The unfairness of life…..

Were it ever thus. The above picture is of Justin Edinburgh, former professional footballer and manager of my local team, Leyton Orient.

Justin was taken to hospital last Monday, having suffered a cardiac arrest. Tragically, he never recovered and passed away today, aged 49.

What must his poor family be thinking right now? Just the unfairness and the injustice of a man in the prime of his life, having just guided Leyton Orient back into the Football League after a two year absence, being cruelly taken away from us all.

Justin Edinburgh was held in very high regard as a player for Tottenham and was highly respected for managing teams further down the football pyramid. He did so in a quiet and efficient way, but with his players fighting for him every week and enjoying his methodology in getting results. He never looked for excuses if his team lost, he was very candid about putting it right next time and Leyton Orient went from the depths to untold riches in May when they gained promotion back to the Football League.

I’ve suffered a loss of someone very close to me this year and the pain of Edinburgh’s passing will take a long time to heal too. They say only the good die young, but one thing I will say, is that when you wake up every day, enjoy every moment you are here. When you hear this tragic news today, you should be thankful to enjoy those precious moments.

My deepest condolences go out to Leyton Orient and Justin Edinburgh’s family. His lasting legacy was success. A top man, a top manager and top player. The fans and players at Leyton Orient will never forget him and he departs the stage, rightly and properly, as a winner in all respects.

RIP Justin Edinburgh, aged 49.

A.S.D Brooks

Review of 2018 – The Highlights….

As we’re approaching the end of another year, it’s time to look back and reflect on what has gone well for me this year. The events will be in no particular order but will mirror my own personal well being.

  • Presentations – Really have enjoyed doing these and there is the prospect of more in 2019.
  • Enjoyed volunteering with SANE, One Place East, Thrive LDN and Maytree and meeting new people.
  • Cricket tour to Portugal in October.
  • The whole summer of glorious sunny weather and for a change, getting a suntan in the UK
  • Watching the mental health play called WEIRD, and connecting with the writer Lucy Burke and performer Amy Doyle.
  • Going to Edinburgh to watch said play.
  • The football team I support, Leyton Orient, top of the National League with a chance of returning to the SkyBet Football League.
  • Enjoying following one of my favourite sports, National Hunt racing and picking out winners!
  • So lots of good stuff. On the other hand…..
  • A.S.D Brooks
  • Got any O’s??

    The blog post title is not a reworking of an old Two Ronnies “Four Candles” sketch. The O’s are Leyton Orient, my nearest main football team, and I’ve been supporting them, through thick and thin, for just over 20 years.

    As you can see from the picture, the sky was gin clear. The sun was out and you would think it would be a nice day for watching. Wrong. A strong and cutting Easterly wind made it feel raw and very uncomfortable for all the spectators today.

    Today was a big game in the FA Trophy versus Gateshead. The FA Trophy is a knockout competition for non league clubs in the English football system. Orient have made it through to the quarter finals, hence why I purchased a ticket to watch the game.

    In the end, it was quite a remarkable game. Orient went 3-0 up, scoring two goals of outstanding quality, and everyone was relaxed, ready to see out the final 30 minutes without any problems…..famous last words.

    Gateshead replied, and then to mounting anxiety from the Orient fans, got another. Everybody was getting very twitchy and the Orient players seemed frozen in mind as well as body. Their concentration went and they started to panic and what became a routine win now wasn’t!

    Then Gateshead equalised to the dismay and disappointment of the fans and the players. Their eyes were on the prize and they thought it was too easy. A game of football is 90 minutes not 60. I sat there completely stunned, as well as trying to keep warm. I walked away from the stadium at the end, unable to comprehend what I’d seen.

    There is now a replay up in Newcastle this coming Tuesday, if it goes ahead. If this bitter Easterly does it’s stuff, then the east coast of the UK will be under a blanket of snow and freezing temperatures. A replay that was totally unnecessary, really. But that’s the ups and downs of being a football supporter. Glad when they win, but not too happy when things go badly wrong, like today.

    I won’t be going to the replay, as I probably will need 72 hours to thaw out from today. Bone chilling. But a game of football that warmed people up. Still can’t believe it ended 3-3. But it’s only a game. There are more important things going on in the world.

    A.S.D Brooks

    Round and about…

    Felt ok enough to go out this morning to my CBT appointment. With each appointment being fortnightly now, I had lots to recount to the counsellor. As always, a very helpful and therapeutic session.

    Not a very nice day out today. Just that maudlin gloom and drizzle, one of those horrid days that crop up regularly in winter. I hear on the grapevine that we’re in for some very cold weather in the UK with some snow. Now that would do some good for these illnesses that have been the norm since the turn of the year. It can only get better from here.

    Then it was off to order a match ticket from my local football club for a big match this coming Saturday. There’s a chance of them appearing at Wembley in a big final in May, so I want to attend next weekend and cheer them on to victory. Good to get out and about and get some fresh, albeit damp, air into my lungs.

    It’s going to be a good week, I can sense it.

    A.S.D Brooks

    Writing Eloquently…

    A colleague of mine paid a nice tribute to my blog the other day, saying that “You write eloquently”. I may write eloquently, but speaking eloquently? Not sure about that!

    What’s to do today? Not a lot really. Don’t feel too bad today, I’ve just been watching sport on the TV. The down moments of this week will stay firmly in the past, time to look forward to some good stuff next week. Haven’t bothered to go out today, as a warm flat watching the TV is infinitely better than going out on a filthy, freezing February day (a bit of alliteration for you there!). Slowly starting to ease my way out of the latest mini crisis.

    The football team I support won, and only just, and there’s some good horse racing and rugby union on the TV to keep my sporting interest at a good level. The end of the week proving better than the beginning.

    A.S.D Brooks

    Tweet….tweet

    Evening. I’ve come back to Twitter. For personal reasons, I closed down my previous Twitter handle and thought better of it, using other social media platforms instead.

    But now I’m back. With a different Twitter handle, and hopefully dealing with my twin favourite topics of sport and mental health. Whatever post I put on here will redirect automatically to my Twitter page, so if you fancy following me, my Twitter handle is @AllenBr40292092 Why don’t you join me?

    A.S.D Brooks

    Secret of a Good Blog Post?

    Well, yesterday I hit on a much overlooked reason to boost the visitors to the new blog. Why not try linking the blog post to something of interest and see what happens? And hey presto, I got a fair amount of views for the post yesterday and today, so proving what I did was worth it.

    That’s ok, as far as it goes. Most of the group I linked the blog post to probably wouldn’t give this blog a second glance, as maybe it wouldn’t interest them, so I used a method that might garner a few visitors and a few views. 71 visitors and 82 views, proving that a simple method of connectivity can work.

    But back to the real world, and as only this blog has been going a week, the numbers will fall back to more modest levels. I do hope those 71 visitors return at some point. I hope they do find the blog interesting. I don’t just talk about mental health and sport, though that is a fair chunk of my material. I hope I can link to other groups on social media that find some interest in A.S.D Brooks and the associated scribblings. Watch this space….

    A.S.D Brooks

    Mingling with Football Fans…

    This is where I’ve been today, but all is not what it seems.

    Let me explain. I’m currently involved with a London wide campaign to promote better mental health across the capital. Today saw myself and five other volunteers and campaign managers go to Leyton Orient FC to talk to fans about mental health and be given a leaflet on how better sleep can lead to better mental health.

    A laudable idea you would think. Unfortunately, this is winter time in England, and it was a bitter, freezing, rainy day to be either outside, or outside not moving very much. I managed to chat to some football fans and talked to them about our project, and found the fans chatty and friendly in equal measure. But the thing I wanted to do was either a) have a hot cup of tea or b) get out of the murk and drizzle and warm up. I could barely feel my hands at one point, it was that cold.

    I’m not sure how the others got on, but they all seemed to enjoy it. Our reward for promoting better mental health was to watch Leyton Orient in action versus Aldershot in a National Conference League game. I decided to stay to the bitter end, but the game itself was a good one, with the home side losing 2-3. Leyton Orient are my local club, and I haven’t been to watch a home game for a couple of years. Typically, I missed two of the goals while we decided where to meet up at half time and at full time.

    A mixed day, but I hope we got our message across about better sleep encourages better mental health. I was struck by the friendliness of the staff and fans, emphasising that Leyton Orient are a community club and have a good fan base. I always follow their results and I hope they can garner some success from what has been a difficult season. The atmosphere was lively and fun, it’s just a shame the result wasn’t the right one. I shall do one of these events again, but indoors out of the elements would be more appropriate. It was a freezing day, and I still haven’t warmed up yet. A hot bath may well be in order later on, followed by a good sleep!!

    A.S.D Brooks