ANS News Release – For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Wooding, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA (ANS – September 12, 2016) — Dan Wooding, 75, a Southern California-based British broadcaster, journalist and author, who once worked for the high-circulation Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror newspapers in London, UK, has appealed to friends in Britain to help him find an old friend he hasn’t seen since the late Sixties.
Wooding, the founder of the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), who moved with his family – wife Norma, and two sons, Andrew and Peter — to Southern California in 1982, and now runs ANS, as well as hosting a weekly interview radio program and two TV shows, all based in the Los Angeles area, is looking for Bob Evans, stepson of George Liddell, the former Birmingham City F.C. player and manager.
“At the time, I lived in Featherstone Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, and Bob lived just around the corner in Tenbury Road, and we became firm friends,” said Wooding. “We would practice our football skills in Kings Heath Park and often travel around the country to watch Birmingham City, known locally as “the Blues”, play.
“Bob’s stepfather, George Liddle, who played for Birmingham City FC from 1933–1939, and later became the team’s manager, spent hours telling me his great Blues stories, and even gave us both free tickets for the 1956 FA Cup Final at Wembley when we sadly lost 3-1 to Manchester City.”
After he left Birmingham City FC, Liddle became the head teacher of Handsworth New Road Secondary Modern School, Birmingham.
“However, he continued his great interest in soccer, and each Saturday evening, Mr. Liddell would do live radio reports from local games for Eamonn Andrews’ ‘Sports Report’ on BBC Radio, and then, when he arrived home, would present me with the match program with his scribbled comments all over it. I treasured all of those programs,” said Dan Wooding.
Wooding, who attended Queensbridge School in Moseley, Birmingham, went on to say “What also made me a big fan of George Liddell was the fact that he signed Gil Merrick for the Blues, and Merrick was always my favorite player, especially as I also played as a goalkeeper in those days for several local teams, including the Queensbridge School team.”
Wooding, the author of some 45 book, went on to say, “I moved to London in 1968 to start my career in journalism, and lost contact with Bob, who I understand joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and later the Salvation Army, where he became an officer. Later I moved to America.
“I’d love to again make contact with Bob Evans so we can catch up with how our lives have panned out since our teenage years in Birmingham. I’d also like to know more about how he became a committed Christian.”
Although Dan now lives thousands of miles away, he still avidly follows Birmingham City FC via the Internet, and watches reports of their games on YouTube.
Back in the mid-1980s, Wooding released his autobiography called “From Tabloid to Truth” — http://fromtabloidtotruth.com/ — and his publisher arranged for Dan to fly over to the UK from Los Angeles, to promote the book, and also present a copy to the then manager, John Bond, and some of the Blues team.
In the book, Wooding, whose father, the Rev. Alfred Wooding, was the pastor of The Sparkbook Mission church in Alfred Street, Birmingham, for 30 years, revealed that he was such a “fanatical fan” of Birmingham City, that he would occasionally help himself to the money on the church collection plate so as to pay for his admission to the home games at the St. Andrews ground.
“The problem was that my father was very strict and didn’t think it was right for his son to watch professional soccer games, and refused to give me the necessary pocket money. So I took things into my own hands as it was my job to count the collection after each Sunday service.
“When I told John Bond, and the players, that I used to ‘lie, cheat and steal’ to watch the team, they got a huge laugh out of it. And, by the way, my Dad did forgive me for my ‘crime.’”
So, if any of you know whatever happened to Dan’s friend, Bob Evans, he would love to receive that information. He can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Photo captions: 1) Dan Wooding in London in 1957 with Bob Evans when they were attending a Birmingham City FC game. 2) Dan Wooding presenting a copy of his life-story to John Bond (far right) and some of the Blues players. 3) Cover of his autobiography. 4) George Liddle (second from the left in middle row) with the Handsworth New Road Secondary Modern School soccer team).
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