Honest John with Oliver Sherwood
Fan Club founder John Fairbrother (AKA) Honest John (AKA) 'Firdy' was born on 21st March 1955 in the pit village of Kiveton Park near Sheffield Yorkshire.
Went to Wales Junior School. (not welsh wales, this wales is a small village ajoining Kiveton Park) - Moved on to Dinnington Comp. Played truant most of the time,
A massive Sheffield Wednesday fan, I did 5 seasons in the 70s without missing a single game, When money was short I used to hitch to some away games, could always get back on one of the coaches.
Left school at 15. Started work 3 days later making horse transporters, all by hand and just two other blokes, hard and heavy work for a 7st weakling. First wage was £4.00 a week. Out of that i paid my mum board and spent the rest on birds and booze, It was only one 1/9d a pint (one shilling and nine old pennies. (Just under 10p in todays money) I grew a tash and beard to look older so i could get into the pubs at 15. It worked.
I didn't stop at the horse box job long, my mates were on a couple of quid more than me down t'pit. So thats where I ended up for the next 7 years. The money wasn't bad but the work wasn't very nice. I got my first Motorbike in the 70s, Always loved biking, and still do, but just recently gave it up, It not fun anymore too much traffic, and bloody speed camera's.
In the laste 70s early 80s I had numerous jobs, including fairground worker, Building site, Blagged my to that job saying I was a roofer, They soon found me out, But kept me on and learned a lot from the old men I was working with. I still remember to this day, 'Never do short cuts, the'll work out longer in the end':
I got into horses by a girl who is sadly no longer with us, she taught me ride, what she didn't know about horse wasn't worth knowing.
I did some cash in hand stable work for a Racehorse Trainer, In the Doncaster area, I will not mention his name for tax purposes.
I also did a bit for a Permit holder near Sheffield, Now he did open my eyes. After a few weeks working for him, I finally asked him for some wages.. "Oh he said, I'll straighten up with you in the pub to night'
He did, He gave me half a dozen f*cking goose eggs.!!
After a few choice words he did give me a wedge.
Somewhere in the 80s I lost it, I have about 3 years of my life that I can not remember to this day.
The old booze got an hold on me and I quickly went down hill, Although I din't realise it myself.
I also got married in that period, Can't remember to much of that either. Divorce was inevitable, But one good thing came of it I have two lovely kids, Rebecca and Carl both grown up now with kids of their own.
Carl is all about drinking beer and backing Horses. Don't know where he gets that from. Rebecca, is following in my footsteps and going to the Wednesday matches with the grandson. We're all Wednesday aren't we!
In the late 80s, I moved down south with a new chick on tow, We settle in Brighton meet some new friends, Got a job on the pier as rides operater on the Waltzer, I then got offered a manages job in a large amusement arcade in the town, which i took and did for a few years until it was time to move on,
We moved just up the coast to Hove, Er'Indoors got a job as manager of a 12 bed rest home, I got a job with a crook landlord doing his repairs etc to his properties, Didn't really like the way he worked, so soon mover on.
Did a bit of cash in hand racehorse work in Lewes, and helped out with Tommy Two Tellys who had his own horse box business. We seemed to get all the long distance jobs. The final straw for me was taking a horse up to Newcastle from Lewes on a Friday afternoon for the race on Saturday. Only for the meeting to be called off an hour after we got there. That was my last ever horse job.
In the late 90s I was now living in Worthing, A mate of mine Phil Heath was working for trainer Richard Rowe's. Rowe used Barry Fenton to ride his horses, and Leighton would come in for the odd spare now and again, Leighton was riding mostly for Josh Gifford at the time. Nothing against Barry Fenton, but I always thought Leighton was the better horseman. Phil agreed, So every Friday night Phil and i would go to the Marine View Hotel on Worthing sea front and pick our bets out for the weekend. But we only picked horses, Leighton was on. We were often on a winner. Other people started to take notice and asked to join in. But we said sorry you have to be a member of the fan club. And thats how the fan club started.
Honest John, & Er'Indoors
In 2001, I lauched the Leighton Aspell fan Club, It was just a bit of fun for about half a dozen friends. The old Attherace ran a tipping competition, I entered it under the name of Leighton Aspell Fan Club, out of about 5000 entries we managed to win, mainly due to tipping a horse called Homeligh mooncoin which won at 50/1, and you will not be supprised to know it was ridden by Leighton Aspell. Patrick Kinghorn was the presenter on ATR then he always used to mention us.
Without any advertising and just through hear say and the odd airing on ATR, the fan club soon started to grow. In the end I had to purchase a industrial printer to cope the printing of about 3OO magazine, which I did all myself. I would be locked away in the spare room for hours on end doing the mags.
When Leighton retired briefly it gave me a bit of breathing space. Although I missed do the mag. His retirement came as a big shock to us all, But thankfully he did the right thing and got back into the saddle.
I had virtually closed the fan club by then, and after deep thoughts i decided not to open up the club again, It was too much hard work to start it all again, But I had loads of old fan club members egging me on to start it again, and even some new ones.
I stuck to my guns, But what I did d0 is design a new look website www.leightonaspellfanclub.com Which is updated daily, and free for everyone to look at and steal photos.
Some of the famous fan club's magazines
Since Leighton came back, he did the unthinkable and won the Grand National on Pineau De Re, which got me busy again designing celebration mugs. I got lots of phone calls and text from old fan club members, the press, and TV. The fan clubs name was again in not just the racing papers but also in the dailys. . I was over the moon he'd won, I always said he win a national, and now his proved me right,
12 months later the fairy tale continues with his second Grand National win this time on Many Clouds. I actually lost my voice in the boozer shouting him over every fence. Just brilliant.
He also won the Hennessey gold cup on Many Cloud in 2014.
The true Gentleman he is, Leighton invited me and er'indoor to a grand national party he was throwing in the local Rugby club. I thoughly enjoyed myself, Oh and the beer was free !! I had one or two, as you do..
Let hope it all happens again on 9 April 2016..
Honest John >
Fav Bands - The Byrds: The Move. Wizzard. ELO. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. and loads more
Fav Records -
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult ::
More than a feeling - Boston:
Summer of 69 -Brian Adams:
Mr Tamberine man - The Byrds
Catch the wind - Donavan; to name a few:
Fav: Football team
Sheffield wednesday - The owls:
(Despise the other Sheffield team,who play in the lower divisions of British football, and all their interbred supporter) Its always somebody else's fault when they lose, which is often I'm pleased to say.
Fav Sport: Football: Horse Racing:(NH) MotorCycling; World Superbikes. British SuperBike. (Not keen on Moto GP)
Fav: Drink - Any Real Ales, (session drinks about 4abv)
(Wine Sutter Home - Rose)
Fav: Food - Nepalese (Tandoori cooked chickin. Sag Aloo)
Fav: Holiday - In this counrty!, Canal boating the old industrial waterways.
Other Likes and Dislikes -
Like lovely women with big boobs:
Dislikes - Old women in bloody mobility scooters who block the isle up in shops.
Dream: - To win the Lottery - and buy a Race horse:
Politics: Paid up member of - The Monster Raving Loony Party:
Something you may not have known:
I am a windswept and interesting international jetsetter, Diamond smugglers and part time porn star.
My old faithfull, never let me down -