Documenting those precious memories

Verna Scott-Culkin, author and granddaughter of  Blackpool FC player Johnnie Crosland
Verna Scott-Culkin, author and granddaughter of Blackpool FC player Johnnie Crosland
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What memories would you like to leave behind when you’re gone?

The granddaughter of a Blackpool FC legend has penned a new book for terminally ill people and their families after losing her own dad to cancer.

John Crosland Blackpool FC Player 1940s - 1950s  / Johnny Crosland introduced to King George VI at the Blackpool v Manchester United FA cup final at Wembley in 1948

John Crosland Blackpool FC Player 1940s - 1950s / Johnny Crosland introduced to King George VI at the Blackpool v Manchester United FA cup final at Wembley in 1948

‘Before I Go’ by Verna Scott-Culkin encourages terminally ill people to put pen to paper and record precious memories for family and friends to treasure after they are gone.

Author Verna, 47, who lives in St Neots in Cambridgeshire, was inspired to create the journal by her father, former Blackpool FC reserve player Paul Scott, and grandfather Johnnie Crosland who played for the main team alongside football legend Stanley Matthews in the 1950s and served as 12th man in the 1953 FA Cup final.

Paul died in 2003 from bowel cancer at the age of 63, while Johnnie died in 2006 from a heart attack age 83.

Mum-of-two Verna said: “When I looked back on my dad and grandad I thought they must have had so many stories to share that deserved to be passed down.

“My grandad was a pilot in the Second World War before he became a footballer for Blackpool. He must have had a lot of things to share that we never got the chance to hear.

“That’s why I had to put together this book. I wanted to create something so people could leave memories behind.

“When someone is given a life-changing diagnosis, especially something like alzheimer’s which my mother-in-law died from, it can feel like a they’re slowly slipping away.

“To actually write things down from the point of diagnosis gives people the chance to get a bit of control back in their lives.”

As well as containing pages for words of wisdom, happy memories and even recipes, the journal also has a financial section where bank account and insurance details can be sealed in a ‘My Send Off’ envelope.

Verna said: “It’s a book that’s different for everyone. I had one lady tell me she wanted to have her mum put her recipe for Christmas pudding in the book so that she’d be with them every christmas.

“I hope the book will bring some comfort to terminally ill people and their families.”