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102: Just a Boy with Richard McCann

by | Aug 3, 2022

Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling
Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling
102: Just a Boy with Richard McCann

Richard is a Times No1. Bestselling author and has now written 4 books. His first, Just a Boy, sold close to half a million copies and is translated into eleven languages.  

He’s the founder of the iCan Academy and has worked with organisations across the globe for the last 15 years sharing his personal story of resilience. 

He’s also an award winning speaker and a Fellow of The Professional Speaking Association and in 2019 was awarded the PSAE (Professional Speaking Award for Excellence)

He was just a week away from his sixth birthday in October 1975, when he woke to discover his mother was missing.  She was the first victim of the notorious serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe. Despite other tragic losses, and a period of dabbling with drugs and prison, Richard decided to turn his life around.  

We met through The Forgiveness Project when I was looking for help with the publication process for my book and Richard kindly offered to help.  

It was then that we both realised that the number 44, was a very meaningful number to both of us!

Some key points from our interview:

  • How life was tough and chaotic even before his mother was murdered as he grew up on a Leeds council estate experiencing poverty, alcohol, and violence 
  • How the death of his mother , Wilma McCann, felt like a double blow because it was public and reported in the paper 
  • How he was able to understand when he became a parent how difficult it must have been for his father looking after four traumatised children
  • How he’s able to look back and remember moments of joy from his childhood
  • How he’s able to see the gifts of the tragedies in his life
  • How hearing a speech Desmond Tutu in 2010 it transformed his life and realised he was able to choose to forgive Peter Sutcliffe in order to free himself
  • How he rang the brother of Peter Sutcliffe when he heard he had passed away to offer his condolences 
  • How he believes that resilience is the ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and we all have the capacity to do 

Hosted by Madeleine Black, the show will share stories of all the amazing people Madeleine has met on her own journey as an author/speaker and these stories will heal, motivate, inspire and bring hope when they share their wisdom and knowledge with her.

You can find out more about Madeleine, her story and her memoir, Unbroken,  from her website: https://madeleineblack.co.uk/

Watch edited highlights on YouTube:

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