Friday 19th of October saw the release of the first of a weekly series of articles, specially prepared for HUST, by the one-time wannabe author and HUST member John Ashton.

Once a chartered accountant, in 2002 he underwent the full frontal lobotomy reversal required to recover some of the personality and character he had been forced to have removed when becoming a chartered accountant. Now best described as a ‘recovering human being’, John spends his time between the insides of various hostelries, on a number of (failing) business interests, and at his keyboard (where he vainly searches for that Pulitzer winning idea).

His previous works include a delightful publication on the operation of insurance companies in the Middle East, a humourless piece entitled ‘The Tax Regime of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ and a range of newspaper articles on subjects as challenging as ‘Succession planning in the family business’, ‘The effect of the euro on North East business’ and ‘How to have a fun with a calculator’ (a rework of his 1998 masterpiece ‘Having a laugh with a chartered accountant’).

A life-long Poolie, John used a selection of his favourite ex-Hartlepool players as characters in his ‘Grant Bannister’ trilogy; ‘Business Breakfast’, ‘Liquid Lunch’ and ‘Dinner with Mandelson’ – a series so successful that they were remaindered within three years of publication.

Despite this somewhat horrendous background, what John brings to HUST is experience of working on the sale and purchase of professional football clubs and of the being involved in trying to save a number of high profile clubs, via administration and other processes; so we can forgive him his time as an accountant and for his awful novels.

Thank you to John for sharing his thoughts.