank you to someone for doing something that’s so incredible?”


LL 23

Looking for Albert

REBECCA THOMAS had always wondered what happened to her great grandfather during the Second World War. So she decided to investigate

Baby Albert Thomas with his mother and father All photographs on this page © Rebecca Thomas


lbert Henry Thomas’s death has always been somewhat of a mystery for his son Frank. Until earlier this month, that is. During the Second World War, Albert, from Garston in Liverpool, was a gunner in the 5th Searchlight Regiment. Frank, now 79, said that when he was growing up, stories about his dad were sparse. Last week, Albert’s name was found on the Singapore Memorial in Kranji War Cemetery and the incredible story of his wartime life and death unfolded, nearly 75 years after he died. Frank - who happens to be my grandfather - told me that Albert married Claire Wilkinson in 1938, and a year later, Frank was born. However, when Frank was only six weeks old, Albert left to fight in the Second World War and after that, what Frank knows about

him is very little. According to Albert’s official death certificate, which my grandfather still has safely hidden, he was officially declared missing and presumed dead at sea on September 12th 1944. Before his death, the Japanese had taken Albert as a prisoner of war and no-one knew how long he was held. I began researching Albert’s career using his service number and searched on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for any trace of him. What I found was incredible. On the day of his death, Albert was being transported in a Japanese ship flying a Red Cross flag, to a prisoner of war camp. It was believed by the Americans and British at the time that the reason behind the Japanese flying a Red Cross flag was to smuggle weapons. However, on the day Albert was

Albert’s medals, which his mother received after his death

Albert Thomas’s death certificate being transported they were flying the Red Cross flag to indicate they had prisoners of war on board. Nevertheless, they were still fired on in a ‘friendly fire’ incident - all prisoners held on board were killed, including Albert. Albert Henry Thomas, who was 33 when he was killed in action, is commemorated at Singapore Memorial in Kranji War Cemetery. It bears the names of 24,317 casualties who died during the campaigns in Malaya, Indonesia, Southern and Eastern Asia, or in subsequent captivity and have no known grave. During the war, the Kranji area was used as a prisoner of war camp and in 1946, it was decided it would be designated as Singapore’s main war cemetery. My great grandfather left behind his wife Claire Thomas, who was 26, and his son Frank, who was six. My grandfather did not know how old his dad was when he died and did not have a grave to visit. The only picture he has of his dad is a family photo of himself as a tiny baby, with his father and mother. I was overwhelmed to be able to present my Grandad with a certificate from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which has his father’s name on and confirms that he is remembered with hon-

“At the age of 79, my grandfather finally has some closure about his father. He now knows his age when he died, where he was held, and where Albert is honoured”

Frank with certifcate marki Frank with the certificate Frank Thomas said: “Thank you so much, this is the first thing anyone has ever told me about him. The memorial is so respectful.” Frank’s daughter Jayne said: “Your grandad finally has the closure he’s always wanted.” Claire, Frank’s mother, applied for medals for Albert after his death, and recieved the Pacific Star medal and two 1939-1945 medals in his honor.



Keyless cars are causing a rise in thefts

Fobs like this are being blamed



ar theft in Merseyside is one of the highest in England and Wales, according to the latest Home

Office data. With a 23% rise from the previous year, Merseyside police recorded more than 3,000 vehicles stolen between 2017 and April 2018. The increase is part of a 15% rise nationally across England and Wales and both the police and security experts believe the issue could be due to a growth in new cars being equipped with keyless entry technology. This appeared to be the case in 2016, when police released CCTV footage online, which revealed how criminals had caught up with technology, with one keyless car being broken into and driven off, without the need for any keys. Since then, controversy towards keyless-go vehicles, which have been marketed by many leading auto brands as being more safe and secure, has gained momentum. The feature essentially allows owners to enter and start their vehicle without needing to touch or remove what’s called a fob from their pocket. It’s the fob which replaces the traditional metal key that can unlock and start the car. Steve Launchbury from Thatcham Research, which is an independent research centre that evaluates the benefits and shortcomings of new vehicle technologies, told LL how keyless go can

Astra key fobs are prone to hacks be hacked by criminals. He said: “As with all new technologies, there is a potential risk. Keyless or what is known as Passive Entry systems can in some cases be susceptible to Relay Attack. “The method consists of simply capturing the signal emitting from the vehicle and relaying it back to the key. “The key and car believe they are within close proximity of each other, allowing the car to unlock, and in some cases permitting the starting of the vehicle.” Many cars these days are equipped with keyless go, which has become more of a standard feature as opposed to an optional extra. One of them is the Vauxhall Astra, which is built in the Ellesmere Port plant near Cheshire. Vauxhall said that it “takes the safety and security of its customers very seriously. Vauxhall has multiple existing protections in place and continues to add secu-

© Wikimedia Commons

rity protections as new threats are identified.” Tracker, which has over 25 years’ experience in tracking and recovering stolen vehicles, have discovered through work with the police, that many cases of car theft with keyless go, have links to organised criminality and enterprise due to their exclusivity and worth.


live Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker, explained to Liverpool Life what happens after a keyless go car has been compromised. He said: “Typically, they will be used or disposed of through a number of means. “Either they are shipped out the county, where we have recovered numerous vehicles at various ports around the UK, destined to Eastern Europe or North Africa, or they remain in the UK, where they end up being up for parts. “Organised criminality has been making lots of money through stealing executive vehicles by

© Wikimedia Commons cutting them up in what is communally known as chop shops and selling component parts to those vehicles online, both nationally and internationally. “We have also found that some of the stolen vehicles may end up being involved in organised criinality themselves, to carry out a robbery or an ATM theft.” As keyless-go theft increases, and with fewer than 50pc of vehicles being recovered nationally, there are many ways in which motorists can protect themselves. One is to contact their vehicles dealership to find out whether the keyless-go feature can be tuned off, as is the case with some keyless entry systems. Furthermore, the theft devices used to break into keyless cars have a limited range. Because of this, people should consider keeping their vehicle’s keys away from any access points to their properties. Instead, they should be kept at some distance from inside, such as in living rooms and kitchens. Lastly, anti-theft devices such as steering locks should be considered as a visual deterrent, as should vehicle tracking/location systems in case a car is stolen. To help reduce rising numbers of theft across Merseyside, police are encouraging drivers to be vigilant when parking their cars. • Anyone with information on vehicle crime can speak to their local officers, call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously and for free, on 0800 555 111.


SAVIOUR: Conservationist Lek Chailert with some of the elephants she has rescued

© Lek Chailert


elephant in the room © Ben Higgins

Elephant rescues in Thailand are rare, unpredictable and lifethreatening. However, this is exactly what world-renowned conservationist Lek Chailert and her team set out to do in a moving new documentary. Ben Higgins reports.


t is not every day that you see a film that truly opens your eyes to an important cause. But last night a jampacked lecture theatre witnessed ‘Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story’, a captivating film about a team of elephant rescuers, led by conservationist and TIME Magazine’s Hero of Asia Lek Chailert, embarking on a dangerous 480-mile mission across Thailand to save Noi Na, a 70-year old partially-blind elephant and bring her to safety. The film sets out to show the plight of Asian elephants; how they are slaughtered for their ivory, made to perform in circuses and be a service animal, albeit the film has a heart-warming finale. Mrs Chailert founded the Save Elephant Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of Asian elephants. Since the opening of her Elephant Nature Park sanctuary in Thailand in 1996, she has rescued over 200 tortured or abused elephants. Sangdeaun ‘Lek’ Chailert was born 1961 in a small hill tribe village of Baan Lao in Northern Thailand. From a young age, Mrs Chailert’s grandfather showed her how to love nature. She told LL: “He took me to the jungle and showed me how to respect nature. “He showed me the leaves and showed me how beautiful different types of leaves were. When I was young I didn’t understand why he showed me this way. But when I grew up I realised that the way he taught me was really amazing.”

Elephant at play, left. Right: Lek Chailert with project director Ry Emmerson Mrs Chailert also highlighted her grandfather’s generosity, which she would implement in her own life. “My grandfather was a medicine man in Thailand. He set up a small hut to treat people for free. As a young child I did not get it. “People were desperate to come see him, and the thing he got from is that when he treated them they would leave with a big smile, that meant more to him than money. He taught us that it was not about us - it was about what we share to others.” She went on to tell LL the severe risks that came with making this film. “The film really had no script. It was so real. Watching the film back really brings back a lot of bad memories. I think about the elephants and what they have been through. “People ask me: ‘What does your family think when you do such a risky job?’ I tell them that my family does not speak to me.” However, she is happiest when she sees her rescued elephants free and full of joy: “When I rescue elephants, when I bring them home and

see them free of sickness and pain, I am happy. We treat them, bring them to the herd and give them freedom. Then I see them rolling in the mud and running in the river; I see them happy and that is my big reward. “The young generation must also help; they have a platform on social media. This is a big opportunity for the young generation to make anything from here.” Audrey Gaffney, from Action for Elephants UK, was supporting the elephant cause at the screening last night, and has set up a website where tourists can read trusted travel reviews which protect animal welfare. “The problem with the animal tourism and travel industry is that it is worth a quarter of a trillion dollars,” she told LL. “We have decided to make a Trip Advisor platform where people can review, provide advice, and get links to studies and organisations and get trusted advice.” • ‘Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story’ is available to buy now on YouTube and Google Play.


“Always be ready to travel for a story”

SNORKELLING: Jess in Bezille


© Jess Grieveson-Smith

Travelling to the news


ess Grieveson-Smith has always had the drive and determination to make a difference, which took her from living in the small town of Knaresborough North Yorkshire, to travelling all the way to work in South Africa. She developed a keen passion for journalism after volunteering for radio hospital in her hometown and made the decision to travel to Liverpool to study the subject at Liverpool John Moores University. Here, she chased her goals to get where she is today, a successful feature writer at Caters News Agency. Throughout her career in journalism, she has had many lifechanging experiences where she got to travel the world and work with many different organisations and people. She told LL how it felt to land her first big job after graduating and what she has experienced working in the journalism field. She said: “I was excited to start the job. Caters News Agency is international so not only do I write for the national newspapers, I get to make videos for broadcast too

and they have offices in America, Australia and South Africa, to name a few. “I was lucky - I’d got some work from my work placement in third year, and so I did freelance shifts at BBC Radio 4 - I applied for a few and waited for the one I liked best. In the end, I had two fulltime offers - one from a broadcast company called That’s TV and where I work now, Caters. “I chose to go with Caters because I felt I had more potential to climb the ladder, and also to go abroad. “I’ll have the opportunity to travel with work soon. There’s offices in six continents - personally I’m hoping for South Africa as I’ve already worked out there and loved it. “I worked with a company called Africa Media and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.” Jess has had her work published in the Daily Star, the Daily Mail, the Metro, the Mirror to the Guardian, and then all the magazines such as Closer, and websites like LADBIBLE. She said how her experience in university helped motivate her by preparing her for what it was

like being a journalist in the real world and interviewing people for stories. She added: “The course showed me what I could achieve with journalism, things like ‘vox-popping’ developed my passion and completing work experience showed me how I could achieve my goals.


he news days were brilliant, they’re similar to what I do now on a daily basis, and so I knew I was ready as soon as I started work. “Being a student journalist isn’t really that different to now - when you’re a student it can be harder to get people to talk to you, so in a way you become more resilient and ready for working life.” Jess wanted to offer advice to younger aspiring journalists, as she was once in their shoes wondering what the future would hold. She said: “Always be ready to travel for a story and have a few ideas in mind. You need to be able to juggle so there’s always stories ticking over and getting ready. There’s every chance one will fall through so you have to be determined.”

LL 27 From head injuries to hurdles



Campaign: Liverpool County FA endorses Rainbow Laces

Last-ditch tackle to thwart homophobia


The Liverpool County Football Association has backed a campaign that encourages the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to come out and fight discrimination in sport. Rainbow Laces is a grassroots sporting campaign for everyone to support the LGBT fight for equality and inclusivity. The LCFA’s participation figures in the Rainbow Laces campaign is expected to treble for 2018 compared to their 2017 figures. Rainbow Laces previously focused on clubs being allowed to apply for the campaign only via

leagues. Now individual clubs across Liverpool can apply to participate in Rainbow Laces, unlike previous years. Anna Farrell, Football Development Officer for the Liverpool County FA, told LL: “We have always backed the Rainbow Laces campaign and actively promote this to all our Clubs and Leagues across Merseyside, as have all the teams at Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs. “We’ve had 12 clubs registered, amounting to over 230 players receiving laces to wear over the three identified weekends on 17th -18th, 24th-25th November, and

1st-2nd December.” Data from last year shows that 16 county FAs participated, including the Liverpool County FA, with 43 youth and adult leagues with 7,000 players lacing up over the period in 328 scheduled games. Stonewall launched the initiative in 2013. Figures from 2017 show that 75,313 pairs of the rainbow laces were distributed in all areas of sport, fans, players, referees and officials with 12m adults in Britain seeing the campaign. For more information on how to get involved in the ampaign, search for the campaign on the Stonewall website.

The Aintree Community Programme have offered free entry for NHS staff to the raceday meeting on November 10. Local communities around the area have been invited to host a wide-range of activities including football sessions by Everton in the Community, inflatable hitting net hosted by the Aintree Golf Centre and Pony Rides. They will also mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War in 1918 - when the guns fell silent at 11am - after collaborating with the Royal British Legion, Liverpool Veterans and Veterans in Sefton,. There will be a strong military presence around the racecourse in support of the #ThankYou campaign. A spokesperson for Aintree Racecourses Jockey Club told LL: “We would like to thank NHS staff in our local community for the great work they do by offering free entry to this raceday.”

City to benefit as Special Olympics makes return By SUMMER GEDALL Liverpool’s visitor economy is set for another boost following the announcement that the city will host the 2021 Special Olympics GB Summer Games. Following its debut 20 years ago in Knowsley, Merseyside, the multi-sports tournament has taken place every two years in various cities across the world – benefiting the local people, volunteers and athletes involved. Since the World Firefighters Games in 2008, Liverpool has not hosted any major multi-sports events, meaning the 2021 Special Olympics are an exciting prospect for the city.

Chris Hull, a representative for the Special Olympics, told Liverpool Life: “We are looking forward to the support of the people of Liverpool and businesses of the city at this very significant sporting event. “We are sure that the great city of Liverpool will provide a very successful and hugely memorable event for our athletes, their families, coaches and volunteers. “The people of Liverpool are

well-known for their warm embrace and love of sport. So, what better host venue for our Special Olympics GB athletes to enjoy this landmark event in their lives?” The event, which provides a platform for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round training and Olympic style sports will take place from Tuesday August 3 to Saturday August 7 2021 at multi-

ple Liverpool venues. It is expected to bring in at least 2500 athletes and volunteers with many more visitors from across the country likely to visit which can only be good news for the city’s retail and hospitality sectors. Sheffield hosted the games in 2017 and saw huge economic benefits of over £3.2m and the results should be similar for Liverpool. An exciting opening and closing ceremony at Sefton Park and Echo Arena Liverpool will also trigger a major cultural programme for the games and it is likely that a new Intellectual Disability Forum as well as an annual festival will develop from this.

28 L


FIGHTING FIT? Dean Garnett, left

©Jim Edwards

Weight cuts - the sacrifice outside the octagon



osing a tenth of your body weight in 19 hours sounds impossible. At the very least, it sounds like a great way to hurt yourself. And yet Liverpudlian MMA fighter, Dean Garnett, did just that. Despite the risk of death, the pro-mixed martial artist reveals how he was forced to dehydrate himself and go nil-by-mouth in order to shed 14 pounds (6.4 kg) in less than 24 hours for the sake of his profession. Fad diets are nothing new to the everyday person, but martial arts fighters are required to take their weight loss to a whole new level in order to be able to compete. Weight cutting is a huge part of the agenda of the fight game. Every fighter must choose a weight class that they wish to participate in, a weight class that they feel they will thrive in. For some fighters, they drop many weight classes in other to gain a physical advantage on fight night. The power difference between a 210lb man who has cut weight to fight in the 185lb middleweight division can be a huge advantage and has proved to be so in the past. But it comes with grave risks.

Dean, who trains and coaches at Aspire MMA in Childwall, told LL: “I don’t like over-sensationalising, but obviously people know there is a problem. “If there were more weight classes this weight cut wouldn’t be necessary. I just hope it doesn’t take more people dying for a change to be made.” Dean, 30, from Speke, goes hungry for over 19 hours, with his last meal being a portion of salmon. After this, he is only allowed chewing gum for the entire duration. Dean added: “People ask why do you do it, but potentiality you can earn millions and you want to be the best.” Another UFC fighter who has shot to mainstream fame in recent months is charismatic Scouser Darren Till. Darren, known as ‘The Gorilla’, shot to the forefront after his impressive performances in the UFC’S welterweight division, including a huge win over number one contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in Liverpool. Following the win, Darren released a video showcasing the hardships he endured trying to make weight for the fight. In the six-minute video, it perfectly encapsulates the extreme length the body is put to during

a weight cut. The 25-year-old appears physically dejected throughout the footage, showing no willingness to speak, the fighter goes blind from dehydration at one point and looked close to death a number of times during the footage, in what can only be a wake-up call. Liverpool-born Thomas Farley has been involved in the sport for six years and recently started fighting professionally. Thomas said: “There are many flaws to weight cutting in the sport, dehydration being a key factor. Most muscle mass is water around 70pc, so the idea of finely turned athletes cutting

water mass is incredible. “Personally, for me, the solution is very simple and athletic boards need to do more for it. You take a man and weigh him when he’s healthy. He should only be allowed to fight one weight class blow his ‘walk around weight’.” There are at least two deaths in mixed martial arts’ modern era directly linked to dehydration. In 2013, MMA fighter Leandro Souza, 32, from Brazil collapsed and died of a stroke during a weight cut after attempting to shed 15kg in a week. And in 2015, ONE Championship fighter, Yang Jian Bing, died from complications secondary to a rapid extreme weight cut.

Dean Garnett pictured away from the strains of the Octagon © Annie Williams


LL 29

Pitch perfect TUSSLE: LFC Ladies v MCFC Ladies, Prenton Park © Chloe Tomkins

CHLOE TOMKINS reports on her first experience of a women’s football matchday


ranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park stadium will continue to play host to Liverpool Women’s FC home games for the next three seasons. I wanted to find out if the beautiful game was just as beautiful for the women and their supporters, so as someone who is a complete alien to watching any kind of football game (bar the World Cup and my dad watching it on the television at home), I thought it was about time I went to a match and got behind our local ladies club. The first Sunday of November saw my first visit to a chilly Prenton Park in Birkenhead for Liverpool Women vs Manchester City Women. To be expected, most of the stadium was relatively empty. However, I was surprised to learn the turnout on the day was 661, which is impressive for a women’s match. I was even more surprised to see the number of men in the crowd. As old-fashioned as it may sound,

I was under the impression that only women supported women’s football. It changed my whole perspective of the sport. I started to have a more positive outlook on the game, and its fight for equality. The atmosphere was pretty much what I expected when both teams walked out on to the pitch, with loud cheers from fans for both sides. All supporters were in the same stand which I thought could cause potential problems if anything were to ‘kick off ’. There was some rival banter, but nothing as exciting as what I had imagined. Annoyingly, someone started banging a drum and continued to do so for the entirety of the match. My dad later told me that they had been banned from most games but obviously that memo was yet to reach Prenton Park. It was interesting to read player profiles and see how they got into women’s football and which teams they previously played for. Having previously known

nothing about football, I can now if tell you with confidence that LFC ladies captain is Sophie Breadley-Auckland, a centre-half who has also represented England in the World Cup and and Team GB in the Olympics. I could start to see why women’s football was rising in popularity and why they still have the right to be annoyed that they’re still not seen as the same level as the men’s clubs. Although the first half remained goalless, I was still impressed with what I saw. Manchester City were particulary impressive, maintaining possession well. I used the 15-minute break to talk to a couple of supporters who were sat behind me. Kitted out in Liverpool gear head to toe, I asked them why they’d braved the cold temperatures to watch the game. Millie Davenport, 18, from the Wirral, said: “I love coming to watch the girls. I’ve played football at school ever since I was little and it’s great to watch such

good players in our team.” I wanted to delve a little deeper into their thoughts on equality in the sport. Jessica Cane, also 18, said: “There’s definitely been improvement, but I think the women are still a long way off as being treated the same as men in this sport. You can see that there are nowhere near as many supporters here as the men’s team would have. We haven’t even got our own ground. I don’t think any women’s team will ever have that luxury. It’s wrong really.” The second half was much more exciting than the first, but unfortunately not in the way that Liverpool would have hoped. The visitors took a two goal lead through an unfortunate own goal by defender Nimah Fahey and a confident finish from City’s Nikita Parris. The match ended 0-3, a disappointing result for the home team, but all in all a new and interesting experience for me. Sixth-placed LFC Women are back in Women’s Super League action away at Bristol City on November 17th.

Irish sporting tradition expanding over the water By SUMMER GEDALL The University of Liverpool’s women’s Gaelic football club has become a treasured aspect of sporting life for many young people. The sport, traditionally played in Ireland, is becoming increasingly popular elsewhere. Gaelic football requires a combination of skills linked to several sports including rugby, and prides itself on its inclusivity to people from every background. Club captain Molly McMullen said: “It attracts athletes from all types of sports, and is part of

the reason why it is now popular worldwide. “This year we have a growing number of recruits from even more places across the UK and we’re still growing.” The team, founded in 2008, is typical of the increasing number of women who are getting involved in competitive sports traditionally associated with men. A proud Molly spoke about the club’s welcoming nature: “We try to ensure that any new recruits are integrating well with the rest of the team and that everyone in the squad feels

happy and confident within themselves.” The recent emphatic victory over the University of Bangor shows the new recruits are settling in well - but for many girls on the squad, though, it isn’t all about the results. Molly described how she and others initially signed up in order to make friends with shared interests. “I joined the team in first year thinking it would be a great way to make new friends at university and to keep myself fit and I wasn’t wrong. “The best memories I will take

away from my time at university will definitely be with the Gaelic team and the bonds we formed on the pitch.” The team train twice a week with a focus on fitness, a key to ensuring a succesful end to the campain in February. The team also compete once a week and Molly admitted that it can be a difficult balancing act between sport, studies and a social life. But despite this, the girls remain committed to representing women, the university, and the sport they are most passionate about.


“When I retired from football, no one wanted to know me” Stephen Killen meets former professional footballer Neil Mellor at the launch of the Pro Football Academy’s Liverpool branch


ave you ever wondered what happens to professional footballers when they decide to hang up their boots? As we know, ex-professionals have found success in management or punditry, but for Neil Mellor it was a struggle to make ground in the media industry following an injury-plagued career, which saw him retire early after breaking his way onto the scene in the early 2000s. Spending most of his career at Deepdale with Preston North End, he made his name after scoring the winning goal for Liverpool against Arsenal in the Premier League in 2004. Now plying his trade as a pundit for Sky Sports and LFCTV, the 36-year-old, who was speaking at the launch of the Pro Football Academy Liverpool branch at Prescot Soccer Centre, said he believes the launch of the academy is positive for the children in the area.

He said: “Hopefully it’s an opportunity for people in the local community who get to play grassroots maybe at academies, but it’s also that step in between so they might not be training as often because of the facilities or maybe they’re not at an academy. “This is something in between where they get to use these facilities and use the coaching which is very high here with ex-professionals like Marlon Broomes coaching (see panel below), who had a good career and gives time to these young players so they can grow and develop.” A number of injury problems during his time at Preston North End led to Neil’s eventual retirement in 2012, but he still made 194 total league appearances. He told LL about the struggle he faced when he made the transition into punditry following retirement: “The transition from football into punditry was really hard, I fulfilled my dream as a professional footballer so young but then reality kicks in.

Sky Sports pundit Neil Mellor

© NeilMellor33 Twitter

“Retirement came a little bit earlier than I wanted, shortly before my 30th birthday. As a player, I had to adjust to not achieving what I set out to do as a footballer. “But I came out of football and no-one wanted to know me, noone wants to pay me, I still have to pay the same bills, like before, no-one’s telling me how to be and where to be. “It was a very big mental adjustment. I don’t think any player could adapt to that long-term because of the highs of being a pro footballer. It’s difficult for all footballers.” Mellor’s former teammates Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard have enjoyed success in their contrasting avenues in punditry and management following retirement. When asked about a potential coaching career following in fellow ex-professionals’ footsteps, he insisted he’s more of a pundit than a coach. “I do a little bit [of coaching]

at Grassroots and I enjoy it but since I retired, I went into the media side of football and that’s something I’m enjoying.” Surrounded by young budding footballers, he revelled in the training that the academy provides the local Liverpool children. “I’ve got a nine-year-old boy and all I want him to do is enjoy football. I think there’s too much made of young players thinking ‘I need to be at an academy’, you don’t need to be at an academy from the age of five, six or seven. Just enjoy football.” As expected, Steven Gerrard was the hardest opponent he faced but there was one player who he couldn’t quite shake off. He said: “I played against Steven Gerrard once, in the FA Cup. I wasn’t too happy about that, he was such a good player. “But, I always used to come up against defenders. There was a Swedish centre-half at Aston Villa called Olof Mellberg, every time I went near him, he was there a brick-wall, strong as anything!”

Ex-Tranmere defender looks to the next generation By STEPHEN KILLEN A star-studded event with ex-footballers saw 30-40 children brave the cold and frosty weather at the launch of the Pro Football Academy’s Liverpool branch. The PFA was founded four years ago and has enjoyed success around the North West, opening academies in Macclesfield and Wythenshawe. They offer the opportunity for boys and girls ranging from five to 16, to have high quality training and coaching twice a week. The hope is eventually to

launch girls PFA all-stars to accompany the boys all-star teams. Former Tranmere Rovers defender Marlon Broomes was appointed a coach for the Liverpool branch of the academy. Marlon started his career in 1994 at Blackburn Rovers before enjoying spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Preston North End and Tranmere Rovers, to name a few, until retiring in 2012 after he amassed over 250 league appearances for various clubs. He now uses what he learned over his 18-year

playing career to better and develop youngsters as a coach for the Pro Football Academy. He spoke to LL at the launch: “We’re going to do some one-to-one sessions, we’ve got foundation phase 6pm-7pm and then we’ve got the Youth Development Programme and I’m really looking forward to it. “We’ve got various sports centres around the North West, we’re looking to branch out into Preston, but this is a perfect opportunity for a footballing city, you either support Liverpool or Everton.

“There are a lot of kids here we’re here to give them that extra professional training.”

PFA’s Liverpool branch at Prescot Soccer Centre. Picture © Stephen Killen


Plaque for legendary footballer is to be unveiled at match site By BEN HIGGINS One of the greatest footballers in history, Hungary and Real Madrid star Ferenc Puskas, is to be commemorated at an unusual Liverpool landmark. A civic ceremony is to take place this month at Liverpool South Parkway station, where a blue plaque will be unveiled to honour the footballer at the site where he played his final match. The plaque is to be unveiled by Metro Mayer of Liverpool Steve Rotheram in onjunction with the Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós. The campaign has been led by Liverpool doctor Andrew Zsigmond, the city’s honorary consul of Hungary.

In May 1967, Puskas, at the age of 40, answered a call to play in a fund-raising all-star charity match at South Liverpool FC’s home Holly Park, now South Parkway station. He faced Liverpool and Scotland legend Billy Liddell’s all-star team, with Liddell’s side winning 5-3 in front of 10,000 people. Puskas made 85 appearances for Hungary, scoring 84 goals. Dr Zsigmond said that the plaque is a “fantastic honour to a fantastic footballer”. He added: “Ferenc Puskas is one of the all-time greats and the Hungary side of his era one of the finest the world has seen. “Now that there is a station here, Merseyrail have very kindly allowed us to place the plaque in the station. I think it is

New look: Café Tabac The former Holly Park, where Puskas, right, played, is now a station, above fitting to honour him and forge a lasting bond with the city of Liverpool. “I actually met him in 1966 during the World Cup that England won.

Selection in spotlight after Reds stumble in Serbia By NICK WARE Red Star Belgrade 2, Liverpool 0 Pavkov (22 minutes, 29 minutes) After Liverpool fell to a dismal defeat in Serbia last night, many fans have questioned how much of a role politics should be playing in modern football. Manager Jurgen Klopp left midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri out of the travelling party to south-eastern Europe due to fears over the player’s safety. Playing for Switzerland at this summer’s World Cup, Kosovo-born Shaqiri enraged Serbian fans after celebrating his last minute winner with a double eagle gesture, a reference to the eagle on Albania’s flag. Serbia, unlike Albania, still refuses to recognise Kosovo as an independent country.

But, after last night’s surprising loss to Red Star Belgrade which has left The Reds’ chances of Champions League qualification in the balance, supporters flocked to social media to have their say. @AnfieldRd96 tweeted: “Should’ve took Shaqiri to Belgrade. Let them cause trouble and we’d be given 3 points.” However, @ThisIsntRiaz understood the safety concerns and tweeted: “Shaqiri would’ve got attacked, and quite possibly would’ve led to others getting hurt too.” Liverpool play their penultimate Champions League group game against Paris Saint-Germain on November 28th, where a win would put them in a commanding position to progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

© Sam O’Hara

“Then, a year later he was playing and scored a hat-trick here at Holly Park,” he said. The plaque will be unveiled on Tuesday November 27 at 11AM at Liverpool South Parkway

By NICK WAREFC’s Goodison ground Everton

Italian link-up marks food first for Blues By NICK WARE Everton have finalised a deal with Italian food production company Fratelli Beretta, making them their first official partner in Italy. The agreement sees the club make their first venture into the Italian market while giving the Beretta Group marketing assets across Everton and a presence at Goodison Park on

matchdays. Alan McTavish, Commercial Director at Everton Football Club, said: “Our two organisations share the same belief in what is important – our values and ethos are a natural fit. “This partnership demonstrates the growing global appeal of Everton and represents another positive development in our commercial strategy.”

LL Liverpool Life

River of Light display © Angelica Day

Produced by LJMU Journalism Students

Liverpool Life 7:3 November 7 2018  

Liverpool Life is a fortnightly news magazine produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism p...

Liverpool Life 7:3 November 7 2018  

Liverpool Life is a fortnightly news magazine produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism p...