Home / World Breaking News / ‘I have a carpet Take That stood on’: meet the ultimate superfans

‘I have a carpet Take That stood on’: meet the ultimate superfans

The Bros fan

Amanda Bradshaw, 46, instructional creator from Lowton, Lancashire

I’ve been a Bros fan for greater than 30 years. I’ve were given each and every unmarried unencumber, together with the unique 1987 12in of I Owe You Not anything, which wasn’t successful – I discovered it within the basement of Debenhams in Wigan a few years later and I cried. Each and every time they had been on TV, I’d be in a position with the far flung regulate so I may just file them, and I’d watch every look on a loop.

Amanda Bradshaw with Matt Goss … ‘He spent so much time with everybody.’



Amanda Bradshaw with Matt Goss … ‘He spent such a lot time with everyone.’ : Amanda Bradshaw

5 years in the past, I came upon that Matt Goss used to be coming to do a signing at HMV in Manchester. For the week ahead of, I used to be transported again to being a 15-year-old. I used to be so excited that I used to be in any case going to fulfill him, I made up our minds I used to be going to get his autograph and feature it tattooed on. It might be at the again of my leg, so nobody would see it, however I’d comprehend it used to be there. It might be an enduring reminiscence. It used to be additionally poignant for me; after I first adored Bros, when I used to be 14 or 15, my ma and pa had simply were given divorced, and it feels like a cliche, however song – now not simply Bros – were given me via a in reality tough time. Having the tattoo used to be like marking the instance.

Matt used to be very gracious at that signing; he spent such a lot time with everyone. He used to be very insistent about the place he will have to put his autograph, after which he gave me recommendation about tips on how to have it tattooed, none of which I remembered. After I were given house, I confirmed it to my spouse, Gavin, and advised him about my plan. He concept it used to be hilarious. I were given the tattoo achieved two days later. Within the period in-between, I lined the autograph with sticky tape to verify it didn’t come off within the bathe. After I peeled off the tape – I don’t know anything else concerning the physics of ink and sticky tape – I used to be simply considering, “Please don’t let the tape peel the ink off.” I went right into a tattooist at the method house from paintings and it took 20 mins and price £60. I’ve by no means regretted it.

The Gloria Estefan fan

Matt Hemley, 39, theatre journalist from London

Matt Hemley with Gloria Estefan.



Matt Hemley with Gloria Estefan. : Matt Hemley

My spouse jokes that I’ve Gloria Estefan locked in a cabinet. Fortunately, I’ve the self-awareness to understand that my flat shouldn’t be ruled by way of her, so maximum of my assortment is in packing containers.

I’ve were given her song on each and every structure – CDs, tapes and LPs, even if when I used to be a youngster the LPs simply adorned my partitions as a result of I didn’t have a file participant. My entire room used to be taken up together with her. And her label used to be excellent at sending stuff in the event you wrote in – a courier as soon as arrived with billboard posters and a lifesize standup cutout determine of her. That got here to college with me, and my housemates would beautify her each and every Halloween. At the moment, I simply stay a couple of signed footage out in frames, and if I’m house by myself I’ll watch one in every of her live shows on DVD. I by no means get uninterested in making a song alongside.

‘Most of my collection is in boxes.’



‘Maximum of my assortment is in packing containers.’ : Matt Hemley

It all started when I used to be 11. My dad had heard her tune Pass Away, and he sought after it for his birthday. I purchased it for him, however I liked it and I pinched it, and I’ve liked her ever since. I liked the vibrancy of her song, and its uplifting nature. I used to be a homosexual teenager and there used to be one thing very comforting about it.

Twelve years in the past, I used to be operating for Broadcast mag, masking radio. I came upon that she used to be moving into to LBC, so I contacted the PR, asking if I may just are available in and say hi, and so they organized for me to sit down in on an hour-long interview. I gave her a Christmas pudding as a result of I assumed that used to be one thing she would by no means have had in Cuba, the place she’s from. Remaining summer time, I used to be invited to dinner in London together with her, and he or she advised everybody concerning the Christmas pudding. I used to be amazed she remembered.

Then, when Twitter introduced, I began following her, and after a couple of tweets she realised who I used to be and adopted me again. Annually on my birthday she sends me an immediate message, and they’ve turn out to be increasingly more private. However I feel my favorite reminiscence is from 2015, after I went to the outlet night time of the musical about her existence, On Your Toes!, on Broadway. I knew she can be there, so on the period, I regarded to look what room she would cross into. When the second one act started, she didn’t pop out right away, so I made my far more than. When she got here out, I approached her. Her bodyguards got here ahead, however she stated: “I do know this individual. How are you, Matt?” I don’t suppose I’ve ever felt so proud.

The Bon Jovi fan

Melissa Holmes, 42, internet developer from Derbyshire

Melissa Holmes (left) waiting for her big Bon Jovi moment in 2003.



Melissa Holmes (left) looking forward to her giant Bon Jovi second in 2003. : Melissa Holmes

I’m hearing-impaired, however that doesn’t prevent me taking part in Bon Jovi’s song and melody. I’ve listened to the CDs masses of occasions. Are living presentations generally is a little irritating, on the other hand as a result of, even if I will be able to practice alongside once they play, when Jon Bon Jovi tells tales or provides little speeches the ones can also be tough, if now not unattainable, to know. I used to be at Giants Stadium in New Jersey and Jon gave some roughly thank-you speech close to the top of the display, and no matter he stated had some fanatics in tears. Everybody used to be speaking about it afterwards, however I’d hardly ever made out a phrase.

Should you come with solo presentations by way of Jon and Richie Sambora [the band’s former guitarist], in addition to TV appearances the place they’ve performed reside, I’ve noticed them 83 occasions in seven nations. The primary factor is the ambience, but in addition I stored going again as a result of I in reality sought after to listen to two particular songs reside: Hiya God and Dry County. They didn’t play both at my first display in 1995, and I used to be gutted. So, to steer clear of lacking out once more, I did each and every display that I may just: I did all 3 England presentations in 1996, after which I did each and every ticketed display in the United Kingdom and Eire that Jon, Richie or the band did from 1997 till 2009, plus a couple of presentations somewhere else in Europe and in the United States. It took me till display 52 in Dublin in 2006 ahead of I in any case heard Dry County reside, and, whilst I did get to listen to Hiya God in 1996, they didn’t play it once more at a display I used to be at till London 2011, which I feel used to be display 80 for me.

I’ve arrived at venues anything else as much as 32 hours previously to check out to get entrance row; every now and then with slumbering baggage and tents, every now and then now not – we began with tents in 2006, I feel. Sooner than then, everybody simply sat out. I’ve been threatened (at the side of different fanatics) with having the law enforcement officials known as on me in the United States once we sought after to camp out ahead of a display. Fortunately, it were given resolved, and we camped – and we were given entrance row.

The Monkees fan

Iain Lee, 45, broadcaster from London

Iain Lee, Monkees superfan.



Iain Lee, Monkees superfan. : Matthew Percival

Seeing the Monkees reside for the primary time in 1989 used to be wonderful. It used to be non secular. It used to be pleasure and ecstasy in contrast to anything. For a 15-year-old, it used to be a little bit bit horny. In spite of the mullet he had on the time, Davy Jones used to be a sexually sexy guy, and, I’m going to mention it, I fancied him.

It had all began with the TV display – nine.25 within the morning throughout the varsity vacations. Some folks have their Bowie second – once they noticed him on Best of the Pops doing Starman – however mine used to be seeing the Monkees mime Valleri. Shit! That is it, guy!

‘I’m going to say it, I fancied Davy Jones.’



‘I’m going to mention it, I fancied Davy Jones.’ : Alan Messer/Rex/Shutterstock

I went to Our Value within the Queensmere buying groceries centre in Slough to shop for a biggest hits album, however that they had two: one double, and one with a few new songs. I didn’t find the money for for either one of them, so I went to the fountain they’d simply put in out of doors the buying groceries centre – which used to be generally stuffed with bubbles from folks striking washing-up liquid in – and I stole the additional £2.50 I wanted. That used to be the primary signal of obsession: stealing to feed my addiction.

Since then, I’ve more than likely spent £200,000 to £250,000 at the Monkees – on purchasing issues, on travelling to look them, and on putting in 7a Data to unencumber in reality difficult to understand Monkees information and solo subject matter. The label is an excessively pricey pastime, however we do it to make the information I need in my assortment that don’t in reality exist. And the spending began early: at 14, I used to be convincing my mum to write down out world cash orders for £100, which I’d ship to the United States, after which six months later I’d get some in reality shitty-quality reside bootlegs again.

The only most costly factor I’ve were given is a 1967 Monkees Gretsch guitar, which price about £three,500. I wouldn’t say that ended my marriage, however it didn’t cross down in particular smartly with my spouse.

The U2 fan

Beth Nabi, 40, college professor from Jacksonville, Florida

Beth Nabi with The Edge.



Beth Nabi with The Edge. : Beth Nabi

I’ve noticed U2 73 occasions in 10 nations because the first time in 1997, or even discovered a possibility to merge my love of the band with my instructional analysis.

I educate graphic design and virtual media, and I were finding out U2’s visible id as a fan. I went to Vancouver for the beginning in their 2015 excursion – everybody is going out early to hang out the rehearsals, so there’s this nice neighborhood – and I spotted plenty of the folk had U2 tattoos, and it hit me: I sought after to seize this. I sought after to understand what marks they placed on their our bodies and why. From then on, I documented the fanatics in line. I’d interview them and file them, asking: “What does this band imply to you that you’ve got them to your frame?” And now the U2 Tattoo Challenge has had an showcase within the Rock and Roll Corridor of Reputation. And it’s been at the U2 professional website online, which used to be mind-blowing. As a fan: holy shit! Bono would possibly know my title! For any fan to have their idol acutely aware of them is classy.

In 2017, once they toured taking part in The Joshua Tree in complete, I sought after to paintings the U2 Tattoo Challenge in Europe, and notice what the fan tradition used to be like in the ones towns. I take a look at to not take into accounts how a lot that price – the primary rule of fandom is don’t have a look at your checking account. I went to each and every town for each and every display, however the night time of the second one Rome display, I were chatting with fanatics all day, I used to be exhausted from the warmth, and I used to be beaten and I wanted a spoil. I offered my price ticket to some other fan and I walked across the town. I went to the Colosseum as an alternative of going to look U2. It used to be an enormous second: I’ve a price ticket and I’m strolling away. It used to be giant step in my construction: I got here, I noticed, I conquered.

The Bruce Springsteen fan

Sindy Grewal, 54, govt trainer from London

Sindy Grewal at Springsteen’s Broadway show in 2018.



Sindy Grewal at Springsteen’s Broadway display in 2018. : Sindy Grewal

I grew up in a conventional Asian circle of relatives, and teen ladies weren’t in reality allowed to visit live shows. I sought after to look Springsteen at the River excursion in 1981, however none of my siblings would cross with me, so I couldn’t cross. On the other hand, my mom purchased me a price ticket to look him at Wembley at the Born in the United States excursion in 1985. I used to be beaten, and I cried when he did Independence Day. I’ve now noticed him smartly over 50 occasions, even if that isn’t a lot when put next with plenty of superfans, however my buddies know I’ll cry if he does Thunder Street, particularly the acoustic model.

For me, the essential issues are the reside presentations. I’m now not a collector. I don’t have each and every version of the entirety that has pop out. I don’t have 15 variations of the similar album. I’ve by no means in reality were given that. As an alternative, I trip to look him as a result of I think that he’s other in other places: there’s one thing about the best way he pertains to every other target market. Seeing him at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, his house state, along with his folks, had an actual sense of neighborhood. After I noticed him in Australia, as it used to be any such very long time since he’d performed there, there used to be the sheer enthusiasm of everybody. Pittsburgh used to be atypical as a result of such a lot of of his songs are about puts like that – the Johnstown Corporate, which is discussed in The River, is in Pittsburgh. I’ve to stay going to look him as a result of I stay considering he will not be taking part in for much longer: I would possibly by no means see him once more, if he makes a decision to prevent traveling.

The Take That fan

Janie Burden, 34, song promoter from Somerset

Janie Burden with Robbie Williams.



Janie Burden with Robbie Williams. : Janie Burden

I assume my strangest piece of memorabilia is a work of carpet from HMV in Manchester. It used to be in 2006, when Take That did a signing there. A bunch people camped out of doors the night time ahead of – it used to be so chilly; in hindsight we will have to have taken a Thermos and a few sandwiches – as it used to be a large journey. After the signing, some personnel got here out with bits of carpet, and so they stated it used to be the carpet Take That were status on. No clue about which member had stood on it, or although in reality the soles in their footwear had simply brushed it. It lived within the boot of my automotive for some time as a result of I wasn’t positive what to do with it. Each and every time folks noticed if, they’d ask why I had a work of carpet within the boot, and I’d inform them anyone from Take That may have stood on it. They’d have a look at me and say: “Oh. OK.”

I first were given into them via my older sister – I used to be six and he or she used to be 18 – however it used to be once they reformed in 2005 that I was a superfan. They had been my first band, they had been again and I used to be the best age. I began tenting out as a result of I sought after to fulfill they all.

Essentially the most memorable assembly used to be when Robbie Williams rejoined in 2010 and so they did a Radio 1 reside living room look. Within the early 90s, that they had introduced out a collection of Take That dolls – you’ll be able to see who they’re intended to be, however they don’t in reality seem like the individuals – and I were given a collection, even if they offered out in reality temporarily. My sister advised me: “Don’t you dare ever take them out in their packing containers.” So at Radio 1, it wasn’t simply that I were given to look all 5 of them in combination once more, however I additionally were given Robbie to signal my doll. And now I’ve were given all 5 of them of their packing containers, signed.

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