Robert ‘Dan’ Gowan – RIP
TWICE in the past six months I’ve grown a beard. Well, a centre parting’s not a fashion option these days, unless I dedicate a few years to back-combing my eyebrows and probably not even then.
The ‘Advanced Hair Studio’ thing is quite the popular choice these days, from sports stars like Wayne Rooney, Shane Warne and even a good old rugby ‘he-man’ league star like Castleford’s Luke Gale.
The old pate starts thinning and off they go for some implants and a weave or whatever. Good on them. A family friend had his done at the age of just 21 and if it makes a bloke feel better, then I say go for it.
(Apologies to readers tuning in for another Brexit rant – my blood pressure needs a week off).
I was minded towards the subject of balding heads and the ageing process last Saturday, while flicking through mine and Mrs L’s photo albums from our wedding/honeymoon. We tied the knot in the gardens of a Jamaican hotel, with a couple we met on the airport bus as witnesses.
We deemed the runaway option as sensible, given that four months previously we hadn’t even met and the bump was already showing – I know, old Locky didn’t used to mess about when he meant business! – and last week was our 23rd anniversary.
My, doesn’t time fly when you’re more than halfway through a second 15-year life sentence? (Only joking sweetheart.)
I always seem to remember still being in full possession of my follicular faculties at the time I got Mrs L up the duff, hence responding on numerous occasions that my hair only started falling out after I got married – an altogether unfunny and massively unfair insinuation that my hair loss was all the poor benighted woman’s fault.
I maybe should have left those lines to Les Dawson and Bernard Manning.
Anyway, flicking through the photos it became obvious that the hairline was already on the wane and I was clearly in denial at the time of our nuptials.
If my better half has one regret from the early years of our marriage (and the poor girl must have dozens) it may well be that she never saw me when I gave the self-same Advanced Hair Studio a go as I neared my 40th birthday and what I calculate as being about my third mid-life crisis (I started early).
In hindsight it’s a wonder the Advertising Standards Authority didn’t work those folks over, because although the ‘Hair Studio’ part of their name might have been accurate, the ‘Advanced’ part was just a façade for an expensive con. Behind all of the ‘enhanced hairline’ sales patter was pretty much a plain and simple syrup – as in syrup of figs, wigs.
Suffice to say that what looked like a Royal Artilleryman’s busby when I left their Leeds offices, and resembled a Davy Crockett hat after I’d slept in it, had been returned to sender by the time Mrs L came back from a business trip. Thanks but no thanks and down to Neil Oakland’s barbers in town for a sensibly severe trim. She was none the wiser.
I haven’t really looked back since and if you offered me a full growth now, I’d decline. ‘Fashionably’ short is low maintenance, looks good with a nice tan … and basically at my age, who cares?
As we rugby old boys prepare to bid farewell to another great pal and literally larger than life character in Robert ‘Dan’ Gowan on Tuesday, I can safely say we all have rather more important things to think about. Especially those of us at, or approaching, ‘a certain age’.
Dan was a prop forward of what I think I can respectfully call the ‘old fashioned’ school when I played with him at Dewsbury Celtic.
Built like a house side, with ‘limited’ lateral mobility (by choice I should add, forward propulsion was his preferred modus operandi, as in supertankers or HGVs) what always struck me about Dan was the beaming grin on his face as he usually inflicted or even on occasion was on the receiving end, of concussive physical collisions.
That big grin. He loved the battle, the harder the better, and was a bloke no one ever had a wrong word for. Another good man gone, far too soon.
And so, with a ‘significant’ birthday of my own coming up in a couple of weeks, I’m going to be getting right on your wicks by giving advance notice that I hope to be filing Ed Lines from a luxury beachfront hotel in Barbados, courtesy of the wonderful Mrs L.
It was her similar milestone earlier in the year and when she said she fancied a weekend in Anglesey (in February), who was I to deny the girl? Fair’s fair and equality all round – that’s Locky’s mantra. After all, Anglesey, Barbados … they’re both islands!
But back to my beard and the lesson to be learned in today’s sermon. The first one, a natty goatee that I shaved off, not a single person – wife, child, employee or mate commented. After a week I had to ask if they noticed anything different.
The second full beard went yesterday and I reckon you’ll all have read this before anyone mentions it.
So you see – it doesn’t matter. None of it. Get out there and live life, give love, spend your brass (the kids will be fine) and laugh your cotton socks off, because this is not a rehearsal.
Rest in peace, Dan old friend.
IT’S getting increasingly difficult to be completely, totally, gobsmackingly stunned by the PC madness of British officers of state.
From schools and universities, through the entire system of local governance, to the police and even armed forces, no equality or diversity gesture is beyond outrageous bounds.
What might once have drawn an exasperated “you WHAT?” accompanied by domestic items being hurled at walls, and family pets taking cover, now elicits little more than a shrug and a sigh.
The lunatics haven’t just taken over the asylum, they’re the maddest of the lot.
Still, the latest scandalous piece of criminally insulting bile from serial offenders Rotherham Social Services really takes the biscuit.
I wonder if Kirklees Council’s new Director of Children’s Services from Rotherham was still in situ there, when the decision was taken to encourage – really – serial Muslim rapist and grooming gang leader Arshid Hussain to ‘engage’ with the boy that resulted from him raping a 15-year-old girl, Sammy Woodhouse.
Hussain is serving 35 years, so presumably – hopefully – the boy would be a man and fully able to beat the vile creature within an inch of his life if he ever tried to ‘reconnect’.
It’s too much to hope that Hussain would be deported straight from his cell because given that our judiciary will still be in thrall to Europe, they’d no doubt rule he has a right to a ‘family life’ in Britain. Who knows how many raped children bore Hussain’s progeny, given the industrial scale of the abuse he directed?
So, will anyone pay with their job and career for this despicably crass act of political correctness? Do they ever? From Rochdale to Rotherham to Kirklees and beyond? Nope.
I HAVE a question. Thirty more alleged Kirklees sex abusers are awaiting a series of trials at Leeds Crown Court, the earliest of which will not begin until September 2019 – 10 months from now.
The last isn’t scheduled to start until April 2020. Why? What part of that incomprehensible delay constitutes justice on any level?
But given the horrific nature of the alleged crimes, the fact that 12 of the accused are already behind bars, and there is a history of the accused absconding abroad, why aren’t the other 18 in prison on remand?
Do you think you or I would be free to walk the streets amongst our alleged victims in such circumstances? If so, you know the justice system better than me.
My own instinct is that the police and courts are trying to dilute the industrial levels of abuse in Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Batley by hiding proceedings behind delays, obfuscation and cynical reporting restrictions.
Did I just write Dewsbury and Batley, you ask? Well, the police will deny any knowledge of raids and arrests across the area in the past few weeks, despite them apparently coming hot on the heels of a ‘secret’ briefing of a police task force, right here on our patch. But then they would, wouldn’t they?
It’s probably just an overdue clampdown on serial parking offenders, do you reckon?
No, me neither.