NEVER give up on your dreams - that’s the advice of a Damsonwood man who has just published his first book.
John Flanner, who lost his sight aged just 19, has had a desire to write ever since he was a teenager.
Now his first title - a collection of stories and anecdotes about how he came to cope with his disability - is about to go on sale.
The father-of-four hopes the book will inspire people and break down some of the taboos around blindness.
“There are a lot of things that people aren’t sure about - some people seem worried about actually using the word blind and wonder if they should say ‘visually impaired’. I’m hoping by adding a bit of humour to the book and describing some of the embarrassing situations I’ve been in, I can deal with the political correctness.”
John lost his eyesight because of a hereditary condition, which also affected his siblings.
Since 2004 he has been giving talks to the civil service, which three years ago won him an outstanding achievement award.
“The message that I want to get across is that you should never give up on your dreams. When I was a teenager I had the idea of becoming a writer and here I am, at 62, finally doing it.
“There’s all sorts of people out there who have potential or a talent and all they need - to get things moving - is a bit of encouragement.”
A lifelong football fan, John is already working on his second book - Beautiful Game, Beautiful Memories. The book will compare his memories of standing on the Villa Park terraces, first as a sighted person and then after losing his sight.
l The first book - Fear, Fun and Faith - will be launched on Monday. The event will take place at the Bridge, Shirley and starts at 7.30pm.
Anyone who would like to buy a copy can call John on 0121 603 9438.