Wearing my heart on my sleeve

I have this idea in my head that during momentous times in my life I shall commemorate the occasion with a tattoo. Either on my left arm for the people I love, or my right arm for what I love about life.

My first tattoo was in the summer of '87.

To celebrate marrying Julie I had a very traditional red rose tattoo with 'JULIE' written across the scroll.


The next most important day in my life happened when Hannah was born. But I waited until she was about 4 years old for her artistic skills to improve enough to draw a self portrait. It was actually Julie's idea.

And that's exactly what went on my arm, Hannah's self-portrait.

My third tattoo appeared on my right arm immediately after we returned from Salou, Spain in 1999.

The simple fact that Manchester United won the European Champions League wouldn't have been enough to trigger a tattoo.

But because I was there, high up in the terraces of the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona where Teddy Sherringham swung a leg and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer poked home the winning goal to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the most magical of moments, then it qualified as being most worthy of my arm.


To this day I still describe it as the most exciting two minutes of my life.

I wasn't alone it getting a tattoo. I knew of many who had a red devil or the club's crest but I went for something a little less obvious; the Champions League symbol. (Bit of a coward really as I wouldn't want to be beaten up in a bar just because I supported United!)

Eight years later and no life defining moments to speak of until one such historic moment happened this month, December 2007.

I'd always wanted a tattoo to represent my love of music but had never felt strongly compelled to put ink to skin over AC/DC or the Black Crowes.

Now, having been fortunate and priviliged to see Led Zeppelin perform their two hour set the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute (reunion) concert I knew the time was right.

Millions of people entered the lottery for tickets and failed and I was one of them. Having resigned myself to having missed out on the gig of a lifetime; it was truly unbelievable to hear Steve on the other end of the phone offering me the spare ticket that he had won!

The tattoo design chose itself. It had to be the mysterious four symbols that adorn the fourth Led Zeppelin album.

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