Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Lucy's thoughts - one year on

Recently it was the 1 year anniversary of the Sunday Mirror article. So much has happened in that year, personally for us and for Trans Radio UK. As part of this I now also write the blog for the radio station which updates on lots of what we have been doing in the community. The radio station recently had a new web page so head over to www.transradiouk.com and have a look. There is a blog tab and there you will find what has been happening for us.

For me, life goes on. The radio station has really taken off this year and it is all very exciting. Only in the last few days we have undertaken to organise Trans Pride London 2020 as the group organising something for 2019 (and which should have been the first ever London TransPride) seemed to have splintered off and there is nothing properly organised. More details on the Trans Radio UK Facebook page and on the new Facebook page for Trans Pride London. Also in May and June I was part of the 2 proper training sessions that took place at Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. Both were amazing days and everyone was really engaged and on board which was great. I gave them link to the NHS Rainbow Badge scheme which will be launched in the next few weeks. Very exciting!

Personally it has been a great year so far for Lucy. She has done lots more interviews for various publications and is in a film with Dapper Laughs aka Daniel O'Reilly which premieres in September called Fanatical - this is a comedy documentary about football and its fans. She has been written about in the Sunday Star which sadly used all the old pictures from last year and obviously Lucy has changed a lot over that time, FemaleFirst which used a combination of old and new pictures, there is an article coming out in The Sun and she has been on TalkSport

Leading up to the anniversary of the article and beyond Lucy published a series of Facebook posts saying what happened and how she was feeling in her own words. With her permission I am sharing them here......

2nd August 2019
Ok so this time of the year makes me think a lot about what was going on this time last year. Last year was madness and all went by like a whirlwind and there are a few people have spoke to me about what happened etc so I have decided to document it here on my social media. If you are bored of it all and do not want to hear/read it then I suggest you unfriend me or mute me for a month! lol :)

1st Aug 2018 Soooo the first post is a catch up....By now immediate Family and certain friends all knew about me...I had decided after the heart attacks that I was going to continue refereeing as life was too short (my original plan was to stop) I had told the FA about me and I spoke to Kellie on the same day, both said the same....this will make the papers! We headed off to Herne Bay and had dinner on a little pub on the seafront. Kellie suggestion was that the story went out in the Mirror as they had covered her story really well...We agreed that this is what we would do and left it to Kellie to organise. This was both and exciting and nerve wracking day! at this point only those that knew "Lucy" were on this facebook! #madness


14th August 2019
I worked the Wednesday night as normal and at the end of the night I sat on the rank alone as normally happens late on waiting for a job. I was thinking about how mad the next few days were going to be and I thought how this was it all those years of heartache were finally going to be over and there would be no more hiding. My mind took me back to Balham House.....now I am not going to lie there prob has not been a week in my life where suicide had not crossed my mind up to this point but thankfully since I was probably about 20 all it has ever been was a passing thought that lasted no more than 5 minutes but back in my teenage years it was on my mind constantly. When things got really bad in my head I would head to Balham House, for those of you who don't know this building it is on Collingwood Road where I lived from the age of about 3 and then at the age of 12 we moved to Beauchamp Road which was just off Collingwood Road and was 30 seconds away from Balham House. In my really bad times when I could see no escape from the what I thought was fucked up feelings in my head I headed to Balham House and would head to the 15th floor via the lift and stand at the top looking down willing myself to have the guts to jump. Thankfully my body would not let me as I thought about what state I would be in if I survived the jump....I probably would not be able to play football!.... I used to say to myself not today tomorrow...(interestingly another Trans friend has written and spoke about her thoughts of not today) I would then use the stairs to come down as I didn't want to wait for the lift in changed my mind. I would usually be in floods of tears as I ran down the staircase and I would then go and sit over Collingwood Rec until I had sorted my head out, Even the door entry system never stopped me as I would ring a random flat to get access. Thankfully I never did jump and I finally sorted my head out where It was no more than a thought and the thought of Balham house stopped decades ago. I can drive past it and look at it with no issues now but if I stop look and think I always get emotional. That night last year saw me sitting with tears down my eyes and the drive home tonight was exactly the same as I stopped to think and take a picture. Now I am not sad because I didn't jump I am sad because of how I felt when I went to that 15th floor. You may have read that there was an attempt and I will get this out there....I went to a friends and was feeling pretty low...his Dad had loads of home made red wine, I drank loads like it was water and I reckon we are talking a few litres...I also necked a load of tablets....I do not remember much more but I went home collapsed on the bathroom floor...My poor Mum took me to hospital and I had my stomach pumped...I actually thought it was Christmas despite it being Summer time and I remember I felt like crap for days after...they thought it was just drink as I could not tell them because when they asked my Mum was there and i didn't want to admit it in front of my mum...just like when I had my appendix out I couldn't say yes to smoking as my mum was there and I ended up with a collapsed lung! Moral of the story be truthful to your Mum!

As for Balham House....you never got me and you never will!

Sorry if this is a bit long and I doubt many have made it this far...I just felt the need to document this as a final bit of closure I suppose. Can I just add that now for a year I have not had any thoughts whatsoever...none! Not today and not tomorrow either! #lifeisamazing



15th August 2019
So the next instalment of a week in the life of me takes us to Thursday...The news of the day was that the mirror were now not prepared to give us edit on the headline but they were on the copy. Now let me get this out there as I know it has been the topic of conversation. I know as a few people have told me and also told me the fee's people think I got...Yes there was a fee...Was it a lot no...Let's just say that after I gave Kellie a slice for all the hard work she had put in and after I had given the lawyer his fee the amount that was left allowed me to get my front teeth sorted, hair extensions fitted and get some stock for the pest control van, we may also of had a couple of takeaways and treated ourselves to a couple of nights at pinks. That was it....the amounts I have heard of 10k 20k and even 50k are way off the mark...Way off. You can do the maths yourselves and for the record I had 2 veeners as I couldn't afford crowns. Yes we could have gone to another paper and got a lot more money but by going to the mirror we had edit on the copy and had a journo that Kellie trusted and how the first story was written was so important so I was told and this turned out to be true. We also asked for edit on the pictures but as seems standard that didn't happen! We was assured however that the headline would not be sensationalised and would not be a "sun" headline. We had come this far so we agreed, We also insisted there would be nothing about the children other than I had 3. No names no ages etc as it was important that I protected them. I told them not to ask as I would not answer end off no discussion. I would rather not give them the story than involve the children. We then had another bit of a shock as we found out it would be a 3 part story.....Sun Mon and Sun...really! However we agreed.
So the night came and we arranged to meet at a hotel in Gatwick...the Sofitel and for an airport hotel it was a posh one! We headed to the hotel, nervous, excited and unsure what we were heading into. We parked and made our way to the hotel and rang Janine the Journo...she said she would come and meet us in the lobby. Jeez not gonna lie I was so nervous...Janine came down from the room and we headed for the lift to go to the room. We entered the room to find they had hired out a whole suite..waiting was a photographer and a make up artist. We sat a the table and they asked us if we wanted a drink and any food...and the photographer disappeared and came back with some wine and we started drinking. The make up artist didn't really do much as I think I had slapped loads on and it would have taken her a week to get the foundation off alone! We then just sat chatting and drinking and drinking and chatting just like old friends who have come round for a drink and a chat. They then wanted to do a video and take some pictures...I say some I mean hundreds..."that's it Lucy look this way that way sit here stand there...good good good"...they wasn't good so he was a liar they were awful! After this they wanted pictures of both of us so we posed "good good good" and again no they wasn't they were awful! We then drank some more and chatted. I asked how long they had booked the suite for..."all night" whose staying here then "no one" I said "WTF why didn't you stay we would have had the suite for the night rather than wasting it!" By now the make up artist and photographer had gone so we stayed chatting until we finished the bottle of wine that we were on.

We then headed home having felt like we had just had a good night out with friends....We would get the write up tomorrow.
Mad night at a Gatwick Hotel - now you all know what we were doing!
16th August 2019
So today’s update on a week in the life of me....

On the Friday we got to read the article that was going to go in the paper on the Sunday. It was really well written and we only had to change a couple of minor things. There were some parts that made us laugh and we allowed Janine a bit of artistic licence where she said things like I looked down at the floor etc. I’d had a few glasses of wine I was full of confidence lol. Kellie was great checking we were ok and I had a chat with the Lawyer. All was good it was just a waiting game now...off I went to work with no one any the wiser....😂

17th August 2019 
So today's update on last years events....

Saturday....so in the afternoon aware that the story was coming out tomorrow so I sent a whatsapp message to 1/2 dozen friends. These were either really close friends or long term friends whom I had been close to on years gone by. There were a couple whom I wanted to include in this list but I did not have their numbers and didn't want to send a facebook message so to those I apologise. I spent the day talking to these important people in my life and the response was great if a few of them were a bit shocked and even a bit sad that I had not confided with them my deep secret. I tried to explain why but I can understand where they came from. One did not reply for days as in his words he was "mourning" and there was a funny moment with one of them Iain who rang me up after his game to talk about it....We spoke for about 10 minutes when I said to him you have not read your whatsapp have you? He hadn't and went away to read the message but at the time it was pretty funny as everyone at home sat looking at me waiting for the reaction lol


We decided to invite the neighbours over to let them know what was going on...only one side were in so we invited them over and we opened the wine and sat chatting....We were having a really good evening when the Journo text me to let me know my story was on the front page and pages 4/5...WTF! We expected it to be around pages 20 odd and nowhere near the front yet alone the front page. We then put on Sky news as they do a review of the front pages. They did a review of the front pages but not the mirror...we sat watching and continued drinking and were still in shock that there was going to be a bit on the front page!

Then it happened and the front page of the Sunday Mirror is about Lucy Clark....I think we all stood up screaming and shouting I certainly did...WHAT THE F*** hahaha OMG it was madness! We then received a face time message from Shaun and Charlie and they were like WTF....we were all laughing and shocked! We were all buzzing not sure why but it was all just totally mad and surreal.

With this out there we both decided that now was the time to put a message out on our old facebooks which we both did and long into the night messages of support were coming through. The phone was buzzing like it was broken as message after message came through It was so humbling and emotional and a night I will never forget.


I thought I had closed off all ways that people I did not know off contacting me however I did not think about the leagues I officiated on and even at 3am in the morning I had journalists from other papers ringing me and leaving messages. I did not respond to any of them.

At about 4.30 I finally went to bed...a little bit pissed and my head in a whirlwind....I needed some sleep as I had a big day ahead and there were vans and lorries all over the country dropping newspapers off that had my fat arse on the front of them.

I knew I would wake up and my life would never be the same again.....


19th August 2019
A week in the life of...

Sunday.

So today’s the day...Avril woke up and went down the shop and I dragged myself out of bed and started getting ready for football. I checke my phone to see over a hundred notifications. Today was going to be a mad day.

Seeing the paper in print made it all real...god what an awful picture if only I had done this 2 years and 4 stone ago

Avril was coming to my game and we headed off to QPR training ground where my match was being played. When we got there I went to the changing room and then went to see the managers and make them aware of the situation in case they hadn’t seen the papers. Both managers I knew and they were both cool and we just went about team sheets exchanges etc with no issues. By now the journo has arrived along with a pap....who was there to take pics obviously and it was agreed that I would ok which ones they could use. It wouldn’t matter tho as it turned out another paper had sent down a photographer anyway as they had found out where I was reffing despite us trying to keep the venue hush hush... the game went really well and Kellie turned up during the first half and she sat with Avril and some of the supporters and chatted away. At the end of the game I chatted with some of the supporters and they were really fab....all was well.

This was however the calm before the storm....I wanted to grab a shower but had left some stuff in the car so I went with Avril to grab my stuff....with my head in the car I heard someone call my name...I turned round and a guy stood there...”Hi Lucy Neil Sidley from the sun” I just said “Sorry I cannot talk to you as I am only talking to the mirror” by now Avril had gone to get Kellie and Kellie came towards us....with that the Sun report started legging it Kellie followed him caught up with him and they had words...next thing Kellie was on the floor with the reported running off...I legged it towards Kellie but she was up and round the corner when I caught up with her she was on her hands and knees trying to catch up with the reporter along with the mirror people. Kellie had tripped on the kerb and had broken her ankle but this wasn’t stopping her...the mirror people told me that “the paps” were coming and I needed to get out of there....quick run! Hahah fecking madness...I legged it to Avril and said quick we have to go...why I don’t know I was just doing as I was told 😂😂😂🙈 still in my kit and without collecting my match fee we jumped in the car and drove out of the ground! 😂

We liased with Kellie and arranged to meet in Cobham so we headed there and found a nice pub with a decent pub garden and we spent the next 5 hrs drinking and chatting...there was a family of travellers in there and they recognised Kellie and was talking to her about boxing when one said...excuse me are you Lucy!!! I confirmed and he told me how he had read about me....fame at last! 😂🙈

We then headed home stopping of at KFC on the way and home to bed...a mad day!


Avril comment: You missed out the bit about the blacked out people carrier turning up at half time with photographers in and the mad drive out with you running towards me shouting "go go go" and me driving fast out the ground not having a clue where we were 🤣🤣🤣
It was the funniest thing. I was like a getaway driver 🚘🚘


Onto the Monday....Avril had her piece in the paper and my story was covered in every other UK paper as well as various papers and news outlets around the world. I received a few offers to do bits and bobs but we turned them down unless they were positive for football or transgender people. I had agreed along with Avril to do an hour on Kellie’s radio show and we headed to Tunbridge with the plan to have a bit of dinner first...it was a lovely day and we sat outside eating when a car pulled up...Kellie was convinced it was a pap butI just said it was someone stopping to get a takeaway which they did...Kellie sent her driver to have a look he did and said all was ok...we finished out food then headed to the studio.
The radio show went really well and we both enjoyed it and we went to a hotel for a drink...we sat chatting when Kellie pulled up a pic from the Mirror online...it was of me and Kellie eating dinner and then walking to the studio and they cut out Avril and Paul the driver to make it look like, we were out together and I had “booked a new pal” 😂😂😂😂😂🙈🙈🙈🙈 





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