A couple of years ago about this time I had been rubbing shoulders with a few famous folk at the Oldham Literary Festival. I had been interviewing guest authors for the festivals social media sites which should help promote next years event.
The first person to give me an interview was Paul Lake whose book “I’m Not Really Here” is a sensational read, an often harrowing account of a talented footballer who at the hight of his career was injured and unable to pursue his passion, playing football.
The person I interviewed rather than being a self assured athlete was an articulate and incredibly modest man who has discovered the hard way that fame and fortune sometimes comes to an end just as unexpectedly as it arrives, and the road to were he is now is an inspirational story of how to pull yourself up from the depths of despair.
Together with his wife Joanne they have told the story beautifully and rather than being another football autobiography it is essentially a story of the aftermath of essentially being put out to grass at the age of twenty seven.
The other interview was with Tom Hingley the ex lead singer with the Inspiral Carpets. His book “Carpet Burns” is a great read. I was surprised to hear that he came from Oxford and only arrived in Manchester when he studied at MMU. But his time with the Inspirals has been documented in several books on the Madchester music scene, but his gives us an insight into what its like to be a part of a band, with all the highs and tensions that brings.
What these two people had in common is that they both have been in a position to be revered almost like gods in there respective fields and both have dealt with the resultant tensions since in ways that I was surprised by.
If you ask either of these people what do they treasure most in life, they both gave me the same answer. It wasn’t the money, the fame or the fantastic great times they had experienced but something far more simple. It was the families and close friends who had been with them through thick and thin.
Perhaps a lesson to be learned the next time you decide to work an extra couple of hours at the office instead of spending time with the people who should matter the most to you.