|Taken from Busted: The Official Book|
|By the time I was 10, I'd broken 28 bones in my body. The doctors recognised that I was quite brittle-boned when I was a kid, but they could never pinpoint whether I actually had brittle bone disease. I think with hindsight i'd probably put it down more to the fact that I was being an idiot: I spent most of my early years jumping out of trees, climbing up walls and competeing with myself to see how high I could get, or how near to the edge I could push myself. In some ways I haven't changed - I still push myself to my limits.|
|My mum (Linda) and my dad (Kevin) met down a working men's club in the 1980's. At that point my mum was fourteen and my dad was nineteen, which was a bit scandalous in those days, and everyone told them that the relationship wouldn't last. In fact they were happy together for over a decade, during which time they had two kids. First was my older brother, Darren, who's now in a band called The Undescided. And then, two years later, I came along. I was born in Tooting, south London, but while I was still baby-sized we moved to Molesy, a suburban area of Surrey. Hampton Court is nearby and I remember that sometimes me and my mates would sneak into the Hampton Court maze at night and get totally lost. I don't think we ever figured that maze out. Some of Molesy is really posh, with massive houses all owned by millionaires. That's East Molesy, which is seperated from the West, which is a really working class area, by a little alleyway. And right on that little alleyway is the house where I grew up.
My mum used to call me Fidget. I was never allowed E numbers in things like orange squash, because they'd send me mental - and I was always the kid who got lost when we went shopping, running off and getting up to mischeief. I was quite independent as a child and I didn't like being told what to do. I was never indoors, either: there's a park just across from where I live where i'd be all the time. One of my earliest memories is of being round at my auntie and uncle's house. They're the biggest Elvis fans I've ever met. When we used to go round for Christmas and birthdays they'd always have his performances on the video, and they'd sit me down in front of the telly. It was almost as if they were trying to teach me to be a pop star, even at a really young age. Needless to say, I was captivated. He had this aura around him - he was cool, and legendary, and, regardless of what the music was like, he just was pop. He was everything a pop star should have been, I guess.
When I was three, my parents split up. It wasn't too difficult for me; after all, I was probably too young to understand what was going on. But I do remember my dad suddenly not being there in the house any more. It was weird, but i'd still see him almlost every day, and he was always around when I needed him. When I got to school age, my dad would pick me up in the monring and take me to the sweet shop before school. It wa something I'd always look forward to - he'd always have a joke for me in the morning, and I'd go into school and tell the joke and everyone would laugh. I remember that there was never much spare cash around. Infact, it was sometimes a bit of a struggle - my mum worked in pubs and my dad worked in a factory neither of those jobs pay fantsasically, but we were happy and it was a really loving environment. Around that time my mum met Brian, my stepfather, and shortly afterwards they gave me my first sister. Amanda is fifteen now, and as I write this is preparing for her GCSEs. I hope she ends up doing better than I did!
|At school I was mischeivious rather than naughty - but I didn't find that I was inspired by lessons. It was something I did because I had to. My teachers were giving me hassle - once I was pigeonhold as being a troublemaker I'd often find myself blamed for things I hadn't even done. I literally couldn't do anything right, and it was a total pain in the arse. I'd get so frustrated. I'd come home and my mum would be on the phone to the school, and she'd go, 'Matt, what the hell have you been doing now?' Fortunately my mum believed my side of the story, and because my GCSE's were coming up she suggested that I moved schools to start anew. Bizarrely, the school I ended up at was the school my little sister was already at! I enjoyed that school a lot more and got involved in the school plays, even though stuff like drama was desperately uncool for a Molesy boy. As it happened, though, I was only at that school for a year.|
|NEXT PAGE --->|