A Rock Star, an English soccer club, and a Hollywood Red Carpet event
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS – April 1, 2017) – Back in the late 1970s, I was working on “Rick Wakeman: The Caped Crusader,” the authorized biography of the rock keyboard legend, and so I asked my older son, Andrew, if he would mind going through the book and correct typos, and also produce a list of Rick’s keyboards at the time, a list of his keyboards, and an index of everyone mentioned in the book..
The latter was particularly difficult for Andrew, as there were no computers at the time, and so he had to manually go through the manuscript and note each name and on which pages or pages there were featured.
Then, after that, Andrew would edit each of the books I did after that one, and always did a great job.
It all paid off, and eventually he became a senior editor at Kingsway Publishing in Eastbourne, England, and stayed there for ten years, before joining Church Army in Sheffield where he now works. Andrew also authored some eight books himself, including “I Wonder if Chocolate Kills Brain Cells,” in which he, with his trademark quirky humor, wrote about his life with Youth With a Mission, for which Loren Cunningham, the YWAM founder, wrote the foreword.
Birmingham City Football Club
My younger son, like his Dad, was an avid soccer fan, and so I devised a plan to turn his love for the “Beautiful Game” into a way to train him as a journalist. So, as he was growing up, I would drive him from London, where we then lived, to St. Andrews, the ground of Birmingham City FC, and pay him to write reports on each game that we attended.
When we got home, which was then in London, he would get on my typewriter, and write up his report, which got better each time. He didn’t make a fortune from my payments, but he learned quickly from my critiques of his work and after a time he secured a job as a copy editor on the Chester Chronicle, and then went on to become news editor for UCB Radio in Stoke-on-Trent, and is now the European Bureau Chief for ANS, and London Bureau Chief for the newly-formed Global News Alliance, for whom he produces TV reports.
Like his Dad, Peter has travelled extensively reporting from countries including Greece, Russia, Serbia, South Sudan, the Philippines, Uganda, South Korea, Zambia, Gambia, Mozambique, Croatia, Israel and India, his most recent trip was to Ukraine, where he undertook a dangerous trip to the Russian Border.
Norma and I will be visiting the UK over Easter to visit our sons, their families and my sister, Ruth, and her husband, Allen, and I am planning to attend two Birmingham City soccer games during that time. The second one, on Monday, April 17th, we will be traveling to watch the game at St. Andrew’s as guests of the club, and Peter’s story about him supplying me his match reports will be featured in the club’s program.
On the Red Carpet with my grandson
I now hold out hopes that my grandson, Edward, 14, the son of Andrew, will also go into the media field, and so when they both came over for a vacation recently, I was able to introduce them into my world. I first of all had them come into the studios of KWVE in Santa Ana, to interview him and his father for my “Front Page Radio” show, then I had them in the studios of the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network, where I also interviewed them for two shows.
Then I arranged for them to appear on the Red Carpet of a Hollywood film premier by Sunset Blvd., when the organizers gave then prominent badges which said they were “actors” and I proceeded to interview them both as the cameras flashed and Tim Hathaway, my colleague and producer for my “Inside Hollywood” captured them on filmed.
It has been a joy to be able to play a part in the development of Andrew and Peter in their careers in the communications field, and now I am waiting for Edward to follow them, though he tells me that prefers acting and has been taking lessons now for several years, and has appeared in several school plays.
* The Rick Wakeman book has recently been re-released as “Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s”, and can be obtained at: https://www.amazon.com/Caped-Crusader-Rick-Wakeman-1970s/dp/1908728302,
Photo captions: 1) A recent picture of Andrew and Peter with Rick Wakeman taken in Manchester, UK, after an ARW show. 2) The latest cover of the book. 3) Peter Wooding outside the Birmingham City ground during his reporting days. 4) Edward and Andrew as “actors” on the Red Carpet in Hollywood. 5) Three generations of the Woodings – left to right: Edward, Dan and Andrew.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, but was raised in the UK. He is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 54 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren, who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and president of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and hosts a weekly radio show and two TV programs, all based in Southern California. Dan is also the author of 45 books, many of which Andrew edited.
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