‘This photo was taken at our house in Manchester in 1966’
A few months after we arrived, my mum announced that we were all going to have our picture taken. We hardly had any money, but, somehow, she managed to hire a photographer to come round to the house. What you see in that picture is our house in Gorton. I can still remember that lino on the floor – we could never afford carpet.
The idea of the pictures was that we’d have something to send back to the family in Cyprus. We still had lots of relatives over there and we wanted to show them, ‘Look, we’ve arrived in England. We’ve got a house and we’re doing OK.’
‘I was born in Cyprus, but my family moved to England when I was about six’
On top of that, it was also becoming clear that I was dyslexic. It would have been easy to give up, but that’s not me. Yeah, those teenage years weren’t always easy, but so what. I’d already got that work ethic and that independence.
I was going to build a life for myself. And, more important than that, I was going to drive a nice car.
Every boy I knew back then loved cars. I used to see Triumph TR7s and E-Type Jags, and I used to think, ‘One day, I’m gonna have one of those.’ I remember seeing an E-Type and walking round it 40 or 50 times. Now, there’s one in the garage. In fact, there’s quite a few cars in the garage.
And it all started – everything that’s happened to me – with that photo. That photo was the beginning of my life. The crazy thing is, even today, it doesn’t feel real. I look at the little kid and wonder how I ended up here.
What an amazing journey.”