Review of 2015


What can be said about the year that is soon to finish?

A lot has happened, personally and professionally and, looking back on it all makes one realise just how good it not only was, but can be in the future. On a professional level there were a lot of meet and greets, a lot of interviews, a lot of work and, having worked with and met individuals who, at times, I never imagined I would have, its been an amazing rollercoaster.

Picking any highlights from the year gone by would be difficult for so much has been accomplished and, although you might say its been the same as previous years, it hasn’t. Finishing the Journalism Diploma was, in all honesty, a difficult thing to do for underlying issues meant the outcome was not what was hoped but so much was learnt and I’m sure I will achieve what I set out to do. I’m not the type of person to let it slide either and, one way or another, accomplishment will be achieved and I’ll carry on regardless.

Throughout the past twelve months work with Relentless Promotions has been paramount and I believe I grasped the opportunities presented which has seen interviews with a plethora of names such as Stephen Tompkinson and Rick Buckler, Mark Brzezicki and Bumblefoot, Anthony Joshua and Brian Kilcline, Brian Anderson, Graham Onions and Eddie Hearn to name but a few, the list is rather endless. to pick a highlight from those names alone would be difficult for they all carry their own meaning however, as a lifelong Guns ‘n’ Roses fan then March and the arrival of Bumblefoot, ably supported by Twister, was an experience in itself.

Twister, they’re a great bunch and deserving of a mention having become close to the Stoker family over the past 12-18 months and next year is already shaping up to be a good one for both parties of that I’m sure. Wherever it takes us we’ll get to where we want to be, just believe.


The second half of the year saw a production of content for Michael Grahamslaw and his Northern Insight Magazine, fantastic publication which highlights the business and leisure industry in the region. There have been some interesting reads in there over the past six months and I’m hoping that, with the addition of Mojo Risin’ Publishing to the first issue of the New Year, we have done the job that we (Steve Wraith, Danny Cox, Stuart Wheatman and I) have set out to achieve. The New Year looks set to be a big one with a combination of talents at hand and was shown at the Xmas Drinks Reception at the Crown Plaza Hotel earlier this month when finally catching up with PR guru, Claire Barber, and making many a new contact including the wonderful Karen Kevelighan, Lu O’Rourke and the gentlemen of Lynch Advertising (see images below).




Geordie Roar at the Metro Radio Arena in early April was easily a standout occasion as thousands of fight fans turned out to see a vintage Jon-Lewis Dickinson, a stylish Anthony Nelson, and Joshua of course. It was a night of nights and the hard work which people such as myself, Steve, Danny and Andy Thompson had worked hard for long before it actually happened and our presence ringside was testament to that fact. It showed that perseverance in the fight game pays off if you stick at it long enough and, who knows, 2016 will see the return of that Matchroom bandwagon.

May also saw the end of an era as the famous and mighty Hetton Lyons Sunday League Football Club called it a day. It’s been an honour and absolute privilege getting to know the lads in recent years so it was felt that they got the send off they deserved. In doing that final piece on them it ensured their names will be forever written in sporting folklore.

April also saw my announcement of the first cycling sportif in Weardale as ‘The Roof of England’ was promoted for the first time in both the local press, and Sportif Magazine (event is now an annual one with the next being 28 August 2016). The ABA’s featured yet again as they had two years previously which led onto the Tri-Nations tournament, successful times for regional amateur boxers. There was also a first venture into writing about Kettlebell competitions with Ste Gordon and company in Darlington. Surprise inclusions was that of Ladies Boxing with the Lambton Street lasses trailblazing on top of the young guns of Georgia O’Connor and Golden Girl Megan Bainbridge from Brandon who set a very high barrier.


Further surprise arrived between October and December with some crime journalism with The Krays and Sayers taking precedent, interesting to say the least. October also saw a delving into video journalism as Steve Wraith launched an official boxing promotion in Pro Boxing Newcastle Gateshead to which saw several live outings around the ‘Sudden Impact’ show including an in-ring showing with Andrew Buchanan in front of a few hundred or more people. It has been an honour getting to know the Buchanan’s and to be able to conduct the first, and last, interviews of his second run in the professional game was both an honour and privilege.

The past couple of months has been pretty much a rollercoaster what with The Krays book launches and subsequent interview with actor Kevin Leslie, then interviews with Stephen Sayers and Pavel Srnicek around their respective book launches. There was also a published interview with Glenn McCrory as he swapped the ring for the stage appearing in Daphne du Maurier’s West End stage production of ‘The Birds’ and now he’s starring in his own play about his life story and is joining myself, Steve and legendary sports journalist John Gibson in setting up the Newcastle Sporting Club Ex-Boxers Association.



I suppose you also can’t forget Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer at the Tyne Theatre, South Durham ABC’s successful venture to South Africa, or even the ‘Save the DLI Campaign’ which is still going strong and saw my interview familial descendants of Victoria Cross recipients, special moments indeed; and, as we wind through December it’s been simply a case of renewing old acquaintances and making sure those friendships, and work contacts, are built on solid foundations for, although tomorrow may be another day, you will always need someone there to help guide the way.

The review would not be complete however with a mention for two extremely wonderful, caring and giving ladies in Christine Stephenson and Kelly Best of North East Hearts with Goals and for whom their James Bond-themed Winter Ball was everything and more. I will most certainly continue to support their cause during the New Year and beyond, they deserve it.


I have been fortunate throughout 2015 to have had a select few individuals assist professionally and I will continue to be grateful for that, so, to the likes of Steve Wraith and Danny Cox, Andrew Burton, Kathryn MacColl, Katrina Brown and Teri Galloway, Mike Grahamslaw and Gary Bunting, and one of my oldest friends, mentor and eternal guide, Amanda, I can offer nothing but thanks.

Interviews in 2015 include – Brian Anderson (Photographer/Journalist); Buster Bloodvessel (Musician); Mark Brzezicki (Musician); Jade Byrne (Actress); Rick Buckler (Musician); Craig Conway (Actor); Daniel Cox (Promoter/Writer); Amanda Coulson (Sports); Lloyd Ellett (Sports); Martin Hardy (Journalist/Author); Andy Hamilton (Sports); Vicky Hawkins (Actress); Eddie Hearn (Sports Promoter); Anthony Joshua (Sports); Brian Kilcline (Sports); Christian Kist (Sports); Tommy Langford (Sports); Kevin Leslie (Actor); Jamie Lewis (Sports); Longsands (Musicians); Glenn McCrory (Sports/Actor); Anthony Nelson (Sports); Graham Onions (Sports); Scott Quigg (Sports); Brian Rose (Sports); Robin Reid (Sports); Stephen Sayers; Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot (Musician); Robert Thornton (Sports); Stephen Tompkinson (Actor); Twister (Musicians); Harry Ward (Sports); Stuart Wheatman (Author/Publisher); Steve Wraith (Promoter/Author/Publisher).


All that’s left to say now is that 2015 has been an amazing year, a lot has been achieved and expectations have most certainly been surpassed and now its onto the next thing as I look at officially setting myself up under the banner ‘Inside Mann: The Future of Sports Media Management’ which will provide different media services for sports, music and regional charities (email and I will continue to work on the book I am writing entitled ‘The Rise of North East Boxing.’




About petermannwriter

Freelance (Sports/Music) Journalist

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