The Baby Boomer – Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson, a long-term resident of Borrowash, is in many ways, typical of the famous baby boomer generation born between 1946 -1964 whose members include Bill Clinton, David Bowie and Tony Blair. Baby Boomers were characterised by their capacity to work and play hard whilst making money and enjoying it, in contrast to their parents who had endured wartime austerity and led lifestyles in the shadow of rationing and ‘making ends meet.’
Ian, born on 7th March, 1952 is now, at 63, a familiar figure out and about in the village. His is a widely acknowledged ‘success story,’ both in business with his Derby-based family firm, Anderson Electrical Ltd and sport with Borrowash Victoria Football Club (The ‘Vics’) where he has served successively as player, President, Chairman, Vice Chairman and now sponsor. His voice rings with pride as he talks about the latter achievement:
‘We’ve finally got to sponsor the ground and all the signs are actually going up as I’m speaking. So the name of the ground is changing today to ‘The Anderson Electrical Arena’ and all signs all around – the refreshment bar, the entrances, changing rooms have got ‘Anderson’s splattered all over the ground so that I’m leaving my name behind. I just felt that I needed to have a legacy for all the money and all my hard work that I’ve done down the ground and for the club so that if I suddenly dropped dead tomorrow, at last I’m leaving something behind and not just in writing.’
For a 15 year-old school leaver without an academic qualification to his name, Ian, (known as ‘Ando’) with his penchant for expensive cars, houses, holidays – and a marriage of 43 years’ standing would seem to be blessed with good fortune but the overall picture is not so clear cut. Taken altogether, Ian Anderson’s ride on the roller coaster of life is more nearly encapsulated by the 16th century dramatist, John Webster:
Fortune’s a right whore
If she give aught, she deals it in small parcels,
That she may take all at one swoop… (The White Devil).
Ian was born on the day of his mother Marie’s birthday in a council house at 44, Winster Road, Chaddesden. His brother John was four years older and they
grew up together, playing, fighting and generally disregarding their much younger siblings, Julie and Max. Ian enthuses about the freedom of outdoor play:
‘There was a lot going on in Winster Road, we had the fields behind us where we had a gap that went through to the fields. It was a good life over there – it was in the days when there was freedom for children. There were no worries about young children being harassed. We camped over the field. There were a lot of young children. I can remember the Brown family, the Tatums, the Harwoods, and I thoroughly enjoyed my young life on Winster Road.’
His was a ‘hard – working, working class’ family. Nobody went hungry around the Anderson table and they weren’t ‘the poorest family on the road’ but luxuries and treats were few and far between:
‘Things were always difficult … it was the sort of life for everyone at the time. You never saw crisps.’
Ian’s mother Marie approached life with trepidation, continually looking over her shoulder; waiting for the onset of the cataclysmic rainy day when ends would fail to meet. Her response was to practise stringent economies, despite the best efforts of her family:
‘Mum used to go and buy broken biscuits from town and if there was an offer on for two lettuces for the price of one, she would get on a bus and make sure to get those from the market place at five o’clock in the afternoon , not realising that it cost her the bus fare to go and get the second lettuce for free and it was actually costing her more money. But that didn’t click with my mother at the time. We tried to explain that to her but that’s how she was. Always keen to get the best deal she could possibly get.’
As the years passed and Anderson Electrical, (the business founded by husband George via a £200 loan from his brother) mushroomed from a humble concern, specialising in repairing vacuum cleaners from a ‘shabby hole’ in Derby’s Forrester Street, to a thriving company supplying a wide range of electrical appliances throughout the city, Marie clung to her old ways like a limpet. Increasing affluence prompted her husband to indulge in the fruits of success; in his case, a passion for expensive cars, switching the gears from a Ford Zephyr via Jaguars and Bentleys to ‘a brand new Rolls Royce sitting outside a council house on Winster Road worth £40,000 and the house was worth £2,000.’ However, Marie counted the pennies relentlessly; refusing to trade-up to home-ownership and devising reasons for staying put in the council house:
‘My mother was not a happy woman because they’d gone through all the pain barrier of not having any money, living in a council house – she was frightened that everything would go pear-shaped.’
In frustration, Ian even resorted to house-hunting on his parents’ behalf, but recalls that Marie was an immoveable object:
‘Every time I looked at a house to go and buy, she’d find an excuse not to buy it, because it wouldn’t have a pantry in the house; she’d find any excuse because she just wouldn’t leave. They actually ended up buying the council house for £2,000. My Dad died in it and my mother almost died in it; she went to a nursing home but that house was where they ended up. They never moved on.’
Ironically, when George died, Marie astounded the family by insisting upon moving to the most expensive nursing home she could find, courtesy of her inheritance, but Ian still regrets the fact that she did not allow herself more of life’s comforts and luxuries when she was in a position to enjoy them. Like their father, Ian and John developed a passion for ‘fancy cars’ (‘we just liked nice cars and while we could afford them we used to get them’) but Marie’s outlook on life had been forged in tougher times:
‘We just wanted my Mum and Dad to have a nice house in the end, but my mother was afraid. She was not a risk-taker. She was the opposite. She’d seen tight days and she wasn’t prepared to see worse. She’d seen a few dark days in the past.’
George, by contrast, was a risk-taker – a man who had worked as Manager of a shop in the Derby Market Place called ‘Fleet Electrics’ for many years, only to ‘have a bust up’ and take a leap into the dark by launching his own business from scratch on the basis of a £200 loan. As a parent, although ‘a loving father, a caring father,’ he wielded the stick in a literal sense. Ian remembers it well:
‘When we were naughty, he used to chase us around the house with the stick that he kept upon the top of the dressing table. In the lounge. We used to lock ourselves in the toilet and if we’d been naughty he made sure we got what we deserved. It certainly frightened us not to be naughty any more’.
What George Anderson wanted, he got, and defiance, particularly from his children, was not an option. Although Ian would not consider himself a scholastic high-flyer, he was surprised when he failed the 11 plus and started well at secondary school:
‘I was reasonably intelligent. I was never the most intelligent person in the class but if ever there was a top stream, I always managed to be in it.’
However, any academic potential was to remain untapped at least in a conventional way because at the age of 15, his education was abruptly terminated – by his father:
‘I left with no qualifications whatsoever because I didn’t take any. I left school at the age of 15 because my father needed me in….he’d been in the business for about two years and he needed help. He’d got my cousin who was helping him in the shop; my brother was doing his own thing as a repair engineer so he wasn’t really a part of the business; he was self employed. And my Dad needed help so I left school. In fact I left school early and he got into trouble with the authorities.’
Ian, who adored sport and showed promise, had loved helping the PE teacher, Bill Morley, but Darwin Secondary Modern School and all its teachers stood no chance against the will of George Anderson:
‘Dad thought ‘I’m having you out of school,’ so I left school.’
It would never have occurred to Ian to protest about it or resent it:
‘I just did as my Dad said.’
Fortunately he was attracted by his father’s line of work and the way he went about it. George was a sharp-witted salesman and before he left school, Ian often accompanied him on vacuum cleaner demonstrations in the homes of potential customers:
‘When I was at school, I used to go with my Dad and watch him selling in the houses when he was demonstrating vacuum cleaners to these people and certain folk would come into the shop and they’d say that they’d like to buy a certain vacuum cleaner but my father would say, ‘They won’t be sold cheap – they’re not going to be getting that one – they’re going to be buying this one at 15 guineas.’ And he would take me along and show me how to switch sale and how to sell and I used to enjoy watching his salesmanship and how he did it in the household. And I think the way he could sell rubbed off onto me as a salesman and that’s how I leaned to sell.’
The early days for Anderson’s Electrical were crucial. A sound base for business would not be forged in the Forrester Street shop and when Ian started work, his father took a gamble and moved operations to The Strand:
‘That was a massive venture to move into the Strand because that was then the centre of Derby. We thought ‘We’ve got to move to Derby to get the business.’ We thought it was make or break. Rents were high; rates were high.’
It was a risk that paid off and Ian began to expand his own business horizons by branching out into wholesale, starting from humble origins by selling spare parts for washing machines and vacuum cleaners to small traders. Then came the big break:
‘We had this opportunity to take on the manufacturing of a vacuum cleaner from Parry’s at Draycott ….. Parry’s didn’t really want to carry on with this manufacturing and they gave us the option of buying the tooling and the spares and the manufacturing of this particular product.’
By now, Ian’s older brother, John had thrown his hat into the ring and it was time to cast the dice again – this time with the purchase of a new headquarters; Columbo House, described by Ian as:
‘A big massive building, with a lot of offices but a big main hall from which we could see a future for our warehousing and manufacturing of this ‘Light and Easy’ vacuum cleaner. Even though it was stretching our finances at the time, we decided to purchase this particular building and we moved up there with the wholesale side of the business as well.’
The brothers clashed and disagreed from time to time, much as they had done as children, but ‘service with a smile’ was Anderson Electrical’s secret weapon. The wider family pitched in and manufacturing was ditched in favour of ‘a full-blown wholesaling company.’ Over the years there were ‘a few setbacks on the way’ such as failing to spot the incompetence of an accountant whose mismanagement resulted in a VAT backlog of £150,00 and the ‘terrible mistake’ of overreaching purchasing a £1.3 million building on Pride Park resulting in eventual liquidation. Yet wilting in the face of adversity was not an Anderson trait and it was time for a re-think:
‘We’ve gone back to our roots- carrying on the business as we did before, sticking to what we know which is the commercial side’
Today, Anderson Electrical is a confident and thriving concern, moving with the times and embracing new technology and fresh challenges:
‘We do a little bit of export; we are dealing with all the big guns, all the Councils again in Scotland and things are moving up and each year we have gone up between 5 and 10% profit and turnover per year since we started.’
Ian has now reduced his workload, but retirement is not on the horizon. Like his brother and father beforehand, he considers himself to be ‘a savvy businessman.’
But his life might have taken a very different course.
Like many schoolboys then and now, Ian Anderson was a football fan – but unlike the majority who enjoy kicking a ball and channelling their inner Lionel Messi, (or in Ian’s era, probably his inner Bobby Charlton) he wanted more than a regular school team place. Aged 14, he was playing for a youth outfit called Spondon Dynamos and testing his skills against much older players:
‘We were a young side. There wasn’t such a thing as under-16s, under-17s or what have you then. It was all mix and match, boys against men.’
After a few years with Dynamos, playing matches on Saturdays, Ian joined a Sunday team, the St. Alban’s Catholic School Catholic Club and found himself competing against a men’s side called Olympiads ‘who were the best Sunday side at the time in Derby local football which had Derby Roe Farm players in it.’
The St Alban’s squad were no giant-slayers; in fact they were soundly routed by 6-2 or 7-2 on one of Ian’s first games with them, but the Olympiads manager spotted his potential:
‘I was quite a good footballer. I could kick with both feet; right and left and I was good at heading the ball and I think I did have a natural talent at football. Obviously Tony Moore thought that as well as I stuck out against his very good Olympiads side – at that time, top of the Sunday league ratings. He had words with me after the game.’
He had been spotted, scouted and poached and aged just 15 signed on for the top Saturday side in the Derby local football scene. Roe Farm were a punter’s tip for the East Midlands Regional League title and Ian Anderson was in the side. Playing on team with established footballers such as Dave Furlong, Jim Grattan and Paddy Mills must have felt like a case of sink or swim – but Ian swam, securing a regular team place with the eventual League winners and becoming the second leading goal scorer. He was starting to be noticed:
‘I had several scouts from League clubs also watching me. One from Derby County and several league clubs.’
The opportunities came in thick and fast; representing the county as the only non-league player in the Derbyshire youth team; making it to the semi finals of the National Cup competition; football lads’ holidays abroad; signing for Mansfield Town – and then the sort of break that comes once in a lifetime.
‘I was spotted by a scout from West Ham and I was asked to go down to London for trials. Not only to go for trials but to go for a long stay. I actually received a letter from the manager at the time – he went on to be an England manager.’
Ron Greenwood was an iconic figure in English football, and at West Ham he was managing the England World Cup-winning captain, Bobby Moore as well as Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters the heroic goal scorers against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final. To be kicking a ball around with them was the stuff of fairytales but Ian had Ron Greenwood’s letter in his hand and the next step was to show it to his father.
George Anderson was unimpressed:
‘My father was not interested in football at all…..but my thoughts were that I always wanted to go as far as I could in football.’
The omens were good because although he was not always the best player on the pitch, fortune seemed to smile on Ian and perhaps the impossible dream of playing for
‘a massive team’ might not be impossible at all:
‘I always had a bit of luck in everything I was doing and I always had a bit of an edge, either in scoring goals or getting looked at and moving on forward. I thought that I had this bit of luck and I just might get away with it in pushing forward to be a professional footballer.’
‘Luck’ however, has a habit of running out and neither Ian nor Ron Greenwood had reckoned with George Anderson whose business was going through a rocky patch:
‘As my father was struggling in the business, because there were just the three of us; my father, my cousin and me, because my brother John was doing his own thing as an engineer – he more or less told me that if I left to go and play football and I didn’t make it, don’t bother coming back. So it was an ultimatum that I had to sit and think about and I made my decision that I was going to stay and work with my father.’
Today, Ian’s loyalty to his father will not allow him to question the fairness or otherwise of the ultimatum and he does not point a word of criticism in George Anderson’s direction. After all, ‘concentrating on the business’ has given him a comfortable lifestyle, private education for two of his children, luxurious holidays and cars —-and yet…..
‘I never went and I never had the chance. I was so disappointed and that’s why I decided to hang my boots up at the age of 18 on a Saturday afternoon.’
Ron Greenwood was doubtless a rigorous taskmaster at West Ham and England, but in the end, like the teachers of Darwin Secondary Modern, he was no match for George Anderson. Ian knew who was real boss was. In future, he would play Sunday football and become a towering figure on the local sporting scene but big time glory days never arrived. The impossible dream now gave way to more realistic targets and at the age of 25; married with two children and a home-owner in Borrowash, Ian Anderson became ‘a fully fledged player for Borrowash Victoria.’
At this time, family business pressures eased, because his brother John returned to work at Anderson Electrical. Playing football Saturday football was once more possible. Borrowash Victoria knew a good prospect when they saw one and the influential Albert Anderton, now Club Secretary, persuaded the newcomer to take on the post of club President. It was a good bit of business for the Secretary of The Vics who had been a distinguished player there himself in days gone by:
‘He got a free set of football kit out of us with Anderson Electrical splattered all over it. It was the best move he ever made and probably the worst one I ever made in my life because it cost me a lost of money over the next 36 years. But I was Albert Anderton’s best signing!’
Playing for The Vic’s was a different prospect from stardom at West Ham, but brought its own triumphs nevertheless. As both a first team and reserves player Ian had some good managers and was back to his winning ways:
‘We won trophies, we won leagues, we won a lot of things.’
Unfortunately, his playing days came to an untimely end when a serious knee injury terminated his career. The next step was a move into management but a year was more than enough to convince Ian that former Vic’s managers Tom Rogers, Neil Kellogg and Martin Rower were welcome to it:
‘You’re chasing players; they let you down and I’ve never known a strain like it, trying to get people to come and play for you. It was a nightmare, an absolute nightmare! I don’t know how management put up with it.’
Yet the lure of continuing his involvement in football was irresistible and at 35, despite the competing claims of Anderson Electrical and a wife and four children, Ian Anderson became Chairman of Borrowash Victoria Football Club.
He was an obvious choice:
‘Nobody wants to be Chairman because everyone’s frightened of that title and they’re looking for some sort of figure head as well and obviously, as a reasonably successful businessman in Derby, now I’m living in Cromwell House in Borrowash. So I’m living in a large house that everyone knows and I was doing reasonably well and I was able to give it a bit of time in assembling a good Committee. We’d just moved from Dean’s Drive where we’d originally played and we’d just got a lease at the Asterdale.We’d put a wall round the outside , we’d got our own facility and it was quite nice.’
The top priority of a football Chairman is to keep the club solvent. Borrowash Victoria operated various fundraising schemes and totes but unbeknown to his wife, Lynne, Ian was making up the shortfall:
‘Obviously a lot of the money was coming out of my back pocket.’
The club was exerting pressure in other ways too. One small child is demanding but four need four times as much attention and supervision. Lynne must have been thrilled that Ian was such a ‘hands on’ Dad; relieving her of childcare by taking Leonie, Eddie, Lydia and Claire to the vast majority of The Vic’s Away fixtures. Fortunately, she remained blissfully unaware of the real situation. Ian resembled his father in a capacity to play hard as well as work hard:
‘Going to the pub rubbed off on me. My father used to go out for a pint regularly; he loved doing that. Even right up to getting married, John was 24-25 and I was 20-21 and we were still living at home and the three of us used to go out at least once a week, usually on a Sunday night and go and have a drink together. And it was an enjoyable Sunday night’s drinking.’
Some years later, with a young family of his own, Ian saw no reason to break the pattern. While Lynne thought that he was ‘in total control of the kids while we were at the games ….obviously I wasn’t because actually it was a chore to me. I was pretending that it was all part and parcel of being a good father but the kids ran riot when they got to the ground and I used to lose all control because all I was interested in was having a pint before the game, a pint whilst the game’s being played and a pint after the game. Then try and find out where the kids have been for the last two hours.’
Once the children were older, they were quick to take advantage and Claire would sneak into Derby on the bus with her friend Donna, returning three hours later to find Ian, blissfully ignorant of the fact and still enjoying his pint.
As the years went by, Borrowash Victoria became Ian’s most demanding child while his real family took a back seat. Looking back he has some regrets:
‘I think The Vic’s did take precedence for a number of years over my family which was probably a stupid thing at some times because I was really just too involved in the football club. It just got to grips with me and I’d got four children and a wife going crazy. I was pumping a lot of money into the club and my company was also sponsoring the club. So it was a double whammy that the club was getting out of the Anderson family. I do regret some of the actions that I took.’
Yet the football thrills were too great to make him a house-husband – including being in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup and trouncing Macclesfield, the Conference League leaders, despite the fact that ‘they’ve got a massive crowd and Neil Webb from Manchester United opening a massive new sector of the ground.’
After scaling such dizzy heights, there was nothing for it but ‘getting hammered. We took the bar and the club over for about three hours and that was just absolutely magnificent. Probably the finest victory Borrowash Victoria has had in the history of the club.’
It was a great win and Ian relished some flattering national newspaper coverage of the match, but there were some embarrassing defeats too, like losing to Gresley Rovers in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final:
‘We go there and we go 1-nil down in about 15 seconds, never to recover. So there’s ups and downs but you just live with it and you just carry on because you have to, for the sake of the club.’
That philosophy is probably shared by many a Premiership Chairman although their habitual response; regularly sacking the manager and snaring his replacement with a lucrative contract are not credible options for a club like The Vic’s. As soon as money comes in, there is a use for it; such as dealing with the constant financial drain of vandalism:
‘We always have a lot of vandalism because we are so isolated down there. Sometimes, week after week, we go down to the ground to find the doors have been smashed and we’ve been broken into. There’s nothing to steal, but they just make a mess and cost us so much money and the insurance premiums go up.’
The players themselves are a continual expense. The manager of a local club like Borrowash Victoria does not have the resources to sign a Ronaldo or a Pogba, but Ian believes that all the money ‘kicking about in the professional game’ has had an adverse effect on the amateur sport. He and his contemporaries played for the love of football, but today’s player is more interested in the money in his pocket than the ball on the pitch and loyalty is an out-dated virtue:
‘There’s no loyalty. When we played, years ago, we had a great team. We had some tremendous players when I was kicking about and we played for nothing. Now they won’t play unless there’s money on the table. And that’s what hurts the management today where we haven’t got a lot of money at the club because we like to think we have the best ground in the league and we like to enhance our ground all the time by spending money on it and not the players. So we pay them petrol fees and a bit of pocket money but when clubs come in for players and they offer them another five or ten or fifteen pounds a week, we don’t match it … and they go! So our management get frustrated when they find a good player and we’re frustrated for them. The players will go even though they enjoy it at Borrowash. And that really upsets us and of course, it obviously upsets the management but there’s nothing we can do about it because we’re not going to do it. We’re not going there.’
In recent years, Ian has stepped down as Chairman of Borrowash Victoria to be succeeded in the role by his good friend Fraser Watson. He decided to stay on the Committee and is now Vice Chairman; thoroughly supportive of the fresh direction in which Fraser is taking the club:
‘He’s put in a lot of work for Borrowash. It’s not been recognised by a lot of people yet, but I recognise it. He’s led the way; he’s brought on youth sides like the Under-10s, Under -12s, Under 15s, Under-16s and he’s taken a lot of slap off me. People say ‘Well – not a lot’s changed.’ Well, it has because I don’t take the calls I used to take and I’m able to help him. So at the moment, it’s good and Fraser is doing a great job.’
The club is no longer such a source of friction on the family front. Claire and Lynne have pitched in, doing club refreshments and serving at the bar; Eddie was a frequent visitor and Claire believes that as the children have grown up, Borrowash Victoria has ‘brought us all together – we would come to ‘dos’ together.’
Ian feels that rather than the club being seen as his particular baby, the Anderson family unit is now viewed by onlookers as ‘a Vic’s family,’ – or as Claire puts it:
‘If you can’t beat them, join them!’
Looking back and evaluating his 36 years of involvement with a local football club, Ian’s youngest daughter, Claire, wonders whether the door slammed shut on a fledgling career with West Ham was the trigger for her father’s dogged tenacity at The Vic’s. Ian, who is not prone to introspection, is more prosaic:
‘A lot of people say ‘Why do you do it? What do you get out of it? I don’t know at the end of the day – I just keep going and eventually it will tire me out completely and I’ll just have to call it a day. But at this moment, 36 plus years down the line – whilst I still feel like going down and cutting the grass and painting the rails and cleaning the stands, I’ll keep doing it.’
Ian Anderson has been married to Lynne for 43 years which is something of a record for the baby boomer generation and while he admits to having been a bit of a ‘Jack the lad and a ‘player’ as a young man; his wife has a quieter temperament. They first met aged 13 or 14 when crossing the fields. Lynne asked Ian if he knew the right time and his unappealing rejoinder was:
‘I’ll tell you the time if you take your pants down!’
After that decidedly discourteous and unpromising beginning, they next met some years later at a St Alban’s Football Club discotheque and as usual, Ian had an eye for the main chance. Lynne seemed to be dating his friend, Martin Charricks – but then again, maybe she wasn’t:
‘I thought she was going out with him but it was only towards the end of the discotheque that I asked her for a dance and found out that she wasn’t actually going out with him. So I asked her if she wanted to go down to another discotheque from the St Alban’s one and she said she would but she had to go home and ask her Dad first. This was a 16 or 17 year old girl, so I had to go and ask her Dad, Eric, if she could accompany me down town to a discothèque.’
Lynne looked extremely fetching ‘in her hot pants’ but Ian was not without the wherewithal to impress:
‘I was in my MG Midget at the time, so I was swanking around in a sports car.’
However, the course of true love did not run smooth any time soon, firstly because of the irritating and continuing presence of Martin Charricks and also the fact that Lynne was still pining for ‘the love of her life, a bloke called Steve Oakes.’
Ian may have had money in his pocket, a clean pair of wheels and a witty line in repartee, but Lynne was a smooth operator and was quite content to juggle her options:
‘We did go out for some time, but this guy was always in the background and I think Lynne was a bit torn between whether to stay with me or to give him another whirl and I think we did fall out over certain issues and I think she did once see him behind my back and I know that her mother didn’t approve.’
Ian became keener, probably spurred on by the jealous rivalry with Steve and also because Lynne (unlike his other girlfriends whose shelf-life had been about a fortnight) kept him interested:
‘’I didn’t get bored with Lynne… but we only saw one another about twice a week and I think that probably gave it a chance to blossom instead of being with each other day in and day out, seven days a week..’
The romance continued in an ‘on-off’ fashion until ‘a proper fall-out’ between the couple convinced Lynne that it was time for a total life-change:
‘She decided that she had had enough of this country and was going to emigrate to Australia. That was when it struck home to me that I didn’t want her to go. I can remember sitting at home in Minister Road with a friend of mine, Martin Hinchcliffe and I made him ring her as I was frightened that she would reject me and I said that I wanted to see her and she agreed.’
They met up even though ‘I don’t think Lynne was quite as keen as me,’ but it had been a close run thing and Ian was certainly not going to let her escape his clutches again:
‘I stopped her going to Australia and I asked her to marry me. I think it was all a bit of a whirlwind romance in the end.’
Once the decision was taken, both sets of parents had to be told. They were pleased, but in 1973, the cautious Marie Anderson feared the shame of a shotgun wedding:
Mother nearly had a heart attack. She thought we had got to and I said ‘No, Lynne isn’t pregnant.’
A baby was not on the way, but Lynne and Ian were not following the conventions of the era whereby an engagement was announced followed by an engagement party with ‘bottom drawer’ presents such as dinner services and towels. In fact, they skipped an engagement altogether:
‘I asked her to marry me; she gave it some thought for about five minutes and decided to accept.’
During the fortnight that Marie and George were on holiday, Ian ‘went out and bought a house’ (in Field Close, Borrowash) and proceeded to live in it for the four months before his wedding on August 25th – although not with Lynne. He took a male friend as a lodger ‘to pay some rent’ and although this made sound financial sense for a young man soon to embark upon the responsibilities of marriage, it was also the last chance to be ‘Jack the lad’ and he was going to enjoy it:
‘We started having a few parties to which Lynne wasn’t invited. It was male parties on the back lawn; obviously the neighbours were probably wondering what the hell was going on here because occasionally Lynne would pole up and come and see me and then she would pole off again so I don’t think anyone was really sure what the hell was going on until obviously the big day on August 25th when we got married.’
As he left the house to take the car journey to his wedding, Ian thought about the enormous step he was about to take at just 21 and became overwhelmed with nerves. Did he really want to become a husband and father when his mates were having the time of their lives driving cars, chasing girls and drinking the pubs dry?
‘I was nervous – very, very nervous.’
A bad case of the jitters was made worse by his best man; big brother John:
He said ‘Are you sure you know what you’re doing?’ and he put this grave doubt in my head. I suddenly got a lump in my throat and thought ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ Then I thought ‘I am 21 years old,’ and for a split second, I thought I was making a mistake, but then I realised I wasn’t and then everything went A-OK and I was happy.’
In the end, the outcome was never in doubt. Lynne Boreham was always going to get her man.
Aged 21, the future looked bright for Ian. He was making money with Anderson Electrical and Lynne was also contributing to lifestyle costs:
‘It was a great help with Lynne who also had a good job because she was a top secretary for one of the most senior partners in the top Estate Agents at Derby at that time so she was also earning some decent money; we were doing quite nicely.’
With money in the bank, it was time to think about having a family:
‘When we’d been married for two years, I said to Lynne that I thought that I could afford to pay the mortgage on my wages and we could enjoy a decent standard of living so we should try for a family. And of course she was obviously over the moon and we struck gold straight away and in the summer of 1976 which was a mega hot summer, our first child, Leonie was born.’
By the mid seventies, the traditional image of an expectant Dad biting his nails in the waiting room and then wetting the bay’s head in the pub had been replaced by the concept of the father as a birth partner. Doubtless Ian, in true Anderson fashion, masterminded the subsequent pub celebrations but he was at Lynne’s side for the birth; an anxious time because her pregnancy had been difficult:
‘We’d had our problems because Lynne had haemorrhaged a few times and was rushed into hospital several times with haemorrhaging and we were a bit worried that we had lost the baby at one stage.’
Leonie was a premature baby and Ian was overcome with relief and joy as he saw his first child being born:
‘I was there for the birth. I was absolutely over the moon – I just couldn’t believe, you know, that I had got a child and it was absolutely unbelievable.’
It had always been Ian’s ambition to have a big family like the one he had come from and baby Leonie was joined two years later by Edward (Eddie) and then Lydia. The Field Close years were happy ones. Lynne and Ian were younger than most of their neighbours who adopted a protective attitude towards them, helping out with decorating and generally looking out for them. The atmosphere was friendly and convivial; safe for the children and fun for the adults:
‘All the neighbours rallied round and we had great street parties. It was a fantastic place to be and great for the children.’
The Andersons were a close-knit family who seemed to live by the mantra of ‘those who play together stay together.’ Family fun in Borrowash was complemented by wonderful holidays abroad from a base in Barcelona:
‘We had an apartment in Spain, just south of Barcelona and we used to spend at least four weeks in a year, all in one go in Spain for the holidays and they were great times. The kids really enjoyed it as well as Lynne and me and they liked the beach, they liked the sun, they liked the sea.’
Back home in Borrowash, the success of Anderson Electrical was putting more money in the bank for the Anderson brothers and John moved from a relatively modest house in Allestree to what Ian describes as ‘a really big mansion’ in Duffield Road. It was the beginning of the 1980s; the decade in which the film ‘Wall Street’ with its definitive slogan ‘greed is good’ epitomised the primacy of money. If you had it, you spent it and if you could afford the luxuries in life there was no shame in having them – and showing your friends and neighbours that you had them. In Ian’s case, he refused to be outstripped by John and simply building extensions onto the Field Close property was never going to satisfy him:
‘I didn’t want to leave Borrowash because I enjoyed the people, enjoyed the area. Fortunately, we found Cromwell House on the corner of Cole Lane – a magnificent house stamped with a lot of history staying over by the bomb disposal unit during the Second World War, so a lot of people knew about it because it was one of three houses that were originally on Cole Lane.’
Ian and Lynne hit the jackpot in more ways than one:
‘It was five bedrooms, but they were all big bedrooms, big rooms downstairs, a massive cellar and a massive garden and it was great, great for us and the children and our first night, Lynne and I were bought a nice big bottle of wine by our ex neighbour in Field Close and we’ve got a feeling we conceived our fourth baby on that first night in Cromwell House and nine months later, out popped Claire.’
The Anderson family was now complete.
There are not many people in Borrowash who don’t know Ian Anderson and a good number have shared a pint with him in ‘The Nag’s Head’ or at the bar of The Vic’s. He has many acquaintances but also a capacity for great friendship and nobody was closer to him than Mick Dunn. The pair met when Ian and his eldest daughter, Leonie were at the swimming baths in Derby and quickly realised that they had football in common because Ian had replaced Mick in the Roe Farm team when Mick had broken his leg. The two also played for the Borrowash Golf Society. Soon Mick and his wife Mal, teamed up with the Andersons and the foursome took holidays together in UK cities although the women shared a running joke that whilst they wanted to tour the city sights, their husbands wanted to tour the pubs. Back in Derbyshire, foursome family outings were typically located in pubs with gardens for the children while the adults enjoyed early evening drinks and meals. Sadly, Mick died of pancreatic cancer in January 2015 but Ian has ensured that his name lives on in the village in the form of the Mick Dunn Commemorative Golf Cup and despite the fact that Mick’s death has left ‘a massive hole’ in Ian’s life, the happy city trips continue with Mal.
Family life has always been important to Ian and his children have taken different career paths. Leonie has, in her father’s words ‘a string of qualifications as long as her arm’ in professional catering; Lydia is a successful solicitor whilst Clare has simply ‘been everywhere and done everything.’
Lydia and Claire have recently given birth to baby boys who are very close in age and Ian and Lynne are proud to be doting and ‘hands on’ grandparents. But they were also the parents of a son.
Ian describes Eddie, his second child with pride as ‘a lovely little lad’. He was also an excellent junior footballer and extremely high-spirited; a characteristic that he had inherited from his father who certainly tested the boundaries as a boy:
‘My first drink was sherry from an off-license and we just got absolutely plastered! I think I was about twelve. That was me, Chris and Mark Sharracks, and Martin Hinchcliffe – a bunch of lads who had been playing football and we wanted to get some booze. I’ve never touched sherry from that day onwards.’
Claire uses the phrase ‘cheeky chappie’ to describe her father’s love of high jinks; but Ian admits that there was a more serious side to them:
‘It got nasty actually because we pulled gates off some people’s houses and the police did get involved in this one.’
However, George Anderson, the head of the family who had chased his children round the house wielding a stick to instil discipline, was not going to have a putative vandal for a son and took swift action:
‘My father found out and he quarantined me. I was not allowed to go out at night for six months so there were all sorts of consequences after that.’
He had removed his son from school to join the business, and shut the door on his son’s potential West Ham football career before it had begun, so there could be no doubt whatsoever that what George Anderson said went. Things were not to be so straightforward with Ian’s own son, Eddie….
When Eddie Anderson was 14 and a pupil at West Park School, he became in his father’s words ‘a tearaway.’
Again, it might have been a case of ‘like father like son’ because Ian’s own behaviour at school was less than exemplary:
‘When I was in the later years at the school, I’d got this free time to do with whatever you wanted to do and I’d got a little motor bike, so I took the motor bike down to do some repairs on the engine. So, having repaired it, I decided to take it for a spin round the playground, and the headmaster, Jim Smith, just happened to walk from behind the Science Lab as I’m flying round the playground and I ran him over!’
Yet old-style discipline was the norm at Darwin; the motor bike was banned and ‘he gave me three of the cane as well.’
‘High jinks’ continued outside the school gates; although well away from the vigilant eye of George Anderson:
‘I kept most of the stuff that I was getting up to secret. My parents had no idea. With all the lads we got up to all sorts of stuff. It was going away with the basketball team for Derbyshire up to Lea Green and we got into all sorts of trouble there, drinking. …..which never got back to my father. We had to run for about five miles round Lea Green in bare feet in three foot of snow in the middle of winter because we’d been caught out drinking. I mean, we were only 14. It never got back to my Dad. He never found out anything.’
Years later, Ian’s son Eddie also began testing the authority boundaries at the age of 14, but times had changed. Corporal punishment both at home and in school was a thing of the past and forcing adolescents to run barefoot in the snow would certainly have ranked – and rightly – as a clear-cut example of child abuse. Ian Anderson did not keep a big stick on the dressing table with which to discipline his children and chase them round the house and West Park teachers no longer relied on a healthy supply of canes. Claire believes that some of her brother’s problems had their origin in his severe dyslexia; a reading/writing difficulty that would certainly have been picked up by the teachers of today but when Eddie Anderson was a schoolboy, awareness of such learning difficulties was by no means widespread. Stuck between eras, he simply ‘slipped through the net.’
Watching their son go ‘off the rails’ must have been bewildering, exasperating and finally very frightening for Ian and Lynne. Their ‘lovely, kind, friendly boy’ was turning into ‘a nasty young man’ and it was happening with terrifying rapidity. As a deeply concerned parent, Ian’s immediate response was to contact the school. He had experienced his own ‘tearaway’ patch at the same age but had come through pretty unscathed. Surely solutions could now be found for Eddie if his teachers and parents collaborated to get him back on the right pathway?
This would have entailed a concerted effort on both sides, but as a parent, Ian felt let down by West Park School. The teaching staff seemed to be at a loss when it came to Eddie Anderson:
‘I don’t know really whether he mixed with the wrong group or whether he was part and parcel of being in the wrong group but he just got mixed into cannabis while he was at school or going to school and I had to speak to the teachers and unfortunately I didn’t feel that the Spondon school, West Park, was the right school at the time for discipline and certainly they did not have any control over Edward whatsoever. Obviously the school hadn’t got a clue where he was half the time.’
At home, Ian felt a mixture of fear, anger and frustration and maybe even guilt, because, unlike George Anderson, he was unable to ‘control’ a son. The happy family unit that Ian and Lynne had worked so hard to achieve was coming apart at the seams and sibling ups and downs took on an ugly aspect:
‘I had basically lost control of him and I don’t know whether it was through alcohol or drugs and it got to the point where he was not good with the rest of the children. Edward was causing me a lot of pain.’
Eager to try explore every possible avenue in search of help for Eddie, the Andersons took their son to a drug counselling service but yet again felt that they were coming up against a brick wall when told by a professional that experimenting with cannabis was much less harmful than drinking to excess. Meanwhile, Eddie’s drug habit had escalated from ‘experiment’ to entrenchment and he would stop at nothing to feed it including stealing from his father:
‘He stole from me which really hurt. I had got certain things that I was saving for him and a very expensive camera which he had stolen and sold very cheaply to a shop. He sold my tools from the garage.’
Ian now found himself in the appalling position (for any parent) of having to protect three of his children from the destructive influence of another. He told Eddie to leave the family home ‘to make his own way in life,’ but a ‘fresh start’ for Eddie proved to be more of a series of stops and starts.
Firstly, he returned to the family home usually wanting money and Ian, hoping that it was for a good purpose:
‘For certain things for a job, to pass exams for forklift truck driving,’
complied, no doubt stifling fears that the money would be used to buy drugs. Drugs were now a constant in Eddie’s life and the combination of heavy drug and alcohol usage was to have disastrous effects. He arrived without warning at his parents’ home under the influence of drugs and a verbal argument over job prospects turned into a vicious physical attack on his father:
‘It ended up with him putting me in hospital with a punctured lung and I was in hospital for a week and he hadn’t got a clue that he had actually done the damage – that’s how high he was on alcohol and a mixture of alcohol and drugs and at that age he would have probably been about 21 or 22.’
Behaviour patterns that were both destructive and dangerous were now established in Eddie, but Ian was not going to give up on his son. Looking back on this period, Claire says that her father did everything in his power to help her brother, including trying to give him the stability of work by employing him at Anderson’s. It would have been satisfying for Ian to see his son following in his footsteps; building upon his professional legacy, just as he had done by working in his own father’s business. It was not to be:
‘He worked on and off at Anderson’s when we were in Columbo Street and even when we moved down into Pride Park – but I could tell he was agitated because I could tell he had been on the drugs.’
This posed a dilemma. On the one hand, Ian’s fiercely protective paternal instinct was to keep Eddie at Anderson’s hoping against hope that he could make it work. On the other hand, he was an employer of ‘about 30-35 people when I was in control of the warehouse and management’ who was at risk of losing authority in the eyes of his staff because he was letting his son get away with conduct that would have meant certain dismissal in the case of any other employee. Ian had previously been placed in the terrible position of having to choose the welfare of his daughters over and above that of his son. Now he faced another unbearable choice – Eddie or the business:
‘Then came the crunch. I just had to sack him for the last time and said ‘that’s it; there is no more time. I cannot give you a job because everyone is watching what I am doing for you and everyone is expecting me to be lenient with the others’. I said that I had to call it a day and I terminated his work when he was about 23/24 and he never worked for me ever again.’
From then onwards, a pattern was set. When he was free of drink and drugs, Eddie became the ‘lovely boy’ that he had been up to the age of 14, impressing friends and acquaintances who then in turn, praised him to his father:
‘People used to say to me what a great guy and what a lovely, kind, pleasant guy he was and I just used to say ‘but you are just seeing him without the alcohol and drugs; you don’t see the other side of him.’
Over the coming years, Eddie would acquire some self-knowledge and he tried to make amends for the way his behaviour had affected his family. Ian feels that he was deeply ashamed of the pain he had caused:
‘He was trying to put things right in his late 20s and early 30s; he knew he had been bad and if I mentioned what he had done, he would be up in arms and said ‘I know I have been bad and I am sorry’, and he was apologetic for everything he had done and he knew he was never ever going to turn that way ever again; he was never going to lift a finger to harm ever again any of the family.’
Sadly, Eddie’s new sense of compassion did not extend to himself. Abuse of alcohol and drugs may not have occurred every day, but they were a non-negotiable part of his adult life and brought their own ‘side effects’ in the form of bad company and unsuitable ‘friends’ who were quick to play upon his weaknesses. They were also keen to exploit the fact that he came from a loving family and had a father who would leave no stone unturned to help his son. Ian felt increasingly desperate in his efforts to shield Eddie, despite his growing sense that ‘It was always too late; he knew what a fool he had been but it was always too late.’
Eddies’ ‘friends’ were in Ian’s eyes, ‘hooligans’ who saw Eddie’s bouts of drunkenness as an opportunity to take advantage:
‘I was trying to protect him in the end because I knew what was going on because he had got some money which I was saving for him and certain people were extracting money from Eddie because was too drunk to know what he was doing. I was looking after the money for him and these people were bullying him into buying this and doing that and he is saying ‘Yes, it’s all right,’ to me – and I am going, ‘No, that’s not all right!’ In the end, I was being threatened by these so-called friends over this money down the telephone and it got to a very serious close encounter sometimes with about three or four of his so-called ‘mates.’
Meanwhile, Eddie’s health deteriorated and his body became less able to withstand the punishment he was inflicting upon it. Hospitalisation after the latest drug/alcohol bender became another stage on his downward trajectory. So did prison.
His offences were typically of the affray/theft/driving type and the Criminal Justice system would impose a custodial sentence when they had accumulated. The sentences were short but the prison door was a revolving one. During this time, Ian and Claire visited him; sometimes together, sometimes separately. For his perplexed and distraught family there were some glimmers of hope in that at least with the family, Eddie had calmed down. They began to take pleasure in small things as they occurred and learned, for peace of mind, to live in the present with Eddie and stifle their fears about what he was doing when out of their sight:
‘We welcomed him back into the family; he had been round for his Sunday dinners and he had been round for Christmases and we welcomed him and he’d behaved himself and we knew he would behave himself because he’d calmed down with us and even though he had still got his problems we could control him when he was with us…. I mean, whatever he did when he was away from us was not our problem.’
It took time, however, for the entire family to build up trust in Eddie, even when he was with them and therefore protected from outside influences. In Ian’s words ‘It was just a matter of Lydia and Leonie coming into the fold’, however, Claire, his youngest child had a different relationship with her brother. She readily admits to their similarities in temperament and had always been extremely close to Eddie. Now she stepped in to help in practical ways:
‘Edward always relied on Claire for lifts and food and everything else that went with it and she was like the go-between with Edward and the rest of the family; the bridge that brought it altogether.’
Ian credits his youngest daughter with easing tensions and enabling opportunities for family unity:
‘It was a good job that we’d got Claire in the middle of it all to make that bridge that brought it altogether.’
Perhaps in their more optimistic moments, the Andersons were beginning to take comfort in Eddie’s renewed commitment to them and determination to behave well when in the family home. Ian might have been having pleasant thoughts along these lines when, following his usual custom, he popped into The Nag’s Head for a pint after watching a match at Borrowash Victoria. One of his friends, Nigel Rathbone hailed him and by the time he had finished speaking, Ian Anderson’s life had changed irrevocably:
‘Nigel Rathbone who was just at the pub, standing outside said, ‘Ian, just sit down, I have some terrible news.’ I had just got out of the car that dropped me off at The Nag’s and he said ‘Edward has taken his life’ and that’s the only words he said to me and I was absolutely dumb-struck and he said ‘What do you want to do, do you want a drink?’ I said ‘No’ and that was it. I just went home and my daughters were at home.’
As he opened his front door, feeling, as he recalls, simply ‘gutted’, Ian must have been dreading breaking the worst possible news to his family. What he did not realise was that while he had been leaving The Vic’s and anticipating a pleasurable post-match wind-down in blissful ignorance of the body-blow awaiting him in the person of Nigel Rathbone, his family already knew. Claire, who was at that time, living in a flat in Sandiacre, remembers an atmosphere of turmoil and confusion:
‘I got a phone call from his neighbour and she told me that he had died; she was there with him and I drove round here to tell Mum and Dad – then Mum went to The Nag’s to get Dad and Dad wasn’t there – yes, that’s how we actually found out and my phone rang with the neighbour. I was in bed and I actually wasn’t going to answer it because I thought ‘Eddie’s drunk again,’ and I thought, ‘I’m not going to answer it – but then I just did.’
For Ian, the horror of his son’s sudden death was exacerbated by the fact that Nigel Rathbone – and probably everyone else for that matter, naturally assumed that Eddie must have committed suicide. Could it be true and if so, why?
As he walked the short distance to his home from the pub (the longest walk of his life), he decided that after all, a father knows his son:
‘The way Nigel put it to me, he (Eddie) had committed suicide- and then my immediate thought was ‘he wouldn’t have committed suicide,’ so I tried and put that to the back of my mind as I walked home … and when we eventually got to the bottom of it, then no, he hadn’t committed suicide. He had just taken an overdose of drugs and had no idea what he was doing. It was just a misadventure on his part – an accident that was waiting to happen, but unfortunately it did happen.’
Eddie’s neighbours were able to supply more detail and the subsequent inquest showed that Ian had been right. Eddie had been experiencing a non-drinking phase and was desperate not to succumb to temptation as usual by drinking the four cans of beer that were seconds away from him in his fridge. This time he had his own ‘alcohol insurance policy’ in the form of a drug designed to provide pain relief from certain types of cancer that he had obtained on the black market. The night beforehand he had spurned the temptation of drink by using the drug to make him sleep. Perhaps he would sleep longer and better by increasing the dosage?
Eddie’s neighbour, Ellie, who would later break the news of his death to Claire, became alarmed when she noticed that the lights in his flat were blaring constantly throughout the whole of the next day and the television had not been switched off. She (and her partner, Adam) was all too well aware of Eddie’s chaotic lifestyle and called the police.
Eddie Anderson who had doubled the dose of the drug he had obtained on the black market had died on the sofa whilst watching the television. The four cans of beer remained untouched in the fridge and Ian Anderson’s initial instinct was correct. Eddie had not committed suicide. Amidst the grief and horror occasioned by his death there was some small consolation in that for the family who loved him.
The Andersons had been plunged without warning into an emotional tsunami. Claire and Lydia undertook the painful duty of identifying the body of the brother who had been a part of their lives through good times and bad, since the day that they were born. Then there were the practicalities accompanying any death that must be attended too – even though the protagonists are scarcely possessed of the mindset to do so. As Ian puts it:
‘It’s not the sort of thing that you look forward to is it? It’s getting a funeral together for your only son. I had great support from my three daughters and my wife. Emotions were running high; it’s a terrible, terrible thing when you just keep looking back and thinking of your young son and the times you had – and its gone and you’re never, ever, going to see him again…’
Looking back upon the days and weeks in the aftermath of her brother’s death, Claire remembers the hurt that she and her family experienced when well-meaning people in The Nag’s Head, or The Vic’s – or even in the street, would express their condolences for Eddie’s ‘suicide’. Now, nearly two years since her brother’s death, she believes that there is a great knowledge – gap in the general understanding of addiction and that this must be bridged if the problem is to be addressed effectively:
‘People weren’t trying to be hurtful when they assumed it was suicide. In fact, we had a great deal of support and kindness from the people we knew. But they assumed it was suicide because that is what people do assume. The thing about ‘addiction’ is that it isn’t ‘addiction’ – its’ ‘addictions’. If someone’s trying to stop being hooked on one thing, then they often replace it with something else that’s what Amy Winehouse did and she didn’t commit suicide either. I think there needs to be a much wider approach to addiction; it needs to be consistent and kick in early. By the time he was 20, it was probably too late for Eddie.’
Contemplating his son’s death from today’s perspective, Ian assesses the effect on the other family members:
‘I think they are probably all in the same boat as myself; that we are all having these – what do they call it?, ‘ambush moments’ when you’re absolutely A-OK and then suddenly it comes into your mind and you have a breakdown. It must get less and less as time goes by, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone because it’s horrible.’
The Andersons decided upon a non-religious funeral for Eddie and will never forget the generosity and sheer humanity of Drew Baxter, the Funeral Director who treated the family with delicacy, humour and sensitivity; offering real understanding at a time of tragedy. The funeral itself was the first step in the healing process and Ian looks back on it with feelings of happiness and pride in his son and appreciation of the warmth and respect shown to Eddie by so many people:
‘The way Drew acted at the funeral was fantastic and it was more like a party than a funeral. When we arrived at the funeral, it took my breath away to see the queue all the way round the car park and halfway round the Crem! I have never seen anything like it in all my life. They were trying to get in, so that took my breath away for starters, but when we got in the service was so fantastic! It just felt brilliant – everyone seemed happy; the sun was shining and we all went back for a drink at The Wilmot.’
Rather than a maudlin wake, Ian and his family enjoyed a rousing celebration of Eddie’s life in typical Anderson style:
‘You’ve got all your mates and loads of them there and my relations and we just seemed to have a fantastic afternoon and everyone seemed so happy and I would just have loved him to have seen it because he would have been absolutely overwhelmed to think that all these people had come to his funeral.’
They were all there for the ‘lovely, kind boy,’ the true Eddie Anderson – and Ian would have liked him to know it.
Ian, born just seven years after the end of World War Two is a man who has led his life free from the constraints, prejudices and privations of his parent’s generation. The growth of Anderson Electrical has exceeded expectations and the Anderson Electrical Arena will ensure that his name lives on at Borrowash Victoria Football Club. Yet the hallmark of a former era has also influenced the course his life has taken. Ian might have flourished at school – but was not afforded the opportunity. His father took him out of formal education and into the business without discussion or debate and in those days, a father’s word was law. Ian might not have made the grade at West Ham – but, as a ‘lucky’ young footballer, he just might. Again, the idea of opposing George Anderson was unthinkable so a football career would necessarily be local.
The baby boomer generation has taken more freedom in their personal relationships, expecting marriage to be about pleasure as well as duty and responsibility. Ian and Lynne’s long and happy marriage has been punctuated by fun and enjoyment with family and a wider circle of friends and the Derbyshire village that welcomed the young couple in their twenties is just as congenial a place to live now that the same couple are in their early sixties. To an outsider, Ian Anderson is a fortunate man indeed.
Yet those who know their mythology will be aware that the Roman Goddess ‘Fortuna’ is essentially fickle. Speaking to her father about his sponsorship of the Borrowash Victoria ground, Claire says:
‘Can I just ask? You’ve mentioned that you’re 62 now but leaving a legacy; all your hard work, all your money that you’ve put into this place – do you think some of those thoughts have been made bigger, as in ‘leaving a legacy’, with the death of Eddie , because you see how fickle life is?’
Describing Eddie as ‘a very good little footballer – he would probably have been a far better footballer than I ever was… he just went down the wrong path,’
Ian recalls that the last time he met his son was ‘on the Saturday because he had been down to a football match at The Vic’s.’
The Anderson Arena football ground is as much Eddie Anderson’s memorial as Ian Anderson’s legacy. Ian, who in every respect has experienced in full the twists and turns of fortune, will feel immensely proud when he sees ‘Anderson’s splattered all over the ground’ at the Borrowash Victoria club but also an accompanying and inevitable sadness:
‘It will take time, it’s going to take time; it will take more than a year, two years, three years and the rest. I spoke to a friend of mine whose son, Joe Kellogg, died three or four years ago now and he is still suffering because of the pain and he said ‘It doesn’t go, but it does slowly ease.’ But he said that it is still there – all the time. So I expect that I will probably have this pain until the day I die – and so it’s not easy.’
The Life of Ian Anderson is dedicated to the memory of his son, Edward Anderson: 10th May 1978- 20th March 2014.
‘Unexamined Lives’ would like to thank Ian Anderson for taking part in the project and Claire Anderson for conducting the original interviews with her father over the period of a year.
We would also like to thank Keith Oseman and Pat Desborough for the transcription.