Community Education

Headless corpses and Fergie’s hairdryer treatment – all in a days work for two Sale residents

By Barbara Metcalfe at

Deciding what career you want to have is difficult no matter what your age.  But when you’re 14 and 15, then it can be almost impossible to do.  At that age you will have just chosen your options for GCSE and thinking what you might do for the next 50 years or so can be worrying.

But hearing from a successful professionals who live near you or even went to your school,  can help make the choice.

Two residents of Sale have been telling pupils at St.Bede’s College about their various careers,  both of which are far from boring.

Former pupil Emma McCarthy, regaled students about her career as a Forensice Scientist.  Although not quite like Nicky from Silent Witness who is a pathologist, Emma  has helped solve some serious crimes.  The teenagers were fascinated by some of her more grisly cases.

Emma, who lives in Sale with her husband and three children,  told the pupils about dealing with headless bodies. suspects hiding in the loft of a crime scene and a car crash inolving a body in the boot.

Far from putting them off,  the pupils asked her questions including “How often do you get called out?” and “Do you handle guns?”

Silent Witness has portrayed the work of forensic scientists and pathologists for 20 years

Silent Witness has portrayed the work of forensic scientists and pathologists for 20 years

Emma, who was a pupil at St Bede’s in the late eighties and early nineties, studied Biology and after gaining a first class degree with honours was accepted on a pioneering trainee scheme for forensic scientists set up by the Home Office.

She now investigates murders, serious assaults, sexual assaults and suicide.

“I knew from being about 11 years old exactly what I wanted to do but there wasn’t much information around about forensic science at that time. I was very lucky that the trainee scheme was launched just after I’d finished my degree and I took up a position working at the Home Office labs in Chorley,” said Emma,

Alongside Emma,  was football writer for The Independent, Tim Rich,  who gave youngsters an insight into the controversial world of football and talked about his journey from a local newspaper in Southend to covering the sport at an international level. He also told pupils what it was like to be on the receiving end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s infamous ‘hairdryer treatment.’

Journalist Tim Rich of Rich Media in Sale has just had published his Ron Atkinson THE MANAGER book.

Journalist Tim Rich of Rich Media in Sale last year  published his Ron Atkinson THE MANAGER book.


Tim, who lives in Sale, is currently ghost-writing the auto-biography of Andrei Kanchelskis who played for Manchester City, Manchester United and Everton.

Last year Tim ghost-wrote the biography of the controversial former football manager Ron Atkinson.

He is director of Rich Media, a PR and sports-writing company. He has worked for the Independent, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian,  covered four World Cups and four European Championships and in the domestic football season, mainly covers  Manchester United and Manchester City.