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Tyrone Henry: A Changing Attitude

Started on 8 November 2020 by Jack
Latest Reply on 11 April 2021 by ScottT
Great writing so far mate. Amelia and Carson have had alot of challenges among their early years, and this awful incident has to be up their as one of the most haunting.
Incredibly written mate. The emotion that must have been flooding through the family at that moment in time, and the families who experienced the horrors of that night in real life have been captured wonderfully. Great stuff as usual.

The Disappearing Act

12th May 1981

Anna Sinclair - as she was known now following her marriage to Aidan Sinclair - began rushing in and out of the kitchen. It was Tyrone’s first birthday today and although she kept her children away from unhealthy foods for the most part, Tyrone and his older brother, Carson Jr. were allowed this one exception.

Amelia and Carson showed up just after Carson Jr. got home from school that day to celebrate their youngest grandson’s first birthday.

Amelia had spent the last five weeks knitting a trendy small jumper for Tyrone, meanwhile Carson had taken a chunk out of his wage packet to buy him some new trains for his wooden train set.

Amelia was quick to help her daughter, Anna in the kitchen with the birthday cake, having spent years doing the same for Anna as a young girl.

“Where’s Aidan? Is he coming back from work?” Amelia asked as she pulled out a pack of birthday candles from her bag.

Aidan worked at the local furniture shop and often snuck a few pieces of wood home to make some household objects that would find themselves dotted around the house. He was usually at home by 4:30PM in the afternoon but today he was slightly late as the clock ticked towards the hour mark.

“He’s probably forgotten something or down the shop getting something for Tyrone,” Anna stressed as she tried cooling down from being in the hot kitchen all day on a blazing hot summer day.

The time kept on going and the cake still sat unpresented to the one-year-old Tyrone who was kept occupied by his grandad Carson, playing with his new trains on the floor. So much time had gone by with no sign of Anna’s husband that fifteen minutes before Tyrone’s bedtime, she finally let him blow out the candles and have a small piece of chocolate cake.

Carson Jr., now eight years old, was allowed to stay up a little longer with his grandparents in the living room as Anna took Tyrone up to bed.

Switching the light off in Tyrone’s room, she saw that the lamp was still on in her room on her bedside drawers. As she leant over to turn off the lamp, she noticed two envelopes: one addressed to her son Tyrone, and the other addressed to Anna.

She sat on the end of her bed as she peeled open the letter. Tyrone’s envelope felt more like a card whereas Anna’s was much lighter in comparison.

Inside was a folded sheet of paper, which read:
Dear Anna,

I am so sorry to be writing this to you rather than say it to you in person, but I am too ashamed on today of all days, Tyrone’s first birthday.

I can no longer be seen around London, so I am leaving the City tonight, for mine and more importantly, yours and the children’s safety.

I do not wish to go into specifics, but this part of the world is too dangerous for me and I cannot see that changing in the foreseeable future, being involved with the people that I am involved with.

I realise that you will struggle to bring our two darling boys up on your own, so I hope that you find somebody new and better suited to be a father figure to them than me.

The boys are too young to understand why their dad has left, so tell them in good time and that none of this is their fault, in any way, shape, or form.

Keep strong. I love you, and I love Junior and Tyrone.


Scott: It's a shame that what I write isn't fiction when it's things like that, sad state of affairs.
Tango: Indeed, sometimes time can be malignant rather than a healer.
Eoin: For a family that have done nothing to deserve it and with a child in the house, horrific events.
Seb: Thank you, it's surprisingly easy to write emotionally about true events that were chaotic and devastating.
shit, Aidan has to come up at least with a Rolex when he appears later in the story wanting Tyrone to forgive him
I wonder if we will ever hear of why Aidan had to leave. Poor Anna.

The Ugly Side of The Beautiful Game

17th October 1996

Tyrone Henry’s school football team, Evelyn Grace Academy was up 2-0 after just 20 minutes of play against Lansdowne school. He was playing in a defensive midfield role and had assisted one of the goals with a threaded through pass to put the striker through one-on-one.

Evelyn Grace had a decent selection of young players in the Under-15s category, to say that a lot of the lads were lumped together by chance. It was a good reflection of the local environment, though. Children who went to Evelyn Grace were not as lucky, generally speaking, a lot of the kids only had sport as a get-out from the maliciousness on the streets that they grew up on.

Tyrone had certainly caught the eye of a few professional clubs, too. He had heard whispers of an Arsenal youth academy scout watching on today, not that that kind of stuff affected his performance - he never got ahead of himself, a trait hammered into him by his mother.

His discipline as an individual player stood out to a lot of bystanders. A lot of players his age would look to get forward whenever they had the chance, leaving a gap in behind if they were to lose the ball further up the pitch. However, Tyrone Henry had a dutiful personality on the pitch and his positioning, along with his physical presence and technical ability made him stand out among the rest who could score hat-tricks every game.

Tyrone received the ball at the edge of the center circle from the centre-back and his best friend at school, Matthew Pearce. Before he received the ball, his eyes caught the run of the right-winger getting in behind the full-back. Before he could play the ball, Tyrone was crunched by an opposition player who had seemingly come flying out of nowhere with his slide tackle.

“The fuck?” Tyrone shouted as he stood right back up after the challenge, staring down the player who had just taken him out.

“Language, please,” the referee said, looking at Tyrone following his comment.

As he picked up the ball, he saw the opposition player sniggering to his teammates before turning to look at Tyrone and laughing.

“What you saying?” Tyrone shouted, waving his arms out in his opponent’s direction.

“Nah, just wondering if you were looking for your dad before that tackle?” he retorted.

Tyrone’s normal calm temperament boiled over within milliseconds as soon as he heard the comment about his dad. He threw the ball on the ground and paced towards the player who had joked about it.

The player was a couple of inches smaller than Tyrone’s 5’9” frame, meaning that he was looking down at the player. “You wanna say that again, eh?” he said furiously.

The opposition player let silence hang as Tyrone glared at him from centimetres away. “Did you ever find your dad, mate?” he smirked.

Tyrone responded by headbutting the player, landing his forehead on his nose. Blood immediately oozed out onto his kit as he laid on the floor. Tyrone stood on his ankle as he hovered above him. “Say it again!” he demanded, angrily.

Evelyn Grace’s players surrounded the commotion as soon as the Lansdowne player went down. They were peeling Tyrone away from the scene as he kept grunting angrily at the player who was not going to get up for some time.

The referee had no option but to show Tyrone the red card. Even at youth level, a deliberate headbutt followed by threats and standing on the player was not tolerable.

As Tyrone was hauled off by his best friend Matthew Pearce, he saw a man in a tracksuit shake his head and make his way back to the school gates to exit the grounds. He knew that was the supposed Arsenal scout, and now he knew that there was no way he would be pulling on that red shirt at Highbury.

Tango: I would hope it takes a lot more to buy back the trust! :P
Scott: Something for Tyrone in his later years, I'm sure.
oh scout come on the bloke had it coming

Tyrone failed to follow the right procedure, though. He should have waited until the ball was in play somewhere else
Would've been nice if Tyrone had followed that headbutt up by stomping the little twats throat tbh. Deplorable behaviour, but it's still prevalent in society today unfortunately. Looking forward to the next update mate :)

Happy New Year

Sunday, 5th January 1997

Brixton Town FC had just beaten Chiswick FC in the Ken Bailey Cup Quarter-Final with a full-time result of 7-3.

Tyrone Henry had been moved up slightly in this fixture due to an injury drop-out the day before to the more attacking minded midfielder. He thrived in his new role, assisting 2 times and adding 2 goals to the scoreline himself, one including a beautifully placed free-kick from 25 yards out.

Brixton’s team had been nervous about this fixture since it was drawn due to Chiswick’s perceived ability and had gone down 1-0 within the first few minutes. However, they managed to grab an equaliser midway through the first half before running riot in the second half.

Tyrone had been handed the Man of the Match award by his team’s coach Oliver Parvin after the match for his magnificent performance down the heart of the midfield, selected over the striker George Brown who had scored a hat-trick.

As the team scattered across the car park to exit the ground, Tyrone was sat on the edge of his brother Carson Jr’s car, taking his boots off and banging them on the concrete to unstick the mud that had attached itself to the sole.

“This is him,” said George Brown, Tyrone’s teammate who had scored the hat-trick today. He pointed to Tyrone as he and a man walked up to his brother's car.

“Cheers,” the man said to George. “Tyrone Henry?” he openly asked as he looked at Tyrone.

The man was wearing a black Clubhouse tracksuit jacket with denim jeans. He was small and greying, if Tyrone was to guess then he would be in his mid-50s.

“Yeah?” Tyrone looked up, greeted with the man’s outstretched hand. He stood up and shook his hand. For some reason when he stood up, Tyrone felt that the man was familiar - or that he had seen the man somewhere before.

“Paul Hall, I’m head of youth recruitment for Queens Park Rangers, up in White City.” he said, putting his hand in his jean pocket and flicking out a card, like a business card with name and contact details on.

“Really good game today, son,” Paul said with a smile. “I’ve been down watching your team here for as many games as I could get to over the past few months.”

That was when the initial familiarity struck Tyrone about where he had seen Paul before, he had been in attendance to a lot of Brixton Town’s games.

“I came down to see your mate George here who I had heard was pulling up trees here with some goals,” Paul said, looking and grinning at George who was standing next to him. “Then over a few weeks I started looking more widely at the team and then, like today, you were running the show from the middle of the park.

“What I’m trying to say here, Mr. Henry is that I’d like to offer you the chance to come down and train with the under 18s side that we have down at Heston. It would be an initial one or two week trial to get you settled in with the lads there but that’s just formality, it seems to me that you’ve already got what it takes to get that youth contract signed.

“It was a yes from George here, are you in?” Paul asked.

“Sure,” Tyrone said with a big grin to George and then to Paul whose hand he shook once again. The car horn went off as an indication that Carson Jr. wanted to set off home. “Paul, I’ve got your card, I’ll give you a call once I am home to sort out arrangements. I think my brother wants to get going.”

Paul nodded to Tyrone. “Looking to get you in a week on Monday if you can manage that? Heston Sports Ground, I’ll help you out if you come across any trouble finding it.”

Tango: Sadly Zidane hadn't mastered the art of the off-the-ball headbutt at this point ;)
James: Less Arsenal FC and more UFC :P thank you mate!
well, he's gonna make it into professionalism after all

could be worse

I mean, I think he will

The Magic of the Cup

Tuesday, 21st December 1999

The team coach finally arrived after a four-hour drive from White City to Torquay United for the FA Cup Third Round Replay. For Tyrone Henry, that journey felt even longer as the nerves began to creep from the moment that he stepped onto the coach with the first-team.

Henry’s manager Gerry Francis had hardly been reassuring throughout the first-team call-up, simply reading out the team sheet for the midweek replay after training.

Fortunately, Tyrone had found a friend in the starting left-back Jermaine Darlington who sat and played cards with him on the way down to the South-West. Along the way, Darlington was recalling his first senior match at Charlton Athletic in 1992, reminding Tyrone that he would have only been 12 years old when that happened.

Tyrone had assumed that the manager would have announced the team sheet on the coach as had happened with previous youth managers, but the Queens Park Rangers team had as much knowledge as the fans until an hour after.

As the team arrived at Plainmoor, Henry darted out onto the pitch with a football as quickly as possible. He felt at home on the field with a ball at his feet.

The players returned back to the dressing room 15 minutes before kick-off at around 7:30PM where the team was written up on the board and Paul Murray pulled Tyrone over to one side after he walked in.

“I’m alongside you in the middle today, lad. Problem we had last game was that me and Langley weren’t completing the passes to each other, if we do that right today then we are laughing.” Paul Murray said in his North-East accent.

It lifted a lot of pressure from Tyrone’s shoulders that it seemed that Murray expected only one thing from him today - to make those passes connect.

It made him feel even better when Tyrone’s first pass when he received it from Kiwomya’s kick-off made its way to Murray without him having moved an inch. A very simple thing to do at professional level of course, but a very pleasing simple thing at that, particularly on your debut.

Tyrone Henry blossomed into the game as it went on. Despite going one goal down just after the second half began, he got the assist with a scrappy touch to Stewart Wardley inside the box to equalise just four minutes after Torquay’s opener.

As Queens Park Rangers went 3-1 up thanks to a Stewart Wardley brace and a Chris Kiwomya header on the 74 minute mark, Gerry Francis took Henry off, replaced by Ross Weare. Henry’s debut was awesome to those watching him for the first time.

He received the Man of the Match award after the game over the other contender Stewart Wardley who had essentially won the game for The Hoops with his two goals. Over the radio, Gerry Francis paid special compliments to the 19-year-old debutant, commenting that he had a “magnificent opening performance” to the local media.

Tango: That Arsenal scout may look to rue missing out on Henry, who knows?
Well, there is a reason why Arsenal is what it is

Even though a couple of years later they will find another Henry that won't allow them to miss this one

Hard Work Pays Off

Saturday, 3rd June 2000

Queens Park Rangers’ end-of-season awards ceremony was held at Shepherds Bush Hotel’s conference room. The club chairman Chris Wright - a divisive figure due to his treatment of former player-manager Ray Wilkins - had done his best to unite the paying fans with Hoops legend Rodney Marsh presenting this year's awards.

Chris Kiwomya was the recipient of a large number of the awards such as the Golden Boot and the Players’ Player of the Year Award.

The season was a huge improvement from the 1998/99 season under Gerry Francis and this was emphasised by Marsh. After 21st and 20th place finishes in the past two seasons, fans were relieved to be away from the seemingly annual relegation scrap as they finished in 10th this year - 10 points adrift of the First Division Play-Offs.

Tyrone Henry’s season had gone from strength-to-strength from his December debut in the FA Cup Replay against Torquay United. He featured in 22 of the possible 24 matches from that point onwards, scoring two goals and assisting five times from his place as a defensive central midfielder in Francis’ tactical system.

For a 20-year-old in his debut season for a second tier outfit, Henry saw his stock in the domestic English game rise incredibly quickly. His teammate George Brown by comparison only managed to make two substitute appearances for the first-team all season.

“...And this young lad has been a revelation since his first appearance just before the New Year. With 23 appearances to his name and some incredible performances in the meantime, he’s one of my favourite players in this team: Tyrone Henry for the Young Player of the Year Award!” Rodney Marsh exclaimed with a huge round of applause in response.

Tyrone could feel his cheeks blushing as he was patted on the back by his older brother Carson Jr. and kissed on his cheek by his mum Anna and his grandmother Amelia. As he stood up, his grandfather Carson gave him a big hug as the applause was as loud as ever across the room.

As Amelia watched his grandson go and collect his award for excellence, her life was made up. She had arrived in Britain with the intention to bring up her children and grandchildren in a healthy environment with the best chances of succeeding in life possible.

She and her husband Carson had gone through discrimination, pain and all sorts of obstacles in their lives to reach this point and a tear of joy dripped down her left cheek as the camera flashes focused on Tyrone and his award.

Tango: Very nice play on the names there ;)
let's hope our boi can keep up the good work, and maybe - maybe - leap into the next level

All Good Things Come To An End

Wednesday, 4th July 2001

The writing was on the wall as the news of Gerry Francis’ sacking was announced in late February. The club legend had seemed to steer the QPR ship in the right direction since taking over from Ray Harford in 1998 with 2000’s 10th place finish but found themselves relegated to the Football League’s Second Division with a 23rd place finish, nine points from safety.

However, something really wasn’t clicking in this team. Following the success he had had using young players like Tyrone Henry, Francis built the spine of the 2000/01 team on young players.

A 20-year-old Clarke Carlisle was bought for £330,000 from Blackpool to play at centre-back before the arrival of a 19-year-old Peter Crouch for £60,000 from Tottenham Hotspur following loan spells to Dulwich Hamlet and Swedish outfit IFK Hässleholm.

Crouch had some visible success, finishing as Queens Park Rangers’ top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions from 47 appearances.

Henry also helped in the best way that he could, adding a few assists to his tally from the year before but the manager had placed too much trust and responsibility on the talent of the kids without too much guidance from either him or more experienced players.

Peter Crouch left the club for First Division outfit Portsmouth in a £1.5million deal, followed by Jermaine Darlington’s £250,000 departure to Wimbledon and Chris Kiwomya left on a free transfer to Danish Superligaen team Aalborg.

The team was in the hands of Ian Holloway who envisioned a complete restructure of the club as doubts of financial security rose. Reliance on free transfers and loan deals grew and chairman Chris Wright was trying to recoup as much money on his investment as possible. Tyrone Henry was next in line.

“I appreciate that it is not good for your development but unfortunately nowadays there is as much life on the balance sheet as there is on the field.” Ian Holloway said regretfully to Tyrone as he sat across from him.

As much as failure was endured under Holloway, Tyrone liked him very much as a person. He found him very considerate, personable and more helpful to younger players’ development than Gerry Francis.

Tyrone Henry was discussing a transfer offer that had been made for him, and the implications that the move might have for him.

“Millwall, yes, they are not the nicest bunch of fans out there. They have had their problems with discrimination from the stands but I have played there, managed there. But numerous people have had this exact conversation with black players before moving there and for a lot of them who have gone there - it’s been the best decision of their lives because they are that ferociously loving of players who go there and fight for their badge.” Holloway finished, looking empathetically at his player.

Millwall had placed a £600,000 transfer offer for Tyrone Henry following their Second Division title victory this season. It was the highest offer that Queens Park Rangers had received for him this summer by a long stretch.

“You can take it from me, I’ve been in the game since the early eighties, it’s never been as bad as it was then for bastards attending games - luckily a lot of them aren’t allowed to go anymore or in prison.

“A good friend of mine in the game - Dion Dublin - has just gone on loan there from Aston Villa. Now, he’s experienced, he knows well enough to not go to Millwall if he’s going to get abuse from his own fans? Don’t you think? I can put you in contact with him if you would like.” Holloway said, noticing that Tyrone hadn’t had a chance to speak much.

Tyrone agreed to have a phone call with Dion Dublin before speaking directly with their clubs’ officials. He was confident enough in what Dublin told him to move to Millwall just days later, signing a £1,150 per week deal at The Den.

Tango: Sadly it's not too much of a step up, but a good club for growth!

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