I’ve been working all day at St Cuthberts’ High School in Rochdale.
I finished early and began the treacherous windswept journey home via the M60. It was horrible. The cold wind was blowing me and my Morris Minor all over the road, my windscreen wipers could not clear the rain from my window screen and even with my fan on, it was freezing. Heavy good vehicles, trucks and vans raced past, cutting me up and splashing even more water onto my soaked windscreen. I left the motorway at the Pyramid near stockport and made my way through cheadle.
As i was crossing the bridge, i noticed a car stationary on Cheadle bridge. At first i thought it was a queue of cars to the traffic lights at the Parrs wood Complex but after closer inspection, i noticed there were no cars in front of the stationary one. Then i noticed the driver looking sidewards out of the window.
Thats when i saw him.
A tall guy staring down onto the traffic on the M60 in the lashing wind and rain. I thought something must have happened on the motorway and he was simply watching what had happen. But then i noticed that he was standing on the far side of the barrier with nothing protecting him from falling onto the busy wet motorway. He was going to throw himself off.
I jumped out of the car, my phone that had been on my lap went flying onto Manchester Road and i ran towards him in a panic.
He was a big guy, at least 6 foot tall and 16 stone, he wore a long black coat and he had a rucksack at his side. I wanted to grab him and just pull him over the barrier/hand rail but it was too high and if i was to try and just pull him over, he could have slipped and fell. So i spoke to him in a panic.
“MATE, ITS GONNA BE ALRIGHT. WHATEVER IS WRONG, IT’S GONNA BE ALRIGHT”
I put both my arms around him from the other side of the barrier and began to talk to him. It was noisy because of the traffic below so i put my mouth close up to his ear and began talking.
Mate, its gonna be alright. I know it seems like it isn’t but whatever is wrong can be made right” I held him tight, pinning him to the barrier but he was a big guy and if he wanted, he could have just leant forward and jumped and there was no way i could physically stopped him from doing it.
The frst thing that struck me was how young he was. He couldn’t have been twenty five years old. I just kept talking to him but he was in a trance.
“Please mate. Don’t do this. We can sort it. What’s your name?”
Jordan” he whispered but i couldn’t hear him.
I can’t hear you mate, my name’s Mike. What’s your name?
“Jordan” He said
” That’s my nephews name mate – Jordan. He’s only 21. I’ve got 4 kids mate. Please don’t jump Jordan. Please don’t make me have to go home and explain this to me kids”
Cars started to pull up on the bridge and watch. A girl with blonde hair got out of her car and stared at us then began dialing a number into her phone. A guy on a bike came past but stopped 10 yards from us.
Then, Jordan started to lean forward. I held him as tight as i could and started screaming at him
“Jordan – i fucking love you mate. at this very moment in time i fucking love you mate and Jordan i know it doesn’t feel like it but other people love you as well mate” I didn’t really know what i was saying but i was in a state of shock and i just wanted to keep talking to him to let him know there was someone there.
He began to lean forward again as if he was going to just fall onto the motorway and i started to get upset and started screaming at him – “Jordan – please please don’t do this. think about it, it’s not just you. If you jump onto that motorway, it will cause chaos, you could kill other people. Someones Mam or someones Dad, someones Daughter or someones Son. You won’t just be killing yourself, you’ll be killing innocent people and i know you don’t want to do that.”
More cars pulled up and people were staring at me and Jordan and i wanted to scream at them “Will someone please help me here, i’m out of my depth, i don’t know what i’m doing and he’s going to jump.” I don’t know why but i expect a specialist cop to turn up and use his negotiation skills to talk this poor young man from jumping but there was nothing but a crowd of people staring at us.
“Jordan, i want you to come over the other side of the barrier mate and we’ll keep talking. Have you got mental health problems Jordan?”
“Yea, I’m schizophrenic.”
“Have you got a good CPN mate?”
“Yea” then he said a name but i couldn’t hear him for the sound of the busy motorway below.
“Well come over here and we’ll phone him and he can sort it all out. He can help you. Jordan, i know it all feels like shit at the moment but it won’t be in the morning”
“But i’ve not got any credit in my phone.” Jordan said, distraught.
I remembered my phone falling on to the road as i got out the car. Still gripping hold of him, i turned round and saw my phone.
“Jordan” I felt like i had to keep saying his name. I felt like i had to keep telling him he was alive and I was arsed about him. Jordan, turn round and look, my phone is on the road. it fell when i leapt from my car. Use mine to phone your CPN. I had to get him to turn around and stop staring at the on rushing traffic below.
He did, he turned and i saw him full on for the first time. He was a kid in a mans body. His face was so young, almost childlike. That’s when i noticed the guy on the bike again – i started mouthing to him in silence to come over and give me a hand but he stayed there. So i beckoned him over with my one free arm, still tightly gripping Jordan with the other.
More people had arrived. Cars were queueing on the bridge. I shouted to the guy on the bike.
“Can you give me a lift here mate?” and he slowly began to walk towards me.
“Jordan, we are going to lift you back over the barrier mate. You stay still and we’ll pull you over. It was at this point i got really scared. What happens if he slips. It might look like it was my fault. To any onlooker who had just arrived, it might have looked like a tussell that ended up with Jordan falling. But i didn’t care. I just wanted to get him back over the barrier to safety. So me and the guy on the bike put our arms under his and dragged him backwards over the high barrier to safety.
I just gripped him and put both my arms around him and held him like he was one of my kids. I just wanted him to know that someone in this world cared about him. and to be honest, i needed a hug.
At this point the blonde girl came over and started talking to him as if she knew him.
Then a guy ran over and flashed his police warrant card and said, “I’m taking him to hospital” and he did. He took him away.
I just stood there in the pissing rain with loads of people stood around in shock. Then i notice my car, with its door wide open and the queue of traffic. So i jumped in my car and drove home and wrote this. I wanted to write it quickly so that i could remember everything that happened and so that someone might contact me to let me know that Jordan was alright.
If you were there or if you were the cop who took him away – please contact me and let me know what happened.