I started playing Paintball in 1989, just before I packed up smoking. I was hooked!
I'd soon bought my first marker, a Black Widow, and Liz a wicked secondhand Bushmaster, and I formed my first team Stark Staring Bonkers, or SSB as the magazines started calling us.
We never won a tournament as SSB but did come second in a novice 5-man where the £350 prize money almost paid our paint bill.
Our first touney win came in the British Paintball League soon after we changed our name to Sonic (that's another story).
I started the fanzine Born To Dye and soon found myself as Chairman of the European Paintball Sports Federation, and as such worked directly with F8, the firearms division of the Home Office, to find a way of making Paintball markers legal. At the time they fell into the category of illegal weapons. Marcus Davies, then captain of the Predators -- one of the most successful teams in the world, has since claimed that I was responsible for legalising markers in the UK; I'd packed up Paintball by then but his accolade meant a lot to me. I also met with English Nature, and helped to draft their booklet on advice in setting up Paintball sites. I dedicated an awfull lot of time to, what I eventually renamed, the UK Paintball Sports Federation, an awful lot of time. . . .
This photo was taken near the end of my Paintball career when I (back row right)
played for Newcastle-based "Smart As A Carrot"
More to follow soon. . . .