Mar­ried boy­band crush

To think I used to have his posters on my wall!

Chat - - Contents - By Donna Knott, 53, from Spen­ny­moor, Co Durham

As the band walked on stage, the screams of the crowd drowned out their open­ing notes.

And mine were prob­a­bly among the loud­est!

It was 1984 and I was ob­sessed with elec­tronic band Na­tional Pas­time.

I loved ev­ery­thing about them. Their mu­sic, cool haircuts and stage pres­ence.

Af­ter see­ing them sup­port pop act Ka­ja­goo­goo in New­cas­tle, I knew they were go­ing to be my next big crush.

‘Don’t you think Mark’s cute?’ Jill, my house­mate Jill sighed.

Mark Knott was the drum­mer, with trendy long hair, slicked back into a pony­tail. ‘Nah,’ I said. Steve Broom­head, the band’s gui­tarist with dark bouf­fant hair, was much more my type.

It was 1984, I was 20 and ut­terly ob­sessed. You could barely see the wall­pa­per in mine and Jill’s Lon­don flat for all the posters on our walls.

Our spare time was ei­ther spent go­ing to gigs or plan­ning our next trip.

Work­ing as sec­re­taries by day, we’d fol­low Na­tional Pas­time round the coun­try by night and at week­ends.

We even had sec­ond jobs so we could earn the money to go and see them play. We were ded­i­cated fol­low­ers.

‘We’re with the band,’ I said, blag­ging our way into a Smash Hits mag party once.

Sip­ping gin and ton­ics with the boys in the band, I couldn’t be­lieve our luck.

Chat­ting to them about mu­sic, their next al­bum, it was one of the best nights of my life.

For the next few years, we fol­lowed the band and spent around £6,000 on our jaunts. It was worth ev­ery penny! They got to know our faces, and stopped to chat with us.

And af­ter a while, it was as if they were our mates. I al­ways got on with drum­mer Mark.

He was the joker of the band, al­ways rec­om­mended new mu­sic to us.

‘Have you heard of Level 42? Their new sin­gle is great,’ Mark said one day.

I never fan­cied him but he be­came a great mate. Then, in 1987, the band split.

I was dev­as­tated, and cried for days. It was the end of an era.

But, as the boys moved on, so did we. I moved back to my home town in County Durham, and got a job as an ad­min­is­tra­tor.

I got mar­ried in 1994, and had my son De­clan in 1998.

I thought about the band now and again, and spoke to Jill from time to time.

Then, in 2007, I logged on to Face­book and found a friend re­quest from Jill.

Lovely to hear from you!

I mes­saged her. We had a right laugh, chat­ting about the good old days. Be­fore I knew it, Jill had cre­ated a Face­book page to con­nect with the boys from Na­tional Pas­time and Ka­ja­goo­goo. The band mem­bers joined. They all had rel­a­tively nor­mal lives now. It was hi­lar­i­ous, rem­i­nisc­ing about how ob­sessed we’d been, and I loved log­ging on to share mem­o­ries. Dur­ing this time, my mar­riage broke down. Luck­ily, I had the boys to talk to, es­pe­cially Mark. By this point, he was a lorry driver,

When they split, I was dev­as­tated, cried for days!

de­liv­ered bread.

Bit dif­fer­ent to drum­ming!

The pony­tail was long gone, too. Now he was com­pletely bald – it suited him!

But one thing hadn’t changed at all – he still cracked me up with his jokes. Just like the old days. Over the next year, we started to chat pri­vately, but I thought noth­ing of it un­til he asked me down to see him in Wi­gan, in Jan­uary 2016.

‘Fancy com­ing out in the lorry with me?’ he asked. Why not?! I thought. We spent the day catch­ing up, gig­gling, de­liv­er­ing bread!

‘Can I come up and see you next week­end?’ Mark asked, and my heart skipped a beat. It was as if I was in my 20s again.

The at­trac­tion was mu­tual, and Mark started to visit ev­ery week­end. It felt so easy, as we’d known each other for years.

And, while I hadn’t fan­cied Mark back in the day, I cer­tainly did now! Luck­ily, he and De­clan, then 18, hit it off.

Last April, four months into dat­ing, Mark got down on one knee in a lo­cal Ital­ian restau­rant.

‘Yes, of course I’ll marry you!’ I whooped.

Seems I was fi­nally go­ing to have that mu­si­cian hubby I’d dreamt about in the 80s.

Mark moved into mine, and this year Jill and I had a re­union with the whole band.

They played a few tracks for us and we talked about the old times over a few drinks.

‘If only I’d known then I’d bag Mark as my fi­ance,’ I gig­gled. Or should I say, hus­band. This July, we tied the knot at a cute lit­tle chapel in Las Ve­gas, and cel­e­brated with cham­pagne at our ho­tel bar in the evening.

When we told the ho­tel staff our story, they up­graded us to the pent­house – with a great view over Ve­gas. How rock’n’roll is that?! I still look at Mark and can’t be­lieve my luck. I went from su­per fan to his wife – I just wish I hadn’t waited 30 years!

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