On the Blog today it’s time for some football!! And some thrilling action off the pitch too!!
Football hero Jason Clooney is riding high….until a date with a beautiful woman lands him in trouble with the media, and into battle with the criminal underworld.
Now against a backdrop of an uncertain professional future, Jason has to confront disturbing revelations surrounding his new girlfriend’s family. From football action on the pitch to behind the scenes plotting. To battles with a criminal gang and constant media attention, all adding to the toughest challenges he has ever faced in life, love, as a player and as a man.
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About Michael Bearcroft
Ex Sheffield United Junior, former Chairman Corby Town FC Actor and stage director, former British Red Cross Regional Director
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Today on the Blog I have the pleasure of sharing a little extract from DANGEROUS SCORE with you all – so sit back and enjoy!!
Still there was nothing Blister could probably say or do could make things worse.
The Charter was quiet, after work drinkers having gone home for dinner, those out for the night were yet to arrive. Blister was sat in the lounge, back to the fire. The weather was still more winter than spring. Jason was surprised to see that the older man was in the company of two similar aged blokes who looked pretty fit, possibly ex-military. They each had full pints of beer in front of them, so declined Clooney’s offer of a drink when he joined them clutching his Apple & Cranberry J20. The two managed to look both serious but friendly, unlike some of the other patrons, whose glances told Jason he wouldn’t be winning any personality contests.
Blister made the introductions. First up was John ‘call me Doors’ Dawson, a fifty-seven-year-old former paratrooper. The other, taller of the pair was Paul Scowcroft, a fifty-eight-year-old ex-Royal Marine. The three had met through various kinds of active service, in many locations. Now in retirement all were settled in the area.
Blister was the spokesperson for the group.
‘Son, we all want to help you if we can. We can see you’ve been wronged and we all have our own reasons for not liking Mr bloody Thresham.’
There was strength and determination in Blister’s voice that Jason hadn’t heard before from this gentle giant. He felt obliged to reply in the same vein.
‘I just cannot thank you guys enough for your belief and support in me.’
He felt it only right to bring them bang up to date on what he’d done since the story broke. There was a moment’s quiet when he finished, his emotions getting the better of him.
Doors gave Jason a minute or two to compose himself, then launched into his experience with the evil world of Martin Thresham.
‘My wife had fallen behind on HP payments for a carpet she had bought from a Thresham owned company. Next thing, she gets a visit from a thug, who swears at her, threatens her, then had the nerve to give her a good grope as he left. I was beside myself and got around to his mansion double quick. Raging I can tell you. ‘Course, Thresham denied all knowledge of the incident and refused to apologise. So I warned him there’d be some nasty consequences if he didn’t clean up his act. A week later when my wife was walking home from her keep-fit class, two men grabbed her, snatched her bag and knocked her about. Scared her witless. Now she never leaves the house, has to have ongoing counselling, takes Valium. Our lives have been shattered. ‘Course I could never prove it, but I’m sure it was all Thresham’s work.’
Doors lapsed into silence, tears in his eyes.
Scowcroft took up the litany of sorrows.
‘I worked for a local transport company when I left the Marines. The business was owned by a farmer, Tom Rawlins. One night I was late getting back with the lorry. Tom was sat at his desk, pissed and crying. Seemed he owed money to Thresham’s casino. If he didn’t pay up soon he would lose the business and the farm, which had been in the family for centuries. I offered to help him with a small loan and I knew most of the other workers would chip in as he was well liked, and we were all aware that we needed the work to make ends meet. So, during the weeks ahead we all rallied round to save the business, but before we could do anything positive Thresham called in the debt.’
Scowcroft was sure if he had got a good solicitor, perhaps gone to court, he might have got a different result, but it was too late and faced with the shame, possible homelessness, in sheer despair, Tom killed himself with his old shotgun. As far as Scowcroft was concerned it was Thresham who had been one hundred per cent responsible for Tom pulling the trigger.
Blister didn’t go into the reasons he hated Thresham, just stating it was to do with his late wife. So they sat there, four men united in sheer hatred for the same individual.
Looking around Jason saw the place was beginning to fill up; he felt hostile eyes on him and was sure he was the subject of many a conversation. He suggested they adjourn to his place. He bought bottles of beer from the bar. Blister indicated that he’d like to have a private word with him, so it was decided that Jason and Blister would take the Saab, while Doors and Scowcroft climbed into a battered Land Rover painted, unsurprisingly, in camouflage colours.
On the short journey back Blister told his story about Mr Martin Thresham.
‘The wife bought an old banger on credit for our daughter without telling me she’d paid for it. The car packed up, she couldn’t pay the loan or the repair bill, so she panicked ‘cause she was terrified of what I would say.
‘To think that she didn’t know me better than that, haunts me every day. When the debt collectors started putting pressure on her she never let on, managed to keep her fears to herself. I never detected there was anything wrong. Then one day she suddenly ran out of the house into the road, under a lorry.
‘Oh, the insurance company called it an unfortunate accident and paid out, which cleared the debts. But it still left me without a wife, and my daughter without her mum.’ Blister broke down, head in hands. Jason gave him a few moments to compose himself, both alone with their thoughts.
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As a big football fan – Southend United supporter for more years than I care to remember! – I am always fascinated to read books that are set in the football world! And this one does a great job of portraying the highs and lows of life as a footballer! Jason Clooney is the star of the show, but his life on the pitch begins to get a little complicated due to his life off the pitch!
There’s a lot of mystery and intrigue involved with this book – I would have liked to read more of the off the field goings on as the story sometimes felt a little bogged down in the football side, but the darker elements of life surrounding a football club were an interesting mix. If you loved the Sky TV show Dream Team as I did, then this book feels like it could have been an episode of that show!
As Jason begins to settle in his new role in life, there is always the threat from outside forces that begin to play a part and I found that to be fascinating to read about. Would definitely have loved more tension around the Thresham family storyline and all his dodgy dealings but the day to day life of life in the football world was still fun to read about.