OSB editor from issue 4, Matt J. was introduced to the wonders of Motherwell FC at the tender age of 18 months, and hasn’t looked back since. From a solid Motherwell supporting family on his Dad’s side, there was never any question of divided loyalties, even with his Mum’s side hailing from Airdrie. Being in a minority at school merely strengthened the resolve and names like Joe Wark, Wullie Pettigrew, Bobby Graham etc. were to become revered in his own wee world, nothing much mattered beyond Motherwell to the young Matt J. and a regular spot behind the goals at the Knowetop end was to be left only for a season ticket in the Main Stand after his Dad was unable to purchase a ticket for a Rangers game at Fir Park when the game was completely sold out. “Never again” said JJ and season tickets were purchased the following year, thus guaranteeing their seats whatever the game.
His writing skills (?) first came to the fore on a Communication course at Motherwell College in 1989 where he produced some wickedly humorous essays which prompted the tutor to award him the traditional Gold Star and Big Tick, although his natural abilities can be traced back to Logans Primary where he once got 19 out of 20 in a spelling test, the elusive mark being dropped because he misheard the word ‘tower’ and wrote ‘towel’. Easy mistake to make for one who has had to go through life with the disadvantage of being deaf in one ear. This is also the reason he can be seen to nod and smile unconvincingly during conversations in noisy locations as he tries to twist round to his good side in order to hear what’s actually being said. So the moral is, if you want to be heard, get on his good side!!
His football knowledge was honed to perfection during a stuttering career as centre forward with local amateur side Colville Park, with whom he served for 13 years and scored exactly 100 goals, working under such illustrious coaches as John McGarry, ex-Queens Park, Jimmy Lindsay, ex-Motherwell reserves, Andy Williamson, ex-Colville Park as well as the infinitely more famous Bobby Graham and Wullie Pettigrew. Big claims to fame which sit nicely alongside being in the same class as Gary McAllister at Braidhurst High School and having Ancell Babe Wullie Hunter as his insurance man. From Colvilles he later moved to Gowkthrapple Amateurs and continued scoring, Wishaw Juniors snapping him up when he was noticed scoring a hat-trick for Gowky. For some reason he was played in midfield, where he held down a starting place for the rest of that season but the following year it was back to Colvilles for another spell in midfield. His final move was to Brass Button from North Motherwell, just up the road. A couple of decent seasons earned him the nickname Harald, going 6 games without a goal then banging in 4 in one game. A matchwinning performance in the first game wearing their new claret & amber strips still ranks among his best days.
Following his spell at college he considered returning for a Journalism course but decided against it when he realised he couldn’t be arsed writing about things that didn’t interest him. It had to be Motherwell or nothing so, along with 3 pals, he embarked on producing the no’ too bad Motherwell fanzine ‘One Step Beyond’, which is how we came to this point. Disillusioned by the negative reaction of sections of the Fir Park support during what was a fairly successful campaign in season 1993-94, the lads decided to produce a fanzine to try and redress the balance in TomTom’s favour and bring a bit of fun back into following the Mighty Dossers. Strange circumstances you might think, and you’d be right, but that’s how One Step Beyond came together.
Since then he has enjoyed many perks of the job, including being one of the fans featured in Coca Cola’s ‘Eat Football, Sleep Football’ advertising campaign, numerous radio appearances for which he has the perfect face, and where no-one can see him trying to avoid talking out the side of his mouth. He made some further television appearances on Tam Cowan’s initial ‘Offside’ series which no-one saw as it was shown on BBC’s Digital channel, and also ‘The Kaye Show’ when Kaye blanked him as he raised his hand to make a point. His public appeal will no doubt enhance this here publication no end. Or will it? That remains to be seen!!!!
One Step Beyond lasted 20 years and exactly 100 issues. I copied that previous text from the original dosserdom.com page dedicated to the fanzine, basically because I liked it. Again this part will remain a work in progress so look out for regular updates. For now though these will have to do.