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August 14, 2014 / ultrafox1963

51 things you may not know about Ultra_Fox

Picture of the author - July 2014.  Diets are more trouble than they're worth..

Picture of the author – July 2014. Diets are more trouble than they’re worth..

1) He was born at the former Leicester Maternity Hospital in August 1963 A blue plaque at the corner of East Bond Street and Causeway Lane in Leicester marks the site. He was present at the plaque’s unveiling in 1994.

2) His parents rented a two-roomed flat in Blackbird Road above what is now a branch of Barclays Bank. He lived there for the first 18 months of his life before the family moved to Newfoundpool.

3) He shares his first name with the 1963 Leicester City captain, Colin Appleton, who went on to lift the club’s first major trophy, the Football League Cup, the following year.

4) He was christened at Belvoir Road Chapel in Coalville in December 1963.

5) He started school at Inglehurst Infants School, where he attended for four terms. He revisted the school and met with pupils as Lord Mayor in April 2011.

6) He moved to Belgrave in December 1968 with his parents and brother Mark. He still lives in the same house today.

7) He attended his first political event at the age of five in July 1969, seeing Prime Minister Harold Wilson speak at the Durham Miners’ Gala.

8) In October 1970, he suffered serious injuries in a road accident on Gipsy Lane, Leicester. The City Council subsequently opened a pelican crossing at the site.

9) He attended his first Leicester City match with his father and grandfather at Roker Park, Sunderland on 17 April 1971. The game ended 0-0.

10) In 1973 he took part in a cubs’ football tournament at Woodstock Primary School in Leicester and can therefore proudly boast of having played at Woodstock.

11) His first game at Filbert Street was versus Coventry in September 1973. It ended in a 2-0 victory for the visitors.

12) He appeared on stage at De Montfort Hall at the age of 10 in April 1974, as a member of the Leicester Schools Choir in a production of Peter and The Wolf.

13) Before the age of 11, he contracted the “grand slam” of infectious diseases – mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox.

14) He attended the City of Leicester School from 1974 to 1981. Other pupils during that time included Gary Lineker and Alastair Campbell.

15) He gained his first O level at the age of 14, studying the history and appreciation of (classical) music.

16) He joined the Leicester East Constituency Labour Party in September 1979, subsequently being elected to the positions of Vice-chair, secretary and Chair within the organisation.

17) He left school with a total of 9 O levels and 3 A levels, equalling the best performance of pupils in his year group.

18) In 1981 he held talks with universities in Leeds, Sheffield and York, before eventually enrolling at Essex.

19) He gave his first radio interview in February 1983, following the Tony Sibson – Marvin Hagler fight outside the studios of the former Leicester Sound radio station.

20) He left university in 1984 with a BA Honours Degree in Government. Current House of Commons Speaker John Bercow graduated in the same course the following year.

21) His first job was in May 1986 as a canteen assistant at the former Towers Hospital, serving refreshments to patients and visitors.

22) In 1987, he established the first constituency office in Leicester East, working as an assistant to newly-elected MP Keith Vaz.

23) He became a member of the trade union TASS (later MSF) in 1987. He remained a member for 14 years, and was a delegate to five union conferences during that time.

24) He became a school governor for the first time in 1988, serving on 8 different bodies at various times until 2011.

25) He stood for election to Leicestershire County Council in 1989, finishing 3rd in the Evington Ward. This remains the only election for public office in which he was unsuccessful.

26) He was first elected to Leicester City Council in May 1991, as one of two members for the Belgrave ward.

27) In 1992, he lived in Manchester on a six-month secondment for the charity NACRO, commuting to and from work by tram.

28) He was part of the City Council granting freedom of Leicester to Gary Lineker, Alan Birchenall, Sue Toensend and Englebert Humperdinck.

29) In May 1995, at the age of 31, he became Chair of the Housing Committee at Leicester City Council, overseeing a property portfolio worth over a billion pounds and the redevelopment of the St Andrews and Saffron estates.

30) In 1995, he organised an occuption by parents at County Hall as part of a successful campaign for a pedestrian crossing to be installed outside Mellor Primary School.

31) Later that year, a Leicester Mercury front page showed him wearing an air mask outside Rushey Mead Primary School to highlight high pollution levels.

32) He attended 50 out of 51 games played by Leicester City during the 1996-97 season – in which they won the Football League Cup and finished 9th in the Premier League.

33) While working at the former British Gas offices in De Montfort Street, he joined the nearby Regent Club – sited at the home of a former mayor of Leicester.

34) He served on the Charity Appeal Committee for Cllr Phil Swift, Leicester’s Lord Mayor for 1999-2000. The Appeal raised over £100000 for the Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre.

35) In September 2000, he turned down the opportunity of a meeting with Nelson Mandela at the Labour Party Conference in order to watch Leicester City play a UEFA Cup match in Vienna.

36) In 2001-02, he captained the Leicester City quiz team in 8 episodes of the ITV football quiz show “Do I Not Know That”. The team finished semi-finalists in a series featuring over 100 clubs.

37) He made his debut as Ultra_Fox on the BBC’s former 606 message board on 10 February 2003.

38) His first published article for the Leicester Mercury appeared on 7 February 2004, previewing that day’s Leicester City game at Newcastle.

39) He briefly worked at the Leicester Mercury in 2004, creating and updating a database of contestants in the Baby Of The Year competition.

40) He was elected as Councillor for New Parks in May 2007, beating off a challenge from the British National Party.

41) The day after his election as Leicester’s High Bailiff in May 2009, he travelled to Manchester to attend Morrissey’s 50th birthday celebrations.

42) On 27 May 2010, he was elected Lord Mayor of Leicester – the first holder of that office to have been born during the 1960s.

43) Throughout 2010-11, he was the first Lord Mayor of Leicester to use Twitter on a daily basis to update residents of his activities.

44) During his time as Lord Mayor, he opened the Leicester Riders shop in Rutland Street and the Clockwise credit union office on St Nicholas Place.

45) His Forget Me-Not Appeal was the most successful civic-led charity initiative in Leicester for over 30 years. It raised nearly £180000 towards improving dementia care facilities in local hospitals.

46) He gave assistance to over 50 other local charities during his year as Lord Mayor.

47) He is currently the producer and founder of three daily online newspapers (hosted via – Ultra_Sound, Leicester Daily and #Leicester Echo – and the online blogs Electric Cello, Ultra_Fox and Leicester Voice.

48) He has seen Leicester City play at over 100 venues.

49) He has attended games in the Bundesliga, Scottish League and Serie A.

50) He continues to play an active role in local quiz leagues and has been a part of three trophy-winning teams so far during 2014.

51) He has never owned a property or motor vehicle of any type.

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