An Eccles man is embarking on a personal project, to inspire others to fulfil their lifelong dreams.
Kyle Wells, who has suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy since birth, has just published his debut book, ‘Friend to the Stars’, which recounts his encounters with numerous celebrities over the years.
Kyle’s stories include details of private meetings with famous faces such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Duncan Bannatyne and David Beckham.
He decided to write the memoir following an intense battle with Covid-19 which left him pondering his future.
Kyle said: “I decided to do it when I had Covid because I obviously didn’t think I was going to survive.
“Literally the first question I asked was, am I going to die?
“It was a very lonely experience having it because you’ve got to completely isolate.
“So sitting there having Covid, I just decided there and then [that] if I get better, I want to do the biggest project I’ve ever done almost as like a thank you for even getting through it.
“Obviously I wanted it to be something that inspired a lot of other people.”
Inspiration for the book
Kyle decided to focus on recalling his interactions with celebrities following the making of a calendar he produced containing the images in a bid to raise £10,000 for a new wheelchair.
The new author is one of only four people in the UK believed to suffer from the rare condition which has resulted in him being a wheelchair user from birth.
“You are kind of like written off from birth but obviously you haven’t got much to go off at that age as you’ve just got the condition and that’s all you’ve got to go off but it’s down to each individual and how you handle it and life in general”, he said.
He commented that many people wanted to hear the details behind the encounters, and the relationships that Kyle was able to build up with such big names.
As well as detailing these encounters, Kyle also focuses on some of the difficulties he has faced in his life, including a difficult childhood.
Kyle said: “The first half of the book is on childhood because I think it really ties into it well so it’s become quite like a memoir.
“I went through more tough times than good.
“Equally, even though it’s tough times, it’s not like a doom and gloom book by any stretch, it’s a really positive message behind it.”
“My mindset in general has definitely improved through the times that I went through.”, he continued.
“If I hadn’t gone through them I wouldn’t be the person I am now, so I never say I wish this and that was different or I wish this didn’t happen because I know you can change something quite small and it can have like a big impact on your whole life.”
Lending an Alahan-d
Kyle has been fortunate enough to come across a range of stars over his life, including television favourites and footballing icons, but one star who has had a long-lasting impact on Kyle’s life is Coronation Street actor Jimmi Harkishin.
The Dev Alahan actor met Kyle by chance at the then-named Lowry Shopping Outlet.
Kyle said of Jimmi: “I’m very close with Jimmi Harkishin, he’s almost like an uncle as opposed to a friend because he came into my life just after my mum passed away and I was still 11 then, a very young age.”
Dealings with a dragon
“Another person I’ve met is Duncan Bannatyne from Dragon’s Den, he’s been brilliant to me over the years”, Kyle added.
“I spent a couple of years going to watch him record the show.”
Hulkamania runs wild on Kyle
He also told of how a childhood fantasy to meet WWE superstar Hulk Hogan came true, something he promised his dad that he would make happen.
An illustration of him and the legendary pro wrestler makes the front cover of his book.
He said: “I just thought the real photo I took with him had great potential to be illustrated and turned into a bigger version of what it is.
“Meeting him happened over such a large period of time, it took so long to come into fruition.”
“I literally sat in my bedroom as a teenager and did a drawing of him and something that day made me say to my dad, ‘when I meet Hulk Hogan, I’m gonna give him that drawing’, and you can imagine the expression on his face when you say that, but I’m the type of person that once I’ve said something it’s almost like a definite commitment.
“It took 13 years and it finally happened.”
When he met the Hulkster, he told him about this.
Hogan responded to say: “believe in yourself. He almost brushed it off and said well that’s what happens when you believe in yourself.”
Coming across Cristiano
Kyle said the most famous person he has spent time with is Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he first met as a teenager when he was in hospital.
Kyle explained: “I’d gone into school that day and found out he was visiting the hospital and I almost missed the chance to see him.
“So, I threw a bit of a strop and managed to leave school and go back to hospital which was the first time I’ve ever wanted to go back to hospital!”
You can find further details on how to purchase a copy of Kyle’s book here.