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25 February 2024

Alan Morris, aka Gooner, aka Sharky.

I have several nicknames & I can usually tell where I know people from by what they call me. If you knew me from England, you would likely call me Gooner. If you had met me after I moved to Spain, it is more likely that you would call me Sharky.

Why am I called Gooner?

I am a big supporter of   Arsenal Football Club. Arsenal’s nickname is the Gunners & their supporters are called Gooners. Many years ago, a friend I was talking with called me Gooner & was overheard by other people who started to call me Gooner. This continued to the point where everyone called me Gooner & people who didn’t know my name used this nickname. People in the UK generally use this nickname.

Random Gooner photos.

These are just a few of the photos of me around the world in my beloved Arsenal colours.

Why am I called Sharky?

In 2014, whilst having a   break in Spain, I was taken ill & because of my illness, I had a large part of my right leg removed. The resulting scar looks like a giant shark has attacked me. A few friends in Spain told people that a shark had attacked me & once again, the nickname has stuck. People in Spain generally use this nickname.

A little history.

In brief, I was born in   Walthamstow in London & moved to   Fareham in Hampshire at the age of four. I grew up in Fareham, I went to school in Fareham, had my first girlfriend in Fareham & had my first job in Fareham. I have also lived in Orlando, Florida, USA & Los Alcázares, Murcia, Spain. I love getting out, meeting new people & trying new things.

In September 1990, I had a life-changing car accident, which left me in intensive care for three months & visiting the hospital rehab unit for a year. I still have some problems related to the accident now. The loss of sight in one eye, & poor memory due to brain damage are a couple of them. Since then, I have been trying to do some of the many things on my   Bucket List. My big passion is travelling & now I have discovered escorted coach tours & the joy of cruising, I spend lots of my time planning new trips & how to spend my money when I eventually win the lottery.

After my mum became ill in 2007, I became her full-time carer. While taking a break from looking after my mum in 2014, I went to Spain for a week’s holiday. Unfortunately, I became very ill, contracting Necrotizing Fasciitis & Sepsis. While I was in intensive care in Madrid, my mum passed away in the UK. I am still recovering from the effects of both illnesses & have now left England.

I now live in Los Alcázares in Murcia & I am a permanent resident of Spain. My doctor in England agreed it would be the best thing I could do for my health. The warmer weather makes it easier for my breathing & the fact that the boardwalk along the beachfront is very flat & has plenty of rest stops means I can get some light exercise. Most days between the end of April & the start of November, I go for a morning swim in the Mar Menor.

Unfortunately, in 2018, I spent 12 days in a hospital in Murcia being treated for Deep Vein Thrombosis, which has meant I find it challenging to exercise. I continue to swim when I can & I get about mainly on a disabled scooter.

In 2021, I went under the knife again, having a hernia operation in the hospital. Unfortunately, after being released from the hospital too early, I had to go back to the hospital for a further 11 days to clear an infection.

Work experience.

I have had many jobs since I was a teenager. At the age of fourteen, I was doing a paper round, working part-time in the local paper shop cleaning the shop & stocking shelves, & doing a football pools round. At fifteen I stopped working in the shop & doing the pools round & began working weekends in a local garden centre. At first, I worked in the yard as a yard boy, helping customers find what they wanted & carrying goods to people’s cars for them. After being there for a while I began working inside on the tills as a cashier. I left the garden centre the week I finished school. When I left school, I got a 3-year apprenticeship with British Gas. After completing my apprenticeship, I became a Gas Service Engineer until I had a serious car accident in 1990. After this, I worked for British Gas & Transco in the offices as a clerk.

After taking redundancy from Transco, I moved to & lived in Orlando, Florida & worked cleaning swimming pools & as a taxi driver. On returning to the UK, I worked as a website designer for some big companies, including The Dixon Group, Wandsworth Borough Council & several smaller clients. I worked for British Telecom trying to break their website & notifying their developers how I had done it. I also worked at Alton Sixth Form College as a Senior IT Technician. Between these bigger jobs, I have worked in Asda as a customer service assistant, at Travelex as a Travel Money Advisor, & at various pubs working behind the bar. I also gave computer lessons in the local library.

What am I doing now?

It’s 2024 & I am now in my 9th year living in   Los Alcázares, Murcia, Spain. 2023 was the year I was able to start travelling a lot more, albeit with help from people I met on my travels & a lot of planning. I managed to go on three separate cruises & crossed a few things off my bucket list. On one of my cruises, I had to go to the hospital on board the ship after an escorted trip wasn’t as easy as it was supposed to be. I had to get help to get back to the coach because the guides were no help. Onboard ship, I had a drip put in me to replace fluids I had lost on the trip & told not to drink anything but water & eat only very plain food for the remainder of the cruise.

I met some lovely people in 2023 on my trips who looked after me & helped me when I needed it. I did a long repositioning cruise from Spain to Brazil & the time I spent on the ship was very restful. The people I met were great, helping me get around when I needed help or just keeping an eye on me to ensure I didn’t get left behind.

I have started planning my trips for this year & hope to go to Hawaii & Alaska, health-allowing. I will go to see any entertainment near to where I live if I can & I hope that as soon as the weather warms up, I will be able to start to swim in the Mar Menor every morning. If you see me out & about on my disability scooter, say hello; maybe we can get a coffee or a beer sometime.