Laurie on everything from race to dancing....
“Suppleness? That comes with dancing. I love soul music.”
“At first I must admit I wasn’t the sweetest person to be with. Nothing stirred me, I was just a dreamer.”
“There have been times when I’ve been mixed up about the race thing. A couple of years ago I thought that to be black in England was to be a loser. You know, back of the queue for decent jobs, suspicion on you before anyone knew what you were about. I did have a feeling for black power. It seemed to meet the mood of frustration. It could give you some pride. Then I changed. It sort of struck me that the great majority of people, black and white, are in the same boat, fighting for a decent living. It also struck me that down at Orient I was getting a very good break. I got on well with George Petchey. It didn’t matter to him whether I was black, white or Chinese just as long as I could play.”
“The First Division suits me fine. I was surprised how easy things were. The pace wasn’t quick as I imagined and there were few tackles I expected it to be a lot more physical, but it wasn’t. I believe I can play for England now. I know I have to work hard, but if I do nothing can stop me.”
“I’m the natural target, but I don’t let it get to me. I’d be doing what they want. There’s no way I’d ever be ashamed of being black but it’s more important that other professionals seem to have stopped calling me things.”