Stephen Hickey, known to many by his alias Stephen James (not for tax purposes) was born October of 1954 in Burton-Upon-Trent to James and Marjorie Hickey. James, an ordinance worker from Limerick, was often pictured pint-in-hand, a trend that would follow Stephen throughout his illustrious life.
As a keen reader, Marjorie often had her head stuck in a book, which Stephen used to mirror every Sunday afternoon, only instead buying The Sun to try and find a holiday bargain for a family of four from only £9.50, yes only £9.50.
One of five siblings, Stephen was known to spend his earlier years sat in the lounge of 14 Oakley Avenue glued to the gogglebox, often transfixed by the likes of T-Rex on Top of the Pops.
Stephen throughout his life has been a lover of music: Motown, Northern Soul, Glam Rock, Pop Rock, Doo-Wop… needless to say, the list goes on.
As a testament to that, the Hickey household has now amassed a modest collection of 600 LPs, 500 singles and 1000 CDs, which will be available round the back of the Irish Harp at the end of this service. We can’t have our front room looking like HMV.
Alongside his penchant for rock and roll, we’ve just heard news that Stephen had a hefty antique stamp collection (don’t worry, we’ll be cashing that in as soon as the service is over).
Spending his teen years smoking round the back of the bike sheds at Aldridge School, Stephen, much like many kids of the 1970s, became transfixed by Bruce Lee’s ‘Enter the Dragon’, so decided to pursue his career in the art of karate.
Fancying himself as the Midlands’ answer to Chuck Norris, Stephen went so far as to enter into the British Karate Association’s 10th Anniversary National Championship at the Empire Pool in Wembley, he was kung-foo-fighting so hard he ended up needing a titanium hip.
After school was out for Summer, Stephen hit the town. On a misty night in 1989, two eyes lock across the dance floor of Baron’s Court in Walsall Wood. Thelma steps out, hair hot rolled… Steve, collar popped and Levi’s cuffed at the ankles. Thelma would like to note for the audience that Stephen, in fact, had no rhythm.
It turns out Thelma was, in fact, the second love of his life. The first being a cracking bargain on an Austin A40 Farina. Cars… buying, selling and trading eventually became the biggest part of Stephen’s life. At home, he’d do your head in watching the likes of Wayne Carini chasing classic cars. Fifth Gear, Top Gear, Wheeler Dealers… it was bloody exhausting.
Ever a lover of a deal or a steal, Stephen could talk your ear off about every single boring aspect of every car, ever made, but spoke with the frenzied fervour of Rod Hull talking to Emu.
In later life, LPs became cassettes and cassettes became CDs, and with that Stephen’s love of Kajagoogoo was unstoppable.
Like a starry-eyed Steven Morrissey in 1984, Stephen would bellow “I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear…” at the top of his lungs of a Sunday morning, all the while making a bacon and egg sandwich.
To quote Stephen: “I’ve always been my own man.” With that in mind, Stephen would also like to stipulate that today’s drinks aren’t on him. Thank you.