So who is The Expat Eagle? I am someone who was born and raised in south London but moved to Sweden after thirty or so years for a better life.
This website, podcasts and vodcasts are all done by myself just for the fun of it and all feedback is welcome!
Crystal Palace Background
The first time I went to see a football game at Selhurst Park was in January 1981 when we drew 1-1 with Stoke. From 1983 onwards I started going on a fairly regular basis which escalated in 1986 when I started going to away games on a regular basis.
For 2 seasons between 1987-1989 I saw every game, home and away. I was a regular on ‘Coach 2’ which Robbie Tobin ran.
In addition to this I watched the Palace reserves play at Tooting & Mitcham most games, was a founding member of Lifeline, season ticket holder, played for the supporter’s team in 1989 and I was interviewed by Danny Baker (with other players) at the training ground for the 6 o’clock show after that 9-0 defeat.
It was from about 1992 onwards that my opportunities to go to games diminished because the job I had at the time meant I had to work a lot of Saturdays. I still went to games whenever I could but the reality of being an adult took me away from the community I felt at home with.
I was born in the early 70s at Guy’s Hospital, London Bridge to parents who worked on the London busses. My dad was a driver and my mother was a conductor on the old Route Masters.
At the I was born time we lived in a flat on Brixton Hill but within a year we moved to Huntley Road at the back of the Arthur Wait Stand.
I am the youngest of my family by 9 years and are the product of my mum and dad’s second marriage. I have 4 brothers and one sister who are all from my parents first marriages.
Though I have a large(ish) family I pretty much grew up as an only child from the age of 9 because all of my siblings either had their own family or had joined the army and were stationed in Germany. In fact, Germany is a country that I would grow to love after visiting there so many times to stay with my brothers from the age of 11 onwards.
When I was three my parents became publicans and ran a few pubs in the south London area such as the Belle Vue at Clapham Common, The Carnival at Battersea (where the Sean Connery film ‘The Offence’ filmed scenes) and the Princess Royal at South Wimbledon.
Unfortunately, my mother died when I was young so my dad had to leave the pub trade when I was 10 as, at that time, you had to be married to have have a pub licence.
So, because of this I had a somewhat unconventional childhood. Certainly by today’s standards. My dad got a job for a parcel delivery company and had to work long hours to make ends meet. This led me to being home alone for long periods of time.
Generally speaking my dad would leave work work at 6 in the morning and not come home until 6 or 8 at night, sometimes working nights too.
I can only imagine the worry he must have had leaving me to get myself up for school and as I sit here writing this it seems a lot worse than it sounds. But what was the alternative? Have me taken into care? There was no option.
When I was 13 I started going to Rutlish High School in Wimbledon and when I left school I started work for a company called Autex in Croydon. After 8 months working for them I began working for Dixons in their photographic laboratory in Wimbledon for 2 years before working for British Telecom for 2 years.
It was after being made redundant at BT that in January 1990 I got a job as a train driver for British Rail at the Wimbledon Park Depot. I worked there for a little more than 11 years before having to leave because of depression and anxiety.
It was then, in the early ‘naughties’ that I decided to move to Sweden for a change of life and the rest, as they say, is history.