The Early Years

I am the luckiest man in the world.

I head-up a booming PR and marketing business, I'm a successful investor, and I spend most of my life in the sunshine. What a blissful cocktail!

God has been good. And sometimes I have to pinch myself just to check I'm not in some glorious Technicolor dream.

My life in the sunshine contrasts sharply with the bitterly cold winter morning when I was born in Motherwell Maternity Hospital.

Mum was 39 and I was the first son to be born into the family for several generations. I was surrounded by adoring parents and delighted relatives. For baby Gordon, life was already a ball.

My early years were spent in the Scottish steel town of Motherwell in the heart of industrial Lanarkshire. We lived in a red sandstone one-bedroom house in Glencairn Street, immediately opposite Glencairn Primary School, which I would later cross the road to attend at the tender age of four.

It was a great local school and my first teacher, Miss Brown, was a dream. Glencairn Street was not so much a row of houses, but a loving, caring community where you never had to lock your door.

Entrepreneur

In those days I couldn't spell, far less pronounce, entrepreneur. But I was only five when I came up with my first business idea - breeding hamsters and selling them to the local pet shop for half a crown (25p for those who didn't grow up in pre-decimal days).

I soon had a production line going before mum and dad put their foot down and restricted me to keeping only two adult hamsters - of the same sex!

The next big adventure was moving house. Our building was to be demolished to make way for what to me appeared to be the ugliest block of flats in the universe.

Thankfully we didn't have to live there, but moved instead to a brand new two-bedroom maisonette in Wishaw's Coltness housing scheme. I thought the house was fantastic as I got my very own bedroom for the first time.

What was even more magical were the woods nearby. They were made for adventures - climbing trees, building tree houses, berry picking and camp fires. What more could a boy ask for?

My new school, Cambusnethan Primary, was miles away which meant a twice-daily bus journey. But that was an adventure in itself and great fun. The school was good, too, so Glencairn Primary was soon forgotten.

While at Cambusnethan I discovered I could run fast. In sprint trials with the big boys, I proved my mettle, leaving them in my slip stream. I was years younger, so it was a real honour to run for the school team and pick up winners' medals for 100 yards.

Running is still a passion. I may be slower, but every day I head out at the crack of dawn to run the streets of the city, the cliffs of the Mediterranean, or the beaches of Florida.

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