It's safe to say, without going into too much detail, nobody deserves the hand in life that Doug McLaughlan has been dealt. Yet, in the face of seemingly overwhelming personal tragedy and a catalogue of misfortune, Bradford's finest son remains a beacon of hope for us all, the eternal optimist living every last drop of life to the full.
Born and raised in the toughest of bleak northern estates, Doug found skateboarding as a teen in the late 90's and through nothing but sheer passion, and pushed himself to the point where skate media of the day was proclaiming him to be "the next Tom Penny." Though Doug jokingly still dines out on that quote to this day, there's no denying the truth in that statement; he may well have chosen to not pursue those same lines of corporate skate stardom but with an ability to do tricks few will ever match, and a style that makes his frontside slash look radder than any 15 stair kickflip, Doug has certainly earned his legendary status.
Instigated by Sidewalk's Ben Powell last year, this new 'Raconteurs' series was concocted with the sole notion of showing our nation's youth there is so much more to skateboarding than insta hammers for fleeting feelings of validation. People like Doug live the life 24 hours a day and we owe it to these heroes of our scene to tell their stories so they live on for all time. Set into three parts, this touching tribute featuring archive footage and interviews with friends as well as words from Dougie himself, really is wonderful stuff.
When it comes down to it Doug McLaughlan is really just one of us but somehow he's also so much more. Watch part one to learn about the man then look out for parts two and three coming soon; you might not understand why yet but his tale deserves your full attention.