Brave Liam has the last word

SPEECH DAY: Liam Pogson is giving a talk to family and friends now that he has overcome a lifelong problem with stammering. (d28061107)
SPEECH DAY: Liam Pogson is giving a talk to family and friends now that he has overcome a lifelong problem with stammering. (d28061107)
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SPEAKING the Queen’s English is much less of a King’s speech for plucky Mirfield teenager Liam Pogson.

In an amazing turnaround, the 19-year-old is to give a talk to scores of people – on how to overcome a stammer.

And he puts his success down to a special programme aimed at helping those with a speech impediment.

“I have learned a whole new way to speak,” said Liam, a former pupil at Mirfield Free Grammar School. To demonstrate his success, on Tuesday he is speaking at a Mirfield pub to raise awareness of the problems stammerers face.

Liam’s mum, Sara, thinks the stammer might have been triggered by an operation as a baby and then the death of two grandads.

“If I had to say a word where I knew I would stutter I would choose a different word,” he said.

“I even gave a different name because I struggled to say Liam.”

Then he discovered the McGuire Programme and went on an intensive four-day course in Wigan. Here, he learned to take a breath before speaking: “This puts me in control. Before, it controlled me.

“It was hard work, but worth it,” said Liam, who is training to be a fitness instructor at Kirklees College.

“I hated myself for not being the person I wanted to be - outgoing and confident. Stammering held me back. Then I realised it was time to change.”

Next week, Liam will talk about how the McGuire Programme has changed his life – including family life.

Sara said: “He used to really struggle. Now it’s amazing. We can’t shut him up. And things are better between Liam and his brother, Callum, because Liam is more relaxed. It’s has been an emotional roller-coaster but well worth it.”

l Liam’s talk is at the Thirsty Man pub in Old Bank Road from 8pm to 9pm.