THE MIGHTY BEAN

100% Blade . . . but tattooed by an Owl

WEDNESDAYITE Mick Wigfield remembers the moment Sean Bean came into his old Attercliffe studio and asked for THAT tattoo: 100 per cent Blade.
"It was one Saturday morning in 1990 and he was with a friend who said, 'He's an actor, you know'. I thought to myself I don't care who he is, it's still two quid!"

It took tattooist Mick just five minutes to do – black ink on the top of the star's left arm – and he thought no more about it until later. For Sheffield United fan Sean started a trend and since then Mick's lost count of the times he's had to repeat that tattoo on less famous arms. But the price has gone up a bit in 17 years. These days it costs £20.

While Sean was appearing with Richard Harris in the sporting film The Field, it was just another job for Mick.

After living on the continent for the last 15 or so years Mick is back in Sheffield and has just opened a new studio, Mick's Tattoo, on Abbeydale Road.

If you want proof it was he who actually did the tattoo there's a signed picture of Sean in the window autographed "Thanks for the tattoo Mick, 100 per cent Blade, Sean Bean."

The star normally keeps the tattoo covered up but it can be seen very clearly in his film When Saturday Comes – as in this still from the Bramall Lane bath scene.

You could say ex-Manchester United ace David Beckham went one better by having his wife and children's names tattooed at the bottom of his back – or the top of his bottom, whichever way you want to look at it.

"I've done that so many times now I'm bored with it," says Mick, aged 48, who has been tattooing for 30 years.

He and his family left Sheffield not long after the Sean Bean tattoo to live and work in Germany, setting up shop in Frankfurt's famous FTA Studio.They then moved to Benidorm where he bought a bar and was the first British tattooist to set up in business.

"You've heard the saying never have a tattoo abroad because it's dirty and dangerous?" he says. He was out to supply a 100 per cent British tattoo.

While there he put a flower on the shoulder of actress Crissy Rock and inscribed 'Jesus' on Benidorm cabaret star Neil St John.But after a while others saw the same opportunity so Mick has come home to what he finds is a crowded market.

He is campaigning against what he calls "scratchers," mobile tattooists who can't be guaranteed to do a hygienic tattoo. Naturally he has used his own body as a canvas for more than 30 tattoos but so far he hasn't got a 100 per cent Owl!
 

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