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I Didn't Belong: Foreword And Introduction

Today we begin the serialisation of Ronnie Cook's remarkable life story, I Didn't Belong. Ronnie had a violent childhood. His father was abusive. His mother struggled to make a better life for her sons.

Because of their gypsy heritage the family was treated as social outcasts. Ronnie and his brothers were shuffled between gypsy encampments and the homes of various family members.

In his teens he followed a life of crime and ended up in prison, where he was frequently beaten and subjected to bitter prejudice.

After a failed marriage and years of alcohol and drug addiction Ronnie joined a Baptist church and dedicated his life to God.

His book is available from amazon.co.uk - type I Didn't Belong in the search box.

My book is dedicated to God and my ever loving
wife Catherine (Twinkle) Jennifer Cook, Nicola Scott
(nee Fleetcroft), Steven Scott, Mike Lee and family
along with everybody else who has helped me
over the years. I will be forever grateful. - Ronnie Cook

Foreword by Jason Grundy.

I first came into contact with Ron (Mr Cook) in my capacity as Verger at the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Sheffield a number of years ago. Over the years I have met many a person in my line of work but Ron seemed different, a very articulate and intelligent man that didn’t belong in the situation he was in.

At first it was difficult to be able to speak him. He seemed to be a solitary man but at the same time outgoing once he had let you into his world and felt he could trust you. I used to speak with him when he came to the Cathedral and at the time believed that this man would pull his socks up and get his act together with the encouragement of others from outside of his world.

Eventually he told me his life story, which is absolutely fascinating. After a while I didn’t see Ron for quite a while.
However, I began to hear stories of this man who had started to attend Walkley Baptist Church (City Church Sheffield). I automatically assumed it was Ron.

I did keep a discreet eye on Ron and, as he told me, this time he was 'going to give life a good go' (his words), which he has done.

Ron’s life has greatly altered in the years since I met him. Like other people he has had his highs and lows but has done very well especially since he gave his life to God and met his wife Catherine. He now seems like a different person altogether.

We still meet quite often for coffee or the occasional pint and talk about various matters. Along with his fishing, it was on one of these occasions that Ron told me he had written a book about his life. After he had let me read it I decided to write this foreword.

He has been as open and honest as he can, which from the things he has told me is probably for the better, and I wish him all the best for the future and any further challenges he decides to embark on.


When I first decided to write this book a number of years ago and started to reminisce, I realized that I had an amazing story to tell. One not only of my life but also of the social and cultural circumstances that helped to shape my life, be it for good or bad. A life I look back on and often think to myself how on earth I am still around to tell the story. Alas!

With the helpful dedication and love of my wife Catherine I now feel I am ready to put to paper as honest and accurate an account as possible of my somewhat colourful yet interesting life, and how I can stand with my hand on my heart and thank God.

There are some areas of my life that I find too upsetting to be constantly reminded of, along with a number of crimes I have committed and some of the people I have been involved with - some of them very dangerous - along with some that in all honesty do not deserve to be humiliated as they made one mistake in life and are now respectable and happily married. Plus the fact that this book is not to glorify a life of crime.

A quote from my wife explains better “that some things are better left not said”. I do, however, feel that by writing this book it may be of encouragement to people that have had a similar ind of life to myself, or to people who feel it is their ministry to help and encourage people to become one with the Lord.

Ronnie Cook


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