Brendan Mason’s brutal murder reflects the darkest consequence of bias motivated behaviour.

Politics and Insights

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Brendan Mason, who was brutally murdered by two young men he thought were his friends.
Picture courtesy of the Leicester Mercury

Two men who filmed themselves savagely beating a young man with learning difficulties and taunting him, telling him to “smile for the camera”, have been sentenced by Leicester crown court to life imprisonment for his murder. 

In the early hours of 5 July last year, Joshua Hack, aged 21, and Keith Lowe, 22, lured Brendan Mason, a 23 year old man with learning difficulties, to a park, where they said they wanted to spend time with him. Mason believed the two men to be his friends.

When the three of them arrived at the park, Hack and Lowe hung Mason from a tree. They took turns hitting him while the other held him down for several hours, cruelly laughing and taunting him. 

Mason was beaten unconscious, the two young…

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Memory Match – 09-11-46

Throughout the 2016/17 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.

09-11-46

Wrexham v Darlington

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 7-1

Wrexham: McNee, Jones, Jackson, Lloyd, Roberts, Tudor, Gardner, McLarty, Boothway, Sharp, Brown

Goalscorers: Boothway (3, 1 pen), McLarty (2), Sharp, Brown

Darlington: Barron, Kelly, Hutchinson, Parsley, Saunder, Towers, Simpson, Allison, Harrison, Varty, Sinclair

Goalscorer: Varty

Attendance: 9,033

Jack Boothway had his football career severally disrupted by World War Two. The Manchester–born centre forward made his first team debut for Manchester City in April 1941 and played for the Maine Road club up until 1944. During this period Boothway netted 57 goals in only 76 games.

Jack – he was actually named John on his birth certificate – made a guest appearance for Crewe Alexandra in 1944 and stayed at Gresty Road until the Football League resumed in 1946. His war-time career with the Cheshire club saw him net 67 goals in just 68 matches.

In October 1946, Boothway joined Wrexham for a record fee and part-exchange deal with Peter Baines moving in the opposite direction. The 6ft 2in striker played part-time for the Reds while continuing to work as a Draughtsman for a Manchester firm. Although he failed to find the net on his debut at Tranmere – a goalless draw – he certainly made up for it on his home debut against Darlington.

The score line suggests a one-sided contest, but this was far from the case as the home defence found themselves under pressure at times. Nevertheless, Wrexham took the lead in the first few minutes when Boothway headed a cross from Tommy Gardner, only for a Darlington defender to prevent a goal using his hand. The new signing converted the resulting penalty. Within a couple of minutes, Jesse McLarty snapped up a pass from Boothway to make it 2-0.

It was at this point that Darlington goalkeeper Jim Barron raced out to stem a run by Boothway and picked up an injury. Norman Parsley took his place in goal for a short while and when Barron was fit enough to return, the score remained unchanged. The shot stopper’s reappearance boosted the confidence of his team mates and the lively Tommy Varty pulled a goal back for the visitors.

Wrexham struck back before the break when Boothway scored a third goal with a shot on the run after more combination play with Gardner. Both these players were also involved in the fourth goal, which came when Barron fisted out a Gardner cross only to see Boothway return the ball into the net for his hat-trick.

Darlington began the second half strongly, but it was Wrexham who got on the scoresheet when Roy Brown provided McLarty with a cross which he promptly converted.

Wrexham were then reduced to ten men through injury as outside right Cyril Jones had to hobble off. Darlington continued to try to make a game of it, but despite their best efforts they failed to score. Terry McNee saved cleverly from Varty and before the end Wrexham scored through Norman Sharp and Brown to make the final score 7-1.

Writing in the Leader, X.Y.Z said: “On this form the Wrexham men should score much more freely than has been the case, in the first two months of the season. Boothway added so much strength to the attack that all the other members of the line – Gardner, McLarty, Sharp and Brown gave improved displays with Sharp catching the eye with his scintillating runs, and Gardner getting nearer to the ball he revealed at the opening of the season.”

***

Tom Williams was the man in charge as Wrexham resumed league football in 1946/47. The club finished in a respectable seventh place. This was quite an achievement when you consider that there were only four players left in the squad from 1979 – Albert Brown, Eddie Tunney, Gib Bellis and Walter Roberts.

***

Jack Boothway finished the season with 17 goals in 22 league appearances. The big striker also achieved a four-goal haul against Marine in the first round of the FA Cup. Wrexham won the match 5-0.

Just Lust

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”?) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.  Below you can read the 45th of my 2017 poems. 

The aim is to write as many of these poems as possible to build a comprehensive picture of life with a disability in 21st century Britain. Sadly this means I will be producing work of depressing negativity most of the time in order to reflect brutal realities in a cathartic manner. I will never shy away from this…

Thankfully this poem marks the end of my attempts to look on the apparent bright side for a short period as since turning forty I have lost a friend to cancer, seen a member of staff quit, watched my football team lose at home after five successive victories, called two plumbers and a bed technician. There is plenty of moaning to be done…

Beautiful stranger

My filthy mind is vivid

Hot bodies entwined

Adult passions are aroused

Dirty socks in the morning

 

R.I.P Brian Thirsk

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”?) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.  Below you can read the 44th of my 2017 poems. 

The aim is to write as many of these poems as possible to build a comprehensive picture of life with a disability in 21st century Britain. Sadly this means I will be producing work of depressing negativity most of the time in order to reflect brutal realities in a cathartic manner. I will never shy away from this…

Thankfully this poem marks the end of my attempts to look on the apparent bright side for a short period as since turning forty I have lost a friend to cancer, seen a member of staff quit, watched my football team lose at home after five successive victories, called two plumbers and a bed technician. There is plenty of moaning to be done…

True inspiration

You instilled confidence

Provided fresh hope

Wrapped inside pure Welsh humour

Future fights are in your name

 

Daily Post Obituary

Calm before the Storm

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”?) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.  Below you can read the 43rd of my 2017 poems. 

The aim is to write as many of these poems as possible to build a comprehensive picture of life with a disability in 21st century Britain. Sadly this means I will be producing work of depressing negativity most of the time in order to reflect brutal realities in a cathartic manner. I will never shy away from this, although I understand that my friends and family find such honesty to be upsetting at times. No one likes to read about the suffering of their loved ones on a regular basis.

The problem is that I am a truth-sayer. This will not change, but to celebrate my birthday week and show my love for my friends I will attempt to look on the apparent bright side for a short period.

Wish me luck.

Life begins today

Hurtling down a spiral, fast

Tory constructed drop

Many years of fighting  ahead

With my army of support

Celebration

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”?) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.  Below you can read the 42nd of my 2017 poems. 

The aim is to write as many of these poems as possible to build a comprehensive picture of life with a disability in 21st century Britain. Sadly this means I will be producing work of depressing negativity most of the time in order to reflect brutal realities in a cathartic manner. I will never shy away from this, although I understand that my friends and family find such honesty to be upsetting at times. No one likes to read about the suffering of their loved ones on a regular basis.

The problem is that I am a truth-sayer. This will not change, but to celebrate my birthday week and show my love for my friends I will attempt to look on the apparent bright side for a short period.

Wish me luck.

A landmark birthday

Brings a timely reminder

I am not alone

Indeed, I’m truly blessed

With amazing friendships

Space @ the Live Rooms

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SPACE PERFORM HEADLINE SHOW AT THE LIVE ROOMS, CHESTER

Space are an English indie band from Liverpool, who came to prominence in the mid-1990s with hit singles such as “Female of the Species”, “Neighbourhood” “Avenging Angels” and “The Ballad of Tom Jones”. They worked with both Tom Jones in 1999 and Cerys Matthews a year earlier. The band had formed in 1993 and released three studio albums, plus a number of charting singles, before eventually disbanding in 2005. In 2011, two years after the death of original drummer Andy Parle, the band announced they would reunite with Tommy Scott, Jamie Murphy and Franny Griffiths returning alongside three new members, crowd-funding their first album in a decade, Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab. A follow-up album is due mid-2016.

The melodic core of Space’s sound was inspired by 1960s guitar groups such as The Kinks and The Who, which got them tagged as part of the Britpop scene. However, their imaginative, pioneering usage of electronic instruments and samplingdrew mostly from post-punk, ska, hip hop and vintage film soundtracks.

The band landed 2 Top 10 albums in the late 90’s, alongside 8 Top 40 singles which included 3 Top appearances.

For more information on the band head to – http://www.spacetheband.co.uk