‘I always keep a packet of nuts in my handbag at weddings, it’s my little secret’ – Val Savage


In this week’s column Val, the mum of Mirror columnist and football legend Robbie Savage, explains why Wrexham is the best place on the planet and advises all Brooklyn Beckham’s wedding guests to take along a packet of peanuts…

Val Savage says attending a wedding feels like a little holiday

Brooklyn Beckham’s wedding looks extra extravagant. Rows of marquees have been set up, guard dogs are patrolling and I bet there’ll be all kinds of posh frocks and fancy food.

Our Robert always liked David as the pair were both in Manchester United’s Class of 92. My late husband Colin enjoyed chatting to his mum and dad – they seem lovely people.

For the Beckhams and Brooklyn’s wife to be, money is no object so it’s probably normal for them to spend so much money on a wedding.

But for me, vows are always the most important thing in a wedding. When you can really feel the couple’s love and pick up a sense of everyone in the room wishing them a happy life, that’s what makes a cracking wedding – not the size of the ice sculpture or amount of champagne on tap.

Weddings always take me back to me and Colin’s big day, when I wore a mini dress with a floppy hat because it was the days of Mary Quant style. Colin wore a brown suit and kipper tie which he insisted was green and I joked he was colourblind. The years would prove that he actually was, and I still have no idea how he was able to play snooker.







Val always keeps a little packet of KP nuts in her handbag at weddings
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Image:

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We had our reception in a room above a pub across the road from my parents’ house. Everyone there knew us since we were knee high and, until the days my two sons were born, it was the happiest day of my life.

Our first night as husband and wife was spent in my aunt’s flat in Wrexham. But guests had sneaked in before us and as soon as we pulled the bedsheets back, we found long lines of apples all strung together.

Attending a wedding feels like a little holiday, when you wear your Sunday best and have a night in a hotel.

And there’s always one highlight I always look forward to: the food. I wish the photographs would hurry up so we could get the pate out.

I learned over the years to keep a little packet of KP nuts in my handbag at weddings. When I ask everyone at the table if they’d like some nuts from the bar they always refuse. But when I offer mine around but they never refuse. They’re only small bags so by the time it comes back to me there are about three nuts at the bottom.

So here’s wishing Brooklyn Beckham all the best. And to the VIP guests: don’t forget your peanuts.

Why Wrexham is the greatest place

Wrexham is on the shortlist to be named Britain’s city of culture 2025.

I can’t understand why. If judges visit now, they’ll find most of the shops boarded up and only pound or charity shops left. It used to be a pretty market town but it’s gone to pot.

Yet it doesn’t matter that it might not look the most picturesque place. Because if the judges care to scratch the surface of Wrexham and really get to know the people here, I’ve no doubt they’ll adore the place as much as I do.

No one here can be doing with people who are all fur coats and no knickers. We don’t all come together in a snooty cafe to talk about books – we meet at the football ground each weekend. And everyone here looks out for each other.

My friend Rob has called to cut my lawn ever since I lost Colin ten years ago, and this week he brought his wife Sonia along so we could chat while he worked.







Wrexham fans celebrate at the stadium
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Not long after they’d gone, Rob rang my doorbell to deliver me a plated up dinner of liver and onions, which I’d mentioned was my favourite. He said: “Sonia noticed you were bad on your legs and have been eating ready meals because you can’t stand at the oven long.”

Such kindness made me fill up. And I felt the same when a man rushed out of the GP surgery when they saw me struggle to get out of Janet’s car to offer his arm from him and say: “Can you manage, darling?”

Wrexham is a place where everyone’s welcome, where kids’ bikes can be left unchained outside and everyone says hello and would have a good old chat if you have time.

That’s the essence of Wrexham and its people. And that’s why, for me, it’s the best place on earth whether we win city of culture or not.

Ender an era for soaps

News of June Brown’s death really moved me.

Even though I stopped watching EastEnders years ago, I loved Dot Cotton with her fag dangling out the side of her mouth.

Brilliant actors like June made soap operas a hit because they created real characters.

June and I share a life outlook: there’s no point worrying about tomorrow because we mightn’t be alive, so we might as well enjoy today.







June Brown with the TRIC special award during the 2017 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards
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I’ll give Chris some stick

On our Robert’s Radio 5 Live show, Chris Sutton loves winding him up.

Chris assumed Scotland would qualify in World Cup games to play England, even though Wales has just as good a chance.

The patriotic side of me came roaring out like a dragon. So I told Rob to tell Chris that if he makes fun of Wales again, I’ll have to shove my walking stick where the sun don’t shine.

Will was silly…I’d have got to him backstage

I am still stunned Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Demonstrating violence in front of a global audience was utterly wrong.

If I’d been in the theater and someone made a hurtful remark against a member of my family, I’d have waited until I was backstage and said: “Excuse me, what you said was not nice at all.”

Then I’d have smacked him.







Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
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AFP via Getty Images)

*******

I might be the only person in the world who doesn’t have a smart-arse phone. And I’ve no intention of buying one. I have an old fashioned mobile which can text and make calls and that’s it. The clock still shows an hour behind and I wouldn’t bother altering it even if I knew how. I appreciate anything that makes me feel even a little bit younger.

If you’d like to contact Val, email [email protected] or write to Val Savage, PO Box 7290, E14 5DD. The Mirror makes a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society in lieu of payment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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