November 2022 was the scheduled release of a 42 year in making book, my epic ChampIAN STEWARTnova. Following the Northern Ireland football team 1980-2009.
In true irony, the only parts of that book that remain in full are the only TWO parts NOT done by me.
1.The cover art and design. I have them on email thank God, from Daniel Sidebottom, my designer. As well as uploaded to this blog.
2.The Foreword written by World Cup footballer (Mexico 86) Ian Stewart. Ian emailed it to me, so I have it.
The rest is lost forever despite me backing it up in three places.
1.My laptop desktop. Standard. Stolen
2.My backup hard drive. Also standard but I backed it up in June 2022 last, which was before a lot of the very final edits and chapter adding. RETRIEVED!!
3.A special USB I had only for my books and poetry. Stolen.
Imagine on one day, I take ALL THREE of those out of my flat with me. And on that day a criminal asshole that should be sentenced to life imprisonment cowardly and callously steals my laptop on a bus with a snatch and grab attack. It all happened so fast and I only realised the horror of that nasty theft when I returned to my flat.
It was then I realised that for once, I hadn’t emailed that book to myself or anyone. I had only those three backups of it. I hadn’t saved or written it anywhere else. That book, with 42 years of effort was gone.
It was a BRILLIANT BOOK. It had stories from watching Northern Ireland football matches from 1980-2009. Once it was finished, I started working on the follow up book, untitled but to be about “20 years following Northern Ireland without actually living there, 2003-2023”. That book was 50% finished as well. It’s gone too.
They’re gone and I don’t have the energy to do 42 more years of work. The only real way I would consider this book being released is if the thief goes to prison or i find a person willing to write/type it all up again if I read it to them. Even then, it will be a different book. I cannot replicate those stories.
For peace of mind, here is the cover art and the final chapter listing, I have a draft version but it will take me a LONG TIME to recover from this and get it ready to release.
Chapter 1 – Where It Began
Chapter 2 – Arconada…Armstrong!
Chapter 3 – Stewart’s Enquiry
Chapter 4 – Norman’s Conquest
Chapter 5 – Zubizaretta…Clarke!
Chapter 6 – The Norman Whiteside Soccer School/Always Look On The Whiteside of Life
Chapter 7 – Darko Pancev
Chapter 8 – Jim Magilton On His Debut
Chapter 9 – You Weren’t Going Till The USA
Chapter 10 – Steve Morrow Never Dies
Chapter 11 – Here We Go…Again
Chapter 12 – We Were The Champions
Chapter 13 – The Day The Football Died
Chapter 14 – Danny Boy
Chapter 15 – The Healy Awakes
Chapter 16 – One Neil Lennon
Chapter 17 – The Night Healy Ended The Drought
Chapter 18 – The Princes of Wales/There’s Only One Dirty Sanchez
Chapter 19 – Four Nil And You Still Don’t Sing
Chapter 20 – From Deansgate To Brandenburg Gate To Barfgate
Chapter 21 – Every Night I’ve Been Eating My Coleslaw
Chapter 22 – DJ-ing With Colin Murray
Chapter 23 – Northern Ireland 1-0 England
Chapter 24 – Badnight Vienna
Chapter 25 – He Came From The Cregagh
Chapter 26 – WAGM and SOENISC
Chapter 27 – Roy of The Rovers Reads David Healy Comics
Chapter 28 – YAMD
Chapter 29 – Isle Of Green
Chapter 30 – Everybody Frankenstein
Chapter 31 – Gillingham Away
Chapter 32 – We’re In The Army Now
Chapter 33 – A Kick In The Baltics
Chapter 34 – Right Backs On The Left
Chapter 35 – Fermanagh’s Ulster Goal Machine
Chapter 36 – Bratislava
Chapter 37 – Trieste
Chapter 38 – Green and White Water Rafting Army
Chapter 39 – Any Port In A Snowstorm
Chapter 40 – Ryanair Loyal
Chapter 41 – The Day I Quit The SOENISC
Chapter 42 – Solitude To Debrecen
Chapter 43 – Just Being Scilly Would Have Happened
Chapter 44 – Ulster’s Number One
Chapter 45 – The End of A Northern Eire
Chapter 45 – ChampIAN STEWARTnova
Chapter 46 – Where were you for Chile 89?
Omitted – Why Serbia At Home Was Significant
Omitted – Tony Kane Loyal
Omitted – The Norman Whiteside Soccer School