My name is Steven Euesden (that’s Steven with a “v” despite well-meaning people who want to give me a “ph”) and I was born in Kent in the Sixties. Regrettably this was not early enough to remember the 1966 World Cup firsthand and unless the England squad get their act together I predict that however long I may live, I shall not be around to see them do it a second time.
Despite my family’s southern roots – records show there were Euesdens within the sound of Bow Bells in early 19th century London and Hampshire in the 17th – I moved North to the Bolton area. I left school with the average number of “O” levels but was no academic wiz. Instead I was sporty, with a love of football and as much into fitness as I am now.
As usual for a young lad from a working class background at the time, it was drummed into me from an early age that an apprenticeship was what you needed to get on in life. So off to the mill I went. Just as I was finishing my schooling, my family had moved to Bury where a few mills were still functioning but after two years I knew that this was not the life for me. I began a sales career in Insurance and as the saying goes, I never looked back.
Enduring the clack and racket of the mill while trying my best at a job that, for me at least, was soul-destroying obscured the simple fact that I had a natural gift for selling. The late Eighties saw me working for a brief spell in Portugal but despite its brevity the experience was enough to whet my appetite for living and working abroad. I could not say for sure if I believe in destiny. Throwing over an apprenticeship for what was to become my profession was my own decision based on self-knowledge and so, too, was wanting to seek fame and fortune outside the UK. But I have never doubted that fate intervened when I met Michel, the love of my life.
Michel is everything. She is my lover, adviser, confidant and my best friend. She is never judge or jury. Her only verdicts are the impartial ones that help us both to move along the bumpy old road called life.
When we met we were surprised to find we both had so much in common. Principal among our shared aims and interests was our work ethic. Strangely enough, even before we met we had always wanted and expected to work our fingers to the bone and wear our nerves down to frayed shreds. Once we were together we knew we made an unbeatable team and having made up our minds to focus our ambitions on the Mediterranean Coast, it was a case of “Iberia, here we come!”
I am immensely proud of our achievements in Spain and Portugal although as many people who work and live abroad soon realise to their cost, making a success of any business venture out here requires an investment of twice the amount of blood, sweat and – yes – tears as in the UK. It came to my ears recently that I am referred to as The Silent Assassin and although I’m not completely sure what this meant – it sounds good! In the meantime I am still digesting another backhander from someone who said I could be as scathing as paint-stripper.
The people who know me well insist that I’m a softie at heart but I’m the first to concede that I’m no soft touch, hence the unavoidable reality that not everyone who crosses my path is a lifetime member of the Euesden fan club. I hold some very strong opinions. I make no apology for them but I am always more than willing to give the reasons for my views.
If I were asked for a list of my loves and interests Michel would head it, followed – although not necessarily in that order – by my home, my kids (Benjamin in Spain and his adorable family and much-loved James and Poppy in England), my three grandchildren, my dogs, fast cars, fast bikes, football and keep fit.
What about my ambitions? They are modest enough: to live long and happily with Michel and to work less and play more. From the present standpoint, however, it is depressingly clear that in today’s world I have little choice but to work staggeringly hard in order to fund a bare minimum of play. And I wouldn’t mind seeing England win the World Cup.
The most recent years with Michel have been the best and the happiest of my life. Only one thing makes me happier and that is knowing there will be many more to come.