Jeff Holmes Author
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Jeff Holmes Author


  Thanks for visiting my website. It's an attempt at gathering lots of bits and pieces from my career as a journalist and author and having them in the one place.

Since I retired (early) from the Paisley Daily Express/Media Scotland, I've been concentrating more on my books. I've racked up quite a collection, as can be seen on the bookshelf page. Mostly football biographies, the latest being the story of former Aston Villa, Rangers, Liverpool and England winger Mark Walters.

When I first spoke to Mark about writing his story he was a little apprehensive. Not because he was the stand-offish type, or anything like that, but because he genuinely didn't believe he had achieved enough in his career to merit a book. He was also adamant that no one would want to read it. Once I had convinced him that I knew of at least two folk who would buy it, namely my mum and mother-in-law, he agreed to go for it!

As it turned out, there were a few thousand reasons why he was right to get his life story down in print, and that led to a re-print BEFORE the official date of publication!

I conducted several interviews with Mark and he was never anything less than humble, honest and forthright. It was a pleasure speaking to him, although one interview almost led to us both being arrested.

It was close to Glasgow Airport and we had pulled into a nearby industrial estate to have an hour-long chat before he caught his flight to Birmingham.

When we arrived at the estate, there were vehicles parked everywhere, and the only space was on a roundabout between a couple of parked cars. I soon became so engrossed in the interview that I failed to see every other car that had been anywhere near us move away at one point or another. Suddenly this cop car stopped alongside us and Mark pointed to them. I rolled down my window and smiled. They didn't smile back. ‘Do you realise you're parked on a roundabout sir, on double yellow lines?’
  ‘Yes,’ I casually answered back, ‘just like everyone else officer.’ He exaggerated his look around, and when I did the same I noticed my car was only one anywhere near the roundabout.

‘When we arrived, the place was full, honest.’ ‘Do you normally park on roundabouts and double yellow lines, sir?’ he asked sarcastically. ‘And may I ask what you're doing here?’

That was when I clicked that he must've thought we were up to no good! I told him we were writing a book and that I was conducting an interview. He gave me that ‘aye, right’ face and told me in no uncertain terms to move. We did so immediately and drove further down the road, finished the interview and Mark caught his flight.

That was the first interview we'd done and thankfully the rest, mostly conducted at Villa Park, were less controversial. The book is now out and has been put forward by Pitch Publishing for the British Sports Book awards. Fingers crossed we get shortlisted. Mark deserves it.

The Story of the 1962 Tour


The first inkling that Rangers might be touring somewhere of great interest arrived at the beginning of May, 1962, when a story broke in the press of the players being asked to hold off booking a summer holiday. It was the briefest of announcements by manager Scot Symon, but one which hinted of a tour abroad.

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