Updates

Time Is Tight...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

...to get your name listed as a supporter and published in Laurie Cunningham's upcoming biography Different Class. The deadline is (dramatically) MIDNIGHT this Sunday, 12th March. If you haven't already pledged or think it would make a good present for somebody you know please think about buying a copy. The book is published in July and would appeal to anyone who likes 1970's musio, fashion and football…

Dermot Kavanagh commented on this blog post.

Dandies Take Care

Friday, 10 February 2017

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The cover artwork for 'Different Class' has been approved and is now on amazon where it is available to pre-order before it's publication date on Thursday 13th July. I am told that traditionally books are always published on a Thursday, although I don't know why this is. I am very pleased with the cover. It is simple with elegant lettering, and suits the subject well. Laurie Cunningham was sometimes…

Futurists In Camden Town

Sunday, 4 December 2016

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It came as a surprise to be told the other day that 'Different Class' is now available to pre-order on Amazon. I have only recently been assigned an editor by Unbound and still don't know what they think of my first draft but I'll find that out when we meet later this month I suppose. Since I handed over the manuscript I haven't really thought that much about the book, and have stopped endlessly editing…

We're Getting There..

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

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I handed in the first draft of 'Different Class' to Unbound yesterday. It's been a long road and I've been told that the fun bit begins now. The manuscript will be edited first and then artwork and design chosen before it goes in to final production. I don't know how long this will all take at the moment but the book should be published around the middle of next year all being well.Thanks once again…

Laurie Cunningham Lived Here

Thursday, 22 September 2016

When I first became interested in Laurie Cunningham's story and found out that he spent his early years nearby to where I live I went to walk along the street where his house is to try and imagine what it was like when he lived there between the years 1966-1976. I plotted a trail in my mind's eye of the places where he would have played football and danced. I thought that he deserved some sort of…

Laurie Cunningham Lived Here

Thursday, 22 September 2016

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When I first became interested in Laurie Cunningham's story and found out that he spent his early years nearby to where I live I went to walk along the street where his house is to try and imagine what it was like when he lived there between the years 1966-1976. I plotted a trail in my mind's eye of the places where he would have played football and danced. I thought that he deserved some sort of…

THE ALL BLACK XII - NEW BBC DOCUMENTARY

Friday, 9 September 2016

Earlier this year I wrote about the extraordinary match that took place in May 1979 at West Bromwich Albion's ground when an all black team played an all white team. Now there is to be a TV documentary made about the game. The former Albion club photographer Laurie Rampling posted these pictures on Facebook earlier. Baggies fan Adrian Chiles will present the documentary which will be shown on BBC…

LOVE RAYO, HATE RACISM - FOOTBALL IN THE BARRIO

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Main door

Last week I went to Madrid to see two of the grounds where Laurie Cunningham played football. The first, Estadio Bernabeu home to Real Madrid, was impressive as I had expected. Situated in the financial district of the city with its leafy boulevards and broad plazas the stadium sits massively on the corner of a busy junction facing a cluster of corporate glass towers.

The second, which is definitely…

Laurie Cunningham's corner kicks

Friday, 20 May 2016

Laurie Cunnigham's first season in Spain was a great success. Real Madrid won the double and 'el negrito'  as he became known by euphoric fans was feted for his skill and unique talent. One particular skill that caught the imagination was his trick of taking a corner with the outside of his foot and making the ball swerve so unpredictably as to make it almost unplayable. Attached is a video of a game…

ON SET, ON THE KING'S ROAD.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

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"Saturday afternoon on the King's Road was a fashion parade..it was like a movie, it was literally a movie in the fifties and everyone was dressed to the nines."  

So said Leon Herbert one of the top dancers of the 1970's soul scene in London when I interviewed him for the book. I can remember that feeling too when I first went there as a teenager in the early 1980's. Although it was well past…

LAURIE CUNNINGHAM - 101% PROOF

Thursday, 7 April 2016

'Different Class' is now fully funded. In fact it is one percent past full, according to the totaliser. I found out last week-end and was hoping it would get to the finishing line after going on to talkSport radio on the Thursday beforehand to talk about it. I was invited on to the Hawksbee and Jacobs afternoon show and arrived early so as to rehearse everything I needed to say, such as accurate dates…

LAURIE CUNNINGHAM REMEMBERED IN N19

Sunday, 27 March 2016

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Almost three years ago, in summer 2013, I helped organise an exhibition about Laurie Cunningham in Archway. It ran for a week on Junction Road in N19 in a disused shop that Islington Council had made available for twelve months as an art space. Now, of course with its proximity to Dartmouth Park 'village' (an ever- rising property hotspot), it is a glossy estate agent's with a silly and pompous name…

'THE GREAT BATSBY'

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Roy

I went on to the Whistleblowers football podcast last night to talk about 'Different Class' along with DJ and Charlton fan Ric Riscardo. It is hosted by Mark Webster who was an original seventies soul boy and has been a DJ, presenter, scriptwriter and broadcaster for many years. He can now add impressionist to that list. Marvel as he attempts to do a convincing Paul Scholes and scratch your head as…

Dermot Kavanagh commented on this blog post.

"ONLY TIME WILL TELL" : LAURIE CUNNINGHAM WOULD HAVE BEEN 60 TODAY.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

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Following the good news that the house in Finsbury Park where Laurie Cunningham spent a large part of his childhood is to receive a blue plaque later this year, Leyton Orient FC and Waltham Forest Council announced a joint campaign yesterday to raise funds for a Cunningham statue to be placed in Coronation Gardens in Leyton where his career began.The anouncement is well timed as today would have been…

LAURIE CUNNINGHAM : OFFICIALLY, A GREAT LONDONER.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Blue

It was encouraging to hear the (long overdue) news that Laurie Cunningham is to be honoured with an English Heritage blue plaque later this year as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations. I have always considered blue plaques to be emblematic of London and can never walk past one without reading it and even make detours if I see one from afar. Obviously there are plenty in places like Chelsea…

PITCHING LAURIE

Saturday, 20 February 2016

I was pleased to be interviewed by Peter Gruner recently for the Camden New Journal as he is somebody I have always liked reading. Now writing book reviews for the New Journal, Different Class features in this week's edition, he previously spent eleven years as a tireless reporter for the Islington Tribune. He exemplifies what a good local reporter should be and writes to the simple credo 'everyone…

THE ALL-BLACK XI & ST. PATRICK'S DAY FOOTBALL

Friday, 29 January 2016

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While researching 'Different Class' I learned about a football match played in the West Midlands that would surely be inconceivable today. At at time when racist abuse on the terraces was at its height a game took place at The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion in May 1979, that pitted a black XI against a white XI. It was played shortly after the general election that swept Margaret Thatcher…

ROOTS & CULTURE : LAURIE CUNNINGHAM'S EARLY YEARS

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

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Here is a blog I have just written for 'Islington Faces' a great site for all things Islington created and run by Nicola Baird. Many thaks to Nicola for inviting me to write about Laurie and his Archway beginings.

 

http://islingtonfacesblog.com/

"Martin, Mean Streets is Brighton Rock"

Thursday, 24 December 2015

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It's a timely present to reach 20% just as Christmas arrives. Thank you and good will to everyone who has pledged so far. One of the more colourful and idiosyncratic people to pledge is Kosmo Vinyl whom I met a couple of years ago when he came to an exhibition about Cunningham that I had put together in Archway. Kosmo is a seminal if undefinable figure from the days of Punk. He was factotum, emcee…

"He was very much a London boy, he was one of ours".

Saturday, 12 December 2015

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So said the broadcaster Robert Elms about Laurie Cunningham when I was a guest on his BBC Radio London show in July 2013. Elms was a contemporary 1970's soul boy and frequented Crackers the club in Soho where the best dancers would gather each Friday afternoon.He wrote about that time well in his 2005 memoir "The Way We Wore".

BOUND FOR THE BERNABEU

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

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This picture was taken in June 1979 at Heathrow Airport and shows Cunningham on his way to Spain to sign for Real Madrid alonside West Brom club director John Gordon. Gordon got on well with Cunningham and visited him a number of times after he moved to Madrid. He liked champagne which had the unfortuante side effect of making his comb-over parting unravel the more he drank it. It is interesting to…

Radical to the Third Degree

Sunday, 29 November 2015

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'Radical to the Third Degree' is the name of an article I wrote a couple of years ago for the US soccer magazine 'Howler'. It is a 100+ page glossy quarterly that is very well designed with high production values and can be bought online via their website. Although mostly about soccer in North America they write extensively about European football too and have contributors from all over the world…

Published
Publication date: July 2017
109% funded
331 backers