Tom Flight grew up in Teesside until he was 18, now he lives in Fort Worth Texas where he’s been since 2017.
- When and where did you live locally?
I was born in Leeds (although I try to keep that quiet), but my family moved to Kirklevington just outside Yarm when I was 2 which is where I grew up.
2. What are your fondest memories of growing up in Teesside?
We got our first season ticket when I was 9 in 1995 and we kept it for 10 years. During that time nothing was more important than the Boro result, whether going to the game or listening to Ali Brownlee on the radio.
3. Where did you move to?
I left Teesside when I was 18. I went up to study in Dundee, and then lived in Belfast for 4 years. My wife is American, and we wed in 2015 before moving across the pond to Lincoln, Nebraska in 2016. We could only handle the ridiculous cold they have up there for a year, and my wife had just given birth to our first child, so we decided it would be good to be close to her family in Texas, and also where it was a bit warmer! So we moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 2017.
4. How long have you been there and what do you do now?
We’ve been in Texas just over 4 years. I’m a Project Manager for a manufacturing firm during the day. I also had my first book published last year, and currently working on new a one. A 4-year-old and a 2-year-old keep me busy the rest of the time.
5. Are there many differences between Teesside and where you are now?
Haha! Yeah Texas is very different to Teesside. They say “Everything is Bigger in Texas” and it is definitely a unique place. It can be a little overwhelming at first because people go all out in absolutely everything they do but it can be a lot of fun. There are some similarities to Teesside, the people here are very warm and genuine which I also think is true of people in Teesside. I also think Texas is sort of made fun of a lot by people from other States, similar to how Middlesbrough is mocked by others at times, so I think there is fierce local pride in both places.
6. Do you get to go back ‘home’ much?
I haven’t been home since Spring 2019. We were making a trip home at least once a year before COVID. My parents moved to Cumbria a few years ago but I still go back to Teesside to see friends and my Brother’s family when we are in the UK. The last Boro game I went to was home to Norwich May 2019, we lost 1-0. We’ve got a trip booked for this Christmas, so just crossing our fingers we’ll be able to make it over.
7. What do you miss about Teesside/the North East?
My mates, my family. Going to a proper pub. Nights out in Yarm and Middlesbrough. North Texas is completely flat and I wouldn’t say it’s the most picturesque place in the world, so I miss the countryside and North Yorkshire Moors. I just did not appreciate how beautiful the surrounding areas of Teesside were until I left home. We live about a 6-hour drive from the beach, so I definitely miss living close to the beach and going to Saltburn, Redcar, Whitby etc. There is loads of live sport in America, but it doesn’t compare to going to a football match in my opinion. It just a completely different experience. So I definitely miss going to Boro matches the most.
Tom also has a book out about Boro’s turbulant 1996/97 season called “Yer Jokin Aren’t Ya?!” You can find this on Tom’s website here.