What do Sean Bean the actor and I have in common. At first I thought it might be that we are both from Sheffield, or maybe that he studied drama at Rotherham College of Art and Tech where I taught for 4 years back in the 80’s. Even closer to home is that my 81 year old cycling buddy in Portugal is a guy who has a regular ‘last of the summer wine’ Friday meet up with his mates in Sheffield of which one used to be Sean’s dad until he passed away. It could also be that we both support Sheffield United and Idolise Tony Currie, the best English midfield player of the 70’s.
But closer to home for me is that a playwright called Steve Wakelam, a yorkshire lad, wrote a play back in the late 70’s about two young lads who try their arm at professional punting. I know Steve although my friend,and the guy who introduced me to Racing, knows him better having been taught by him when Steve was a school teacher. I met Steve on several occasions at our annual York races soiree in August and I have always been aware that the play was based on my friend John and myself. What I did not know until recently is that it was filmed as a BBC1 play with Sean playing what appears to be the third lead role (alas not John or I). I have not seen it but at least it would be one role in which Sean would not have a problem with the accent.
I do not think the two parts are quite distinct in terms of me and my mate John, rather they appear to be an amalgamation of both of us. My friend did work as a groundsman at a monument and does have a more romantic view of Racing whilst I hold the more hard nosed Mathematical viewpoint. The second character who appears to be the proverbial loser, along for the ride, is hopefully purely a fictional character.