So today I am 45 and let me tell you I hate the “fives” with a passion. Birthdays mean less as the years go on but since a twist of fate back in 2012 meant my dad died the day after my birthday I now just associate my birthday as my auld mans death date eve ! Yeah I am a bundle of fun to be with eh. But positive vibes are a plenty and somebody has just knocked at the door back in a mo.
Well fuck me it was Eamonn Andrews disguised as the Pizza Park delivery man with a big red book saying Neil Fay “This is your life” derrrrr derrrr da derrrrrrr.
So Neil George Fay born on the 18th September 1973 in Mill Road hospital by c-section around 11am but weight unknown but assuming you were a bigun for the time. Second child of John and Lilian Fay and younger brother of Clare. Life begun in a small two up two down in Briarwood Road, Aigburth and just a few years later John must have got promotion as you and the family moved to Woodlands Road, Aigburth. Early memories include running though a glass door and luckily coming away without a scratch and not being decapitated. This was the first of seven of your lives you have lost and having just two left out of your nine is not good at the tender age of 45. You were a clingy child with mother having to sneak out of playgroups or you would go mental and your eating habits were not the best. Around the age of four you decided to break open a pillow and stuff some sponge up your nose. No great shakes but around 10 days later there was a bad smell in the house and after a bit of detective work it was coming from your nose as the sponge rotted away prompting a trip to the hospital. Other early memories include playing your mums old records and having a picture of Bill Shankly on your bedroom wall and when my dad asked who it was I would reply “Mr Shankly”
School started and you attended Sudley Infants school starting on the same day that your sister (Clare) started senior school. Abiding memory from that was falling over on the concrete school playground playing and my face having a fight with the small stones on top of the concrete. The lad who I was playing with (Phil Jefferies) I met in 2017 at Glastonbury after over 25 years since I last seen him. He informed me that my mum and dad had gone around to his on the bounce thinking he had done it on purpose. Mad I only found that out then. As it was things were soon cleared up. The natural progression was to Sudley Junior School and it was soon apparent that I was gonna be tall but not the tallest. That honour went to Stu Wenman who again by some strange twist of fate in 2017 I bumped into up Sudley Field walking the dogs and now see him up there on a regular basis. At this rate Eamonn is not gonna have any surprise guest to bring out at the very end. Memories from Sudley Juniors are that our footy team was good but won nothing and I was a star striker mainly because I was a “man boy” and nobody could stop my shots. During the summer of 2nd and 3rd year Juniors (Year 4 & 5 in new money) we moved house but had to spend a summer living with my Nan (Mums mum) at Wingate Road a house that would go on to have a massive bearing on my life. Eventually big John Fay must have got another promotion as we moved to a semi detached on Mossley Hill Road with a garden and went from caravanning holidays to coach trips to Spain. The Fay’s had arrived despite Thatchers best attempts at fucking the city over.
Mossley Hill Road was the sight of the first transformation of my life from young boy into the teenage years and as Quarry Bank changed its name to Calderstones Community Comprehensive School (Or Caldies to all the cool kids) I attended there for senior school. Memories from Mossley Hill involve my mum sitting on “her” chair with a cigarette and a vodka and diet coke on a regular basis thus I ended up watching a lot of her TV. Some good such as Auf Weidersehen Pet others not too great such as Dynasty ! Big John was down Aigburth Vale having a pint though I can exclusively reveal now they are no longer here that one summer I wasn’t allowed to play footy in the garden and was told “Get over The IM Marsh” which was a bit harsh. Only in later years my mum and dad copped to growing cannabis in the greenhouse (for personal consumption along with tomato’s as well) this despite a high level copper living next door. Sorts of makes sense now. here was me worrying about ruining my dads Wembley grass playing footy on it when there was more important grass in the greenhouse !! Caldies was a great school. A mixture of bods (clever dicks) bods on the sly (Clever dicks but fitted in with us) normal kids (me) and some rough arse kids (A few of them either banged away for a long time or shot dead) But it gave me the skills for life and I stayed on for 6th form. Picture below is first year Caldies (I loved that Fred Perry Jumper) and more turns of fate taken in my mate Ian Hunters house which my sister bought some years later and still lives there !! Oh yeah for the record my best year of my life (1990) took place. During these years I was evicted from my big bedroom into the box room as my sister got pregnant with Adam. She was just 18 and I was an uncle (to become uncle knobhead) at just 13. I will never forget the day I came home from school an my dad went ballistic at me at the front door and said get to your bedroom “what have I done” I enquired “Its not what you have done its what your sister has done” was the reply. I spent the next two hours with my ears to my bedroom floor trying to find out what was going on during the tears and shouting !
So with me doing just enough at both GCSE and A Levels whilst waiting for the results of A Levels to come out the bombshell was dropped that my mum and dad would be leaving to go and live in Clitheroe near to where my dad was working. Only now when I look back at this its seems (A) a massive decision and (B) slightly strange. My sister was a single parent with Adam and relied on my mum so in that respect the move was big and despite offering me to live with them I was 18 and why was I going to leave Liverpool so they essentially fucked me off. Now don’t take that the wrong way it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was offered a flat of my own to be subsidised but didn’t fancy that so took the homely option of moving in with my nan for a second spell at Wingate Road as I went to John Moores University to study Human Geography because my dad knew a lecturer there who got me in.
So the uni years AKA years spent at The 051, Cream , Garlands and other clubs. My nan didn’t have a clue and when asking why I was off uni again I would tell her its another reading week. With my mum and dad tucked safely away in Clitheroe I got away with murder. But with my mum and dad living away the dynamic changed between us became one of I always made an effort to go up and see them which was basically going out on the piss with them all weekend and they paid followed by them giving me a dropsy through guilt of leaving me that would subsidise clubbing for a weekend rather than living with them and being told off constantly as I “discovered myself” As the clubbing years eventually faded I just about passed my Batchelor of Science in Human Geography after an extra year and final resits of resits and it was into the big wide world of work. I started work at Ladbrokes on Park Road the same day Frankie Dettori won all 7 races at Ascot. Soon I was to be gong out with my future wife who decided to date me just after me and my nan won £5000 on the pools hmmmmm. Euro 96 was highlight of the 90’s but the end of the 90’s was tainted with the news the my mum had developed Ovarian Cancer a shadow that would hang over my life for the next few years. Not many pictures from that era but I was at my slimmest as an adult and sporting blonde dyed hair that my nan would do in her kitchen on a Friday tea time with half a bottle of born blonde ready to hit the clubs. As we headed to the new millennium I had progressed well in Ladbrokes now having my own shop and being operations manager at Goodison Park and winning the north west manager tournament. The world was my oyster.
As we entered the year 2000 I was an early adopter of the internet. At 56k dial up and 1p a minute to be online I got a shock when my first internet bill was around £70. 2001 seen me change jobs and I got a new job with Liverpool City Council as a Housing Benefits Officer. The night before I was due to start my parents were coming down with some news to announce. i braced myself for some terrible news about my mum. All sat in the living room I was told my dad had lung cancer and was going in for his lung to be removed. Never have I been hit with a hammer blow like that. In a trance for the next hour my parents left and not being able to digest what had gone on I went to bed totally floored and slept from about 5pm to the next morning when I started my new job which I was nervous about but them nerves soon went as it meant fuck all in the grand scheme of things.
As time raced by I had become an uncle to twins and got engaged to the lucky future Mrs Fay. come 2002 it was time to leave my nan and move in with “me bird” and leaving Aigburth to live in Almond Court in Garston (The site of the old tennies) marriage soon followed 2003 and in 2004 the patter of little feet as Elizabeth Lillian Emma Fay was born. But with life comes death and after a brave battle for many years my mum finally succumbed to cancer in 2005. A bombshell I was 31 and my mum was 58. With my hairline receding and my waistline expanding in 2007 daughter number two came along Charlotte Alison Lillian Fay and the hatrick of girls was completed in 2012 and Holly Grace Eileen Fay. Before Holly was born my nan died at the age of 96. She always said she would be carried out in a box from Wingate Road (what a thing to say) and she had a fall and never recovered. I took her to hospital as a neighbour had called me who had found my nan and she never recovered. I was glad I was the one who got to be with her during her last few days as she played a massive part in my life moving in with her age 18 in 1992 a boy and leaving a man in 2002. As she lived in a council house in the early 2000’s I had bought the house (not really in line with my now socialist beliefs) and so in September 2012 we were all ready to move back to Wingate Road for a third time in my life and the house that my mum and dad dated from. Sadly my dad never got the see the completely renovated house that he used to knock at to pick my mum up as he had fought off a second bout of cancer in the brain but succumbed to pneumonia. So a hatrick of births matched by a hatrick of deaths. Thus ending what could only be described as around 15 years of my life with more ups and downs that a night out a Cream in the nineties. Births of sprogs 1-3 below.
So need to wrap this up now. So much missed out but recent years have been spent making sure my three daughters have the best upbringing they can have and also maintaining a regular supply of alcohol to Mrs Fay. Recent years have been spent running marathons etc with the sole aim of stopping me exploding. No time to go into three trips to Ibiza the numerous trips away in February but a special mention for the single most best ever ever possible amazing moment in my life and Istanbul 2005. Yes I was there and how can i not forget Glastonbury 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 and hopefully 2019 with ticket day being announced yesterday. Oh shit I became a Great Uncle to Penny and what about my 18th birthday night in Kicks and Scotts and my 21st birthday weekend in the 051 and pickwicks.
So as a birthday treat I am going the match tonight as I always remember thinking how boss would it be to have a match on my birthday. I wrote this the night before my birthday necking some double vodka orange taking me on a trip of a lifetime. I have missed things and people out (Apologies) big thanks and love to all mates both old and recent (Including meeting a whole new Fay family who are not related to me !) To any of my family who have managed to stay alive well done and to the in laws who now play a big part in my life now.
So Neil Fay just one last surprise and the voice from behind the doors is a female one. “Hi Neil its …….” on second thoughts Eamonn bringing out the girl I went out with from 1990-1992 isn’t the best idea as I can see Mrs fay’s face now and I don’t want a fight to match that of Alexis Colby and Krystle Carrington that I watched with my mum back in the day.
45 eh to be continued Grandchildren, Swinging, Benidorm and death !!
Fay x x x x x x x x x x
Birthday update. Prezzies and a Colin The Caterpillar cake received. It is of course a bank holiday as I have never worked on my birthday. Went for a lovely walk down Otterspool and grabbed some breakfast. Time to head the pub for 4pm and birthday beers and footy.