“He’s got some fans!”
ESP Magazine’s Mikey Clarke catches up with the Wealdstone Raider at his appearance in Peterborough to discuss the highs and lows of fame since going viral…
If you’re on Facebook and Twitter, or flick through YouTube, I’d be very surprised if you haven’t heard of The Wealdstone Raider. The internet sensation,whose real name is Gordon Hill, was filmed telling a rival non-league club they had no fans. Because we live in such a crazy world, this video went viral and was seen by millions overnight. Before you knew it, a stream of crazy remixed videos on Vine took over the internet. Just like that, The Wealdstone Raider had become the most talked about person in Britain.
Gordon recently (March 5) joined the YoYo crew in Edwards, and hundreds of fans turned up to have a picture with the internet legend. I caught up with him to discuss life since becoming famous, starting with the moment he discovered he’d gone Viral. “All of a sudden I couldn’t walk down the street or go down the pub without someone wanting their picture taken with me.” And how does he feel about the fame? “I don’t look at myself as being famous,” he said. “I guess I must be a little bit as I’m approached by people so often. Unfortunately some of those people have been abusive and I have been threatened – even knocked out. I seem to be that person people have a go at when they’re intoxicated. But, to be fair, 99.9% of the people I’ve met have been lovely.”
If Gordon could turn back the clock, would he have wanted to go viral again? “I never wanted to go viral or be famous. It’s just one of those things that happened. I can’t change it, and so I’ve chosen to embrace it.” One way he embraced his popularity was by releasing the charity single, Got No Fans – which reached number five on the Official UK Top 40. Gordon explained, “It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Majestic, who produced it. I call him the magic man as everything he does for me turns into gold. We ended up making somewhere between £35-45,000 for charities such as Northampton based Autism Concern, as my nephew has autism – as well as my friend’s son. I also chose to support Great Ormond Street Hospital because I was a patient there as a child. And another good cause I support is a scheme where Wealdstone football club do their best to get kids off the streets, giving them a goal in life – excuse the pun – by playing football.”
Speaking of his beloved team, it was being a Wealdstone Football Club fan who catapulted Gordon into the spotlight. I wondered what the team meant to him. “It’s not my team,” he said, “it’s my family. I’m also an Arsenal fan but I hate paying the prices they charge. You know your money is going towards the players’ pay packets. Whereas with Wealdstone Football Club, you know they’re not doing it for the cash – they’re doing it for the love of the sport. We Wealdstone fans are seriously family – we love each other, and you don’t get that anywhere else.”
And the people of Peterborough loved seeing Gordon! After my interview with the Wealdstone Raider, I stuck around in Edwards to catch people’s reactions when he came onto the stage. Clubbers were responding to his every word and spirits were high as they posed for photos with him. It was a great night. The special guests continued the next evening (March 6) as Gordon’s friend Majestic also hit Edwards for a DJ and MC Set. YOYO Club Nights bring regular guests into our city so look them up on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out.
Watch my full interview with Gordon below…[youtube id=”Aa5PO3dR0pY” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Photos and video: Mitchell Brewster Media for ESP Magazine