Southwater man writes book on Brighton & Hove Albion in aid of cancer charity which supported wife
A man from Southwater has written a book about the rise of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club to raise funds for a cancer charity which supported his wife through her illness.
In the book ‘From The Gutter To The Stars’, avid football fan Simon Medhurst details the club’s successes from the turn of the millennium until the end of May 2019, as well as documenting the cancer battles his family faced during this time.
Printing of the book has commenced to allow copies to arrive before Christmas, with £5 from each book sold going towards Macmillan Cancer Support.
The father-of-two said: “It isn’t about football per se, it’s about following a particular football club, written by a fan for the fans. It concentrates on the passion, the heartache, the frustrations and the joy.
“It also gives a little insight into my personal life as it documents how we as a family have dealt with our ups, downs and illness during the period of Albion’s uprising.
“Sadly my mum Anne, my wife Jane and sister Sasha have had to battle against breast cancer. I talk openly about these three very brave and special ladies plus how we have handled our family cancer battles.
“It also touches on my redundancy in 2016, mental health, me re-aligning my priorities, with a bit of self-help thrown in for good measure – a football fan’s guide to help get through life.
“Please support the cause as proceeds will be going a brilliant charity who looked after Jane so well in her hours of desperate need.”
Simon covers a variety of subjects about the football club in the book including the Falmer For All campaign, the building of the Amex Stadium, numerous battles with Crystal Palace, the club’s centenary, the Shoreham airshow disaster, as well as insights into key individuals including Paul Barber, Gus Poyet, Chris Houghton and Fatboy Slim.
While some of the tales and anecdotes may be similar to those of other football fans around the country, Simon believes the Albion’s story is unique.
The 55-year-old said: “We have come out of the doldrums and rocketed into the sky within a relatively short space of time.
“Following Dick Knight saving the club from possible extinction and the clutches of non league football, we have now become a global brand under the leadership of Tony Bloom.
“We are now homed in a state of the art stadium in Falmer and have an outstanding academy headquarters a few miles west along the A27.
“The dynamics of the club have completely changed and hopefully, as a fan, I have captured this story along the way. “
Simon also expresses his concerns about ‘the demise of the modern day Premier League footballer’ and touches on his own playing days in the West Sussex Football League, giving a shout out to his team mates at Rudgwick FC and the club’s ‘little claim to fame’.
Simon said: “There is also a chapter on Kirdford, the village I grew up in, and its celebrity culture – a story that will make you laugh and another that will make your blood curdle, plus a Grand National winner that provided the village with its own international fame.”
Simon has set the target of selling 600 copies of his book and has already had 300 reservations. The book costs £11.50, collection only, or £15 including postage and packaging. However any donations above this price are welcome.
Collection points are at Simon’s home in Southwater or King and Stevens Plant Hire depot, RH13 8LY, on the A272 in West Grinstead.
To order the book or for more information, email [email protected]