Funeral details – South Shields Crematorium, 14/Aug/2023, 10:30 followed by a celebration of Glenn’s life at the Littlehaven in South Shields.
Glenn’s family has asked for no flowers but in lieu of that are encouraging those who wish to make donations to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Foundation, – click here
There are certain people you meet who you want to keep in your life forever. Glenn Ashcroft was one and I still can’t believe he has left us. Nor can any of us who were the core of the fanzine or just those who’d been in Glenn’s orbit and knew him as the canny lad who made fanzine articles look brilliant in TRUE FAITH.
One of the tricks life plays on us is in the irony of timing. There I was happily returned from the Post Office having despatched the Champions League souvenir issue of the fanzine to all points on the compass, having my tea when Charlotte Robson contacted me via the US to break the awful news Glenn had died.
Every issue I’d put in its envelope had come with the thought, I’d hoped Glenn might be well enough in future to pick up design duties for future issues of HIS fanzine. I’d had an exchange of Wats App texts earlier in the week and the crack was all NUFC related and he’d told me he was feeling much better. I have e-mails in my in-box from Glenn with TF stuff attached to them and it all underlines the fragility of life.
I knew how much Glenn loved working on the fanzine, believed in what we were doing and I buzzed at how often he’d contact me to discuss articles that had caught his eye and what he thought about presenting them in its pages.
His exasperation with my sloppy page-planning never lasted long and he’d return cheerfully trying to get more material into the fanzine to save me from disappointing a writer by leaving any stuff out.
Glenn was simply solid gold.
Glenn and I met when I put a note in one of the very early issues of TRUE FAITH asking if anyone with graphic design skills wanted to help out with the fanzine. Glenn replied and there begun an association or more accurately a friendship for the next twenty odd years.
Any of you reading this who bought copies of the fanzine in its heyday before the internet took over everything will have seen Glenn’s work on its glossy pages. I don’t need to big up Glenn’s creativity as a graphic artist because it has been in front of everyone whoever opened TF’s pages. Without Glenn we’d never have published one of the best fanzines in the UK. He was the heart and soul of the fanzine.
And guess what? Despite his superb skills and the hours he put in with the fanzine he never asked for a penny. He simply shared a passion with me to carve out a wee corner of Newcastle United fan culture and produce something we discovered a big enough number of fellow supporters valued. The money never mattered to either of us – which is just as well, but that’s for another day.
Skilled and hard-working? Yes, that’s just the surface for Glenn. He had many, many other qualities.
What I’ll always remember of Glenn is his dry humour and sense of the absurd. He needed that as a character in the weird and wonderful world of Newcastle United fanzines and he’s cheered me up over many of the years with some absolutely on point observations. Glenn had a deep and undemonstrative wisdom.
He was a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe and he’d return with tales of the gigs he’d been at and his enthusiasm for what he’d seen and heard.
Those who knew Glenn can’t think of him without smiling at his wit but unlike many there was never any cruelty to it. Glenn was a gentle soul and I can honestly say in all the years I’ve known him I’ve not heard a bad word said about him. He was simply baffled by the poison in some people but it never went beyond a raised eye-brow or a characteristic look of bemusement. He had no enemies.
Glenn was a selfless lad and ready to do good people good turns. Having established TRUE FAITH as one of the best fanzines in the country, he loaned his skills out to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation free of charge and became a much loved friend and ally to Liz Luff who I know has been hurt by Glenn’s passing.
A close second in Glenn’s list of qualities was his patience. God knows how he coped with me explaining my dopey ideas in a garbled fashion what was needed to illustrate the next cover or features for the fanzine. He’d simply listen quietly and then the result would be some of the best magazine illustration and covers I have ever seen.
But Glenn was more than just a fanzine fellow traveller and he became a dear friend down the years. I loved his company when we went for a pint and curry to plot the next issue and laughed about global fanzine domination. We never got those sleek, glass fronted Quayside offices from which TF would become the nerve centre of Newcastle United’s independent media, mate.
Knowing someone as long as Glenn means you share each others’ highs and lows. Kind words from Glenn have meant a lot at times of bereavement and although he disguised it well as a very private person, I know the illness and loss of his Mam hurt him deeply. More happily, I know how much Glenn loved his family, in particular his sister Tina’s children and going to the match with his Dad, another avid Black & Whiter. He spoke of them all with obvious love.
Glenn was known too to my own wife and daughter who took to him immediately and are similarly saddened at his death.
Glenn had a wide circle of friends from his days studying and working across the country. All will be hurt by his passing but nothing like his Dad Brian, his sister Tina and his close family. They will feel his loss on a far deeper level.
I’ve got this far without mentioning Newcastle United but it is through his loyal, unwavering and passionate support for our football club that we all knew Glenn. It will be tough for all of us that counted Glenn as our mate to know we won’t bump into him on match-day and share thoughts on the game, the state of the club under Ashley or the resurgent optimism in this new era.
Talented, funny, warm, kind, generous – that’s the Glenn Ashcroft me and many others loved as a dear friend.
We’re all going to miss you mate.
Michael Martin, @TFMick1892
Another thing: I want to say something about the special friendship TF’s Charlotte Robson and Liz Luff had with Glenn. I know how he valued them as the good-hearted, wonderful, kind and caring lasses they are. God bless the pair of them.