About Me 


Born on 6th December 1972 at Manchester Hospital, Newcastle Under Lyme. Although my birth certificate says Stoke on Trent.

I was born with a disability in my hands and arms called Arthrogryposis, which literally means curved joint, implying that it is fixed or stuck in the curved position. To read all about Arthrogryposis, please go to their website.

My dad and I went to see doctors/surgeons in Edinburgh, but they were unable to do such major surgery. We then travelled to Switzerland and met an Australian surgeon by the name of Bernard O'Brien who could do the surgery There was also a Japanese doctor that could do the operations, but we chose Australia, as there wouldn't be a language barrier.

So many people from Folkestone and surrounding areas helped with raising the funds for the surgery, Including a group of Majorettes from Deal who twirled there baton's to raise money.
I will always be so very grateful to every single person that helped and made the trip possible.. 
British Airways gave us free air tickets, and even got to visit the Captain in the cockpit.

In November 1980, it was time for the long journey to Australia with my Dad and Brother to have the major surgery. Pic above of full upper body cast after 1st op of 3 at The Mercy Private Hospital in Melbourne. Each op was performed in the Australian summer, 30+ degrees in plaster cast, yeah thanks for that. After the third operation I had a convulsion when coming round, so further surgery was halted. I was rushed across Melbourne by ambulance to a Children's Hospital where I was touch and go for a while. 
The operations I had;  muscles were added between my neck and shoulder, allowing me to shrug my shoulders, also tendon's were taken from each thigh and put in both upper arms, which allows me some movement up and down. All ops were a complete success and certainly improved my quality of life.

On returning from Australia, it was time for Secondary School... Eeeek, The big boys and girls can be so horrible..
The first few weeks were really tough for me, due to all the teasing about my arms. Nothing about my Aussie accent. After a few days off and being very upset, I went back, but now I was ready for whatever they would say or do. After a couple of days, it all stopped, and I was accepted for being me. I can honestly say, that was the time that made me who I am today.
First years report was really good with 14 out of 15 A's. Each year after they got less and less. 
In my last year I was made a Prefect. I won The Most Worthy Sportsperson of the Year, something I felt very honoured to receive. I left secondary school with 9 GCSE's. 

One day whilst playing football at the park, a friends brother came and asked me why I had small arms. As he was a big fan of He-man and The Masters of the Universe, we told him that I was the real Man at Arms, he seemed quite happy with that. As time went on I shortened it to Armzi (my own spelling). In later years my brother nicknamed me Skippy - look at a kangaroo and you will see why.. Both nicknames have stuck, but Skippy is what most people call me now.. I do have a tattoo on my leg of Skippy and a Kangaroo.

In 1988 I won a Child of Achievement Award (see pic above) for helping others and overcoming my disability. I was nominated by my school, after completing a 100 mile sponsored walk across the Hog's Back - Winchester to Canterbury. We walked 20 miles a day, and stayed at army barracks over night. One of the mornings, we were seen off by Ronnie Corbett, who came to show his support. The walk finished at Canterbury Cathederal, in front of the press and many supporters.

Before starting my first job in 1990, I went to the World Cup in Italy with my dad a brother. We watched England v Rep of Ireland and England v Holland. We got to watch a few training sessions, after one of them, I ran along the side of the pitch with Gazza, as he took me on the team coach to get autographs. 

I worked for British Rail at Tonbridge, then promotion saw me working at Waterloo Station in London. After 5 years I left the railway to work at Saga.

At 8.33pm on the 1st November 1994 was day my beautiful daughter Lauren was born, weighing 8lb 4oz.

Since then, I've done some DJ ing and comperred many Charity Nights.

I currently drive for the Shepway Volunteer Centre, taking people to the doctors, hospital appointments, shopping or anywhere else they may need to go. I find this very enjoyable and love listening to the tales/stories they tell.