About Me
Born and bred in Armley Leeds 12. I came into the world in
January 1941 in a back-to-back scullery house on Lacy Street,
just in front of Armley Jail I was born Graham Ellis but this was
later changed to Graham Thirkill after my parents separated and
we assumed the name of my stepfather. It wasn’t legally
changed until 1964. In 1946/47 my parents split up and my
mother, brother Brian (8) and sister Irene (2) left Lacy Street and
moved to Randolph Street, Bramley. I was 6 years old but
remember the very deep snow and the splitting up. My first
school was Castleton. After the split up I attended Broad Lane

My youngest daughter Luci with Lucas Radebe
one of her Leeds United favourites

CP School, Bramley where sport was always my best subject
and I played for the junior rugby league team. We moved to
Florence Road, Armley (now demolished) two or three years
later and my brother Brian died of heamophelia he was the
second brother to die of this condition, the first brother Terry,
who I can’t remember was six when he died, he bled to death
after having his tonsils removed. The second brother Brian
died of exactly the same thing, bled to death after having his
tonsils removed. Brian was just eighteen months older than
me and almost fourteen years old when he died. I obviously
remember all of this vividly. We settled in at our new school,
I wasn’t a dunce but wasn’t very good academically, probably
average. Sport again was my main interest and I played football
and cricket for the school. I left at 15 and went to

Myself and two old Leeds United players who are great friends,
Harold Williams and Dave MacAdam

work at Frisby Sons & Whipple, on East Street in Leeds as an
apprentice compositor, serving a six year apprenticeship 1956-62
which I loved. I attended Leeds College of Technology and Leeds
College of art evening classes (night school) which I hated. I
pleaded with my mum for me to pack it in to join the Territorial
Army which she eventually agreed to (1958) and I served four
years in the Royal Army Service Corps reaching the dizzy
heights of lance corporal and passing my driving test to boot.

My dear Wife Jean, how she put’s up with me is nothing
short of courageous

After completing my apprenticeship and moving to another
firm to work on better quality print at Knight & Forster’s,
Water Lane, I moved to Southend-on-Sea, Essex a printer’s
called Eden Fisher, (1963). I worked there for four years as a
charge-hand and was married to Margaret and had a daughter,
Audra, during that four year period. We moved back to Leeds,
Coach Road, New Farnley (1968) and shortly afterwards I left
the print and joined the Prison Service as a dicipline officer at
HMP Armley (1968). I enjoyed the job and was there for almost
5 years during which time we had another daughter Tracy and
a marriage failure. I moved back to Southend-on-Sea and
got my old job back in the printing trade.


My son Graham, Verner Hanna Senior, Paul Cadd on Big John’s lap,
The Great man Himself and me making introductions

From then, which was 1973. I had been a Market Trader
1975-80 and Charter Boat Angling Skipper (in between market
days at first) that was 1979 before moving back to the North
in 1981. We bought a house in Whitby to carry on with the
angling parties. I married again in 1980 to Jeannie (Essex girl)
and started a picture framing business in Whitby 1982. It took
off immediately so I sold the boat and concentrated on the
picture framing for 26 years. We have a daughter Luci-Jean 23
and a son Graham 22. I have 3 grandsons from my oldest girl
Audra called Zak, Josh and Blaine 3 grand lads. The building and
picture frame business was sold in 2006 when I retired aged 65.
We moved to Ravenscar, between Whitby and Scarborough in
1987 and we are still here on the coast in the very beautiful North
York Moors National Park. We have some land and a lovely
Yorkshire stone farmhouse, 10 pigeons and a dog that rules the roost.

The Totty Twins either side of myself & John Boocock.

I have been a Leeds United supporter all my life and have had
the great privilege and pleasure of being friendly with, Harold
Williams and John Charles who I met in the late 1940’s and
also another ex Leeds United player Dave MacAdam, all three,
great blokes, and a real pleasure to be with.
You can contact me at:-