It is my niece’s 33rd birthday, young Georgia Hudson, and on a day that should be one of happiness, I can say it is a ‘bitter sweet’ day for the thirty-third time, as she came into he world on the same day to take the place of my father and that, I truly believe, is why she has turned out to be a best family member of my generation. There are favourites in all families and for all different reasons, with different types of characters as they enter this place at a very different time than we did, as I came in when although my upbringing was second-to-none, where my mother, father, uncle George and his son Anthony, I would not have swapped for anything in my entire life. We lived and grew up in a far better place. I always say though that I listen to all of these people, rather like football pundits, with their ideas on schooling and can say hand-on-heart that if I were running this country from along the Thames my schooling methods would change rather dramatically. That would be the most important factor to be addressed, Number 1 Priority.
For instance why should it be that little Stevie-Marie’s mother, father and grandfather has to try to educate them when they get home, like us before her?
We were not taught to be streetwise, and education lies right there. If your children are educated about all the evils on our doorstep this would be a far better and safer place. For instance, the policemen I have come to learn over the years are not our friends, as are traffic wardens, and more important that old adage of “Don’t accept sweets from a stranger” is the most definite no-no in the book of life. And then nothing about when we leave our schooldays behind us and go out into this big bad world where corruption at a school desk is never mentioned.
Why do you think a footballer need an agent?
That is because we were never taught at school not to trust those that were going to employ us, and in football, it is not all about teaching your son or daughter how to play the game, the most important thing is once they have been taught in the streets, playgrounds over those friendly parks where we were taught, we then have to face the Big Bad Wolf. Why?
I mean why are we not taught this at school, because our well being outside of the class is far more important than what we learn inside of it, and in my life as Frank Sinatra sang “The record shows I took the blows…..” Another example is I remember when my eldest son young Allen was a toddler, loving my music the way I do, and really would have loved to have played the piano, we sent him for lessons and although he was keen – you only have to look at Elton John on his piano to want to play this instrument – he was unhappy when arriving home. As it turned out the teacher was a nonse. Now, how do they get away with it, these are responsible positions, and this leads to your Jimmy Savile’s of our world, something never mentioned or overlooked at school. What’s the use of knowing where Istanbul is if you don’t know what’s around the next corner of where you live, where you might be confronted by such people?
Today that “might” has become more and more likely, and we have a situation where when there’s trouble there is not a policeman in sight, they are sitting somewhere drinking tea in the daytime and in the pubs at night drinking something stronger, as I was to find out in East London to my sheer horror, sipping while looking forward to their pension. They are like the ‘suits’ in our game the ‘takers’ and ‘sponges’ of society who join the force for all of the wrong reasons, and you put them in a soldiers uniform to go to Afghanistan and they’d run for cover, well they wouldn’t, because they’d steer clear of such dangers and such uniforms. Am I seeing things through different tinted glasses when I saw young Lee Rigby, a brave young soldier, cut to pieces in front of passers-by with no protection within miles, a young man who fights for those who should be out there ‘on the beat’ watching out for such filth. On the brighter side, or less gloomier, for Lee will never come back, is those of us Good Guys are hoping to put on some kind of Memorial Match in memory of Lee for his Anniversary. We are only in the early stages but between a few of us we can try and at least attempt, while those are ‘taking to the knee’ which is going nowhere, in fact, upsetting more people than anything else, we feel that the handling of the Lee Rigby affair was disgusting and I hope I can talk for so many, a young lad who could have been yours or mine walking home from the Supermarket one minute and I don’t need to go into the gory details which followed. I cant blame teachers for such nastiness, but we should have at least been taught that we must beware once outside of our own front door, and in a lot of cases inside as well. I mentioned earlier of these film moguls or rats making money out of people like John Bindon, putting his name in lights when these kinds of people, once dead are far better forgotten, bad apples falling from such trees that should be cut down. There is no sign of a film, documentary or movie about Lee Rigby because the authorities know that they should be ashamed of themselves as they sit in the House eating their free lunches and drinking their free wines – and I have been there and seen them with my friend Mr. Tony Banks MP – and witnessed what goes on inside where while they sit and get fatter while on the outside the dangers that they ignore, lurk.
THE GOOD GUYS (AND A SIGH OF RELIEF)
How wonderful to see professional man, and person again and walked away with a terrific feeling, standing on the step taking in the air, much like Bob Champion (played by John Hurt in the movie) stood outside the cancer hospital in the Fulham Road as the revolving doors stopped behind him taking in that same air, in his case, of sheer ecstasy. Remember it was a movie close to the hearts of those who love thoroughbred horses as he went on to win the Grand National with Aldaniti trained by his great friend the legendary Josh Gifford (played by Edward Woodward). This really is inspirational.
Isn’t it strange how when walking down those few steps from Professor Ralph’s office the mind springs to something so wonderful, as a few minutes earlier you were going through those same doors wondering what was going to happen on the other side?
The great news is Champion (like George Best, had the right name for this occasion) as he not only went on to beat cancer but on 4 April 1981 at Aintree aboard Aldaniti, who like me had chronic leg problems, beat eleven top class National Hunt chasers including 8/1 favourite Spartan Missile to win arguably the most famous race that surrounds The Sport of Kings. The Grand National.
Looking back I had two friends riding in John Francome and Peter Scudamore, although they were not my dearest friends they will allow me to use their very famous names on this occasion. Bob Champion has since raised millions for that charity and remains in fine health, which in this day and age is just another miracle for him, how many does he want? I jest!
It is such a wonderful story all brought on by my trip to Harley Street via Regents Park from Earls Court to see one of those fine doctors who saw me through my battle with something so very different, however both involving revolving doors.
THE ROYAL MYSTERY AND DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN
It was not until l sent some of my writing to my friend John Grundey in Northern Cyprus and he replied and in his reply he said he couldn’t watch the recent terrific series Suits because of Meghan.
At first l had absolutely no idea what or who he was talking about because there is no Meghan in Suits? I then saw a picture if Prince Harry and his wife and realized just what he was on about.
It was then l wondered why?
What is not to like?
Ah, he’s a royalist, and if that is the case l am terribly sorry for my friend as thinking that l am not going to watch Suits because this beautiful young lady is in the office showing her stunning looks mate forget it John!
In fact it is quite the opposite and if you’d rather look at Camilla Parker-Bowles, please be my guest?
MEMORIES How would you react to knowing about the mysteries of how your mother was killed?
I have only seen the late and stunning Princess Diana once and that was as I left my mother’s home one morning and as I crossed the Kings Road where she was sitting in he back of a chauffeur driven car. It was at a time (I was just out of hospital and in deep rehabilitation), and I can only imagine, she was finding ways to get away from what we only know as her ‘royal duties’ and in this case she was on her way to the gymnasium in Chelsea Harbour, I am led to believe. I think we all agree we would be proud to have her as a daughter or grand-daughter, being a grandfather of an 11-year-old star gazing little Stevie-Marie myself, one so talented, and that we only want the very best for all of our children and their children
It is with this always in mind we must always take into consideration of the vast pressures put onto one in such a position, one who without being involved in royalty would have made it big in our world, without the aggravation and interference of those who make a terrific living out of hounding such people. I am fortunate to know a royal writer in Rob Jobson, and he spoke so very highly of the Princess. Rob attended a Book Launch of mine in Knightsbridge and was a man who always brought along pleasure to the table – on this particular day it was a pity he didn’t bring Diana, having said that it might have caused an even greater controversy as George (Best) was there, if you know what I mean
Are Princesses ahead of Miss World’s on his list of conquests?
As time goes on it is truly amazing that after the treatment Diana had to endure from those ‘Within These Walls’ just over a mile from me people are judging this next beauty.
I had a similar situation with my family, which you already know, but that was completely different, the royals are supposed to be an example, but it just so happens it is the opposite.
There is a new movie about to be made and my friend’s friend might be playing lead role of the man it’s all about, John Bindon, the aforementioned gangster who had he lived in the Fifties USA would have been floating in the Hudson River at an early age. A movie, one of disgust, although Meghan will love it as royalty will hit a new low, as Princess Margaret will be well documented which will be a sight for Meghan’s sore eyes.
Princess Margaret will play a big part as they’ll cover their times on the beach of Seychelles or some other exotic location – one which for this movie l can’t even be bothered to look up – as movies go this will be the worst idea for a movie any director and producer ever had, but then again, it’s the greenback?
Bindon was a local hard-nut/bully from my part of the world and my only good fortune was not coming across him until my late twenties, which was more than enough. The thing about this type of person is that he is not spoken about, or was not, in my teenage years which apart from my school days between say twelve and fourteen were no doubt years l would love to live again, but without such people in what was once Chelsea.
My times at Park Walk are just a flickering memory, but so very clear, and one where l often think about my nan and grandfather and wished l knew them more, meaning been around them like in Seattle when l saw my father – who rarely imbibed – cuddling young Allen after a couple of glasses of the bubbly with orange juice, this really was a sight for sore eyes and mine were sore at about 3am.
My recollections of my grandmother are warm and strangely humorous as when l used to watch that great old actress Irene Handl l saw my nan, the way elderly ladies were in such times, wonderfully warm and incredibly endearing and utterly charming.
That was nan who l would rush home to after school, as she lived a minute away in Millman House, and she’d have my tea ready, egg, baked beans and toast – still my favourite dish – and what a pre-match meal as l would gulp that down to get back across the crossing and back into the school playground for a match. Today, it seems like that was so many lives ago, where years ago locals would not be wanting to become exiles from this part of England, leaving friendliness behind.
Kids today are missing out on all of these such wonderful experiences and those that run the country putting signs up like: NO BALL GAMES are partly responsible for kids getting into trouble, with drugs springing to mind as they seek after school activities, like a school playground, any other playground or as we had at the Worlds End our very own Chelsea Boys Club.
I specify “very own” because those days and the days before me had no room for strangers and l don’t mean any new kid from Fulham, Victoria or across the Thames in Battersea, l mean strangers who are unspoken for.
And then there was Earls Court, in my teens, a place where the Aussies owned the pubs, or thought they did, and I mention this area because my very own best friend and partner in everything we did, be it football (he wasn’t a natural), cricket (he was the best) athletics (which we shared the long and short distance records).
Orville Boyce, once teaming up and becoming a part of the Hudson clan, became Billy Boyce and in these days of racial discrimination I for one take offence, as Tony Jimenez and I had Paul Elliott on our screens last weekend and what an absolute pleasure to see him.
Billy was and still is very special part of my life and was involved in my first ever racial confrontation although as a thirteen-year-old I wasn’t aware enough to take this up with Lofty Herman from the MCC. All I knew of the giant sized Herman (which reminds me of my old pal Tommy Nicholson calling someone Herman the German, how I miss Tommy) was that he was a cricket umpire in those days and he was at the ‘nets’ session in Chiswick where Billy and I were invited. It was an after-school session and Billy and I as carefree as two young kids can be turned up and took to the practice although I must ay I would have far preferred my game, although I was a decent cricketer, but miles behind the Jamaican, well, I would be wouldn’t I?
He was related to Keith Boyce the West Indies all-rounder, who played for Essex so he had a head start as I did with him in football, but that never come between us as we were in cricketing terms “a pair” and we took our young talents to both the cricketing crease and later on the football field to the penalty spot, which was strange to Billy, as Orville, but when he came into the prefab and underwent a new identity, as Billy, my father saw that he went from the little white ball (sounds like a Tommy Steele song) to the bigger and more heavier type. I would like to say Billy took to it like a duck to water, especially as our home turf was on the River Thames at Barn Elms, where they had the Boat Race Pitch for those college boys at Oxford and Cambridge. This suited Billy and I because we were mad Fulham supporters and opposite this pitch just across the water was our beloved Craven Cottage, unlike today, as we never had any expectations of our team, we simply went there as Fulham supporters, and the great thing about it, as I always say to Billy, we saved money not having to buy a black and white scarf. Billy was as talented at his game as I was at mine and on this particular early evening after batting practice Lofty approached me as I was getting changed and asked, “Alan, would you like to come down to Middlesex for trials?” My immediate reaction was, ‘Of course we would’ and he said, “Who is we?”
Not thinking I said, ‘Billy and me would love to come’ and he finished up with, “I am inviting you alone Alan” so I finished up with, ‘But Billy is far better than I am!’
And that was it, and as I said to Billy one day about eighteen months ago in Lloyds Bar in Fulham, ‘It hurts me Will, that you could have become such a big name in cricket if it weren’t for what I found out later in years as I had the exact same with Don Revie, who was racial against Londoners and Chelsea players in particular,’ and I don’t have to tell you the reason why that was?
Please believe me when I tell you I loved and still love this kid and I would have been so proud to see him play for the West Indies against England at either the Oval (my favourite cricket ground) or Lords, both grounds I have played on, at the Oval I actually hit the great John Edrich, that brilliant Surrey opening batsman, on the pads and screamed like Hell.
But, truly, as I still complain about the youngsters of my age, and those before, not getting a deserved opportunity and are ignored so much so it hurts, as I have played with better players in the backstreets of Chelsea than I have at Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and any other stadium.
The moral of this or any other story is: We are just passing through and only get that one vital chance and like me with Ramsey and Revie on the international stage Billy had his one taken away by the hypocrisy of the MCC – and one man in particular.
As the saying goes and I use it a lot, “It only takes one man to ruin you,” which I’ve had and also on the other hand, one to make you, which I had two also, Billy Hudson and Tony Waddington.
Going back to Billy really is an eye opener as to how he became to end up in the West London Schoolboys team. It all began at Barn Elms, which was a place with so many marvelous pitches looked after by a certain Mr. Harvey who we all looked up to us he went about his job rather proudly. On this one incredible morning we were warming up before the match with only ten lads as one either had overslept or didn’t fancy it?
To see Billy run onto the field with a football strip and a rather large pair of boots was something to behold. I had never seen him kick a ball of any kind for as l said he could put his hand to the smaller ball and bowl like Sir Garfield Sobers, a man who was like some kind of ‘Cricketing God’.
Sobers was a genius who bowled and batted as if the ball and bat were a part of his anatomy. A true genius, and to my horror, l found out years later he played regularly for a local cricket club called Norton where l did a couple of “talks” and was introduced to his best friend of those times, of course another West Indian, a lovely man. Norton was about an Ian Hutchinson throw from the Victoria Ground, ouch!
I’m really surprised that Mr. Waddington, who loved his cricket, never took me to meet the great man?
Anyhow, here was a stranger to our game who had stood outside the dressing rooms, for reasons unknown, maybe he saw into the future?
I say that because my father turned up and asked what was going on and Billy said to Billy, l can only presume, that he was waiting for our player who was late on parade?
My father, to Billy’s horror, told him to put the other shirt on and find a pair of boots to which Billy said: “But Mr. Hudson…” No chance Billy, if my father says you’re o you’re playing if you have ever kicked a ball or not?
Hence him running onto the field, but before he arrived he was given his orders and they were: “When Alan gets the ball in midfield, you get ready to run and as quick as you can,” and the rest is history, Billy didn’t need telling twice to run, like the song he was “Born to Run.”
Billy would leave our opponents for dead and once getting on the end of my pass the ball would hit him everywhere except where it should, his shins and knees more than anywhere else, especially if the pitch was bumpy?
This could be a story about Forest Gump it was so off-the-wall ridiculous. However ridiculous Billy ended up our leading goal-scorer and till this day l bet he scored more goals than any other player in the world by scoring with every part of his body, waist down that is, for like me we believed in football not head-ball, actually a lot like Marcus Rashford today.
I have never once heard Billy talk if those times and I often wonder, more so now, if his parents believed that he made Alan Hudson?