Stamford Chidge and Mark Worrall interview Chelsea season ticket holder Paul Ride about his book ‘Ride to Hell’.
Born and bred in Chelsea, Chelsea season ticket holder, Paul Ride, a trained chef, was working as a contract catering manager in Kuwait in the early 1990s. He was initially assigned to a company tasked with extinguishing oil well fires started by the Iraq military in 1991 as they retreated from the country due to the advance of United States-led Gulf War coalition forces.
June 28th 1992 began like every other day for Ride. An early morning start to deliver packed lunches and pick up bread from a bakery. A delay left him with time to kill so he decided to visit an old colleague working at a United Nations facility in northern Kuwait close to the border with Iraq – a border he was coerced into crossing by a gun-toting Iraqi soldier.
Accused of spying, Ride was taken hostage and repeatedly interrogated by the Mukhabarat, Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein’s murderous secret police. Eventually charged with illegal entry, he was sentenced to seven years in jail and transferred to Abu Ghraib, a notorious maximum-security prison close to Baghdad.
‘Ride To Hell: Prisoner Of A Dubious Peace’ is Paul Ride’s gripping first-hand account of his traumatic incarceration, its devastating personal consequences, and his ongoing quest for justice, compensation, and an understanding of why the UK Government seemingly allowed him to fall through the diplomatic cracks that existed at that time.
Throughout this hellish experience, Paul still managed to find out what Chelsea’s (often poor!) results were thanks to the BBC World Service and letters from supporters who had been alerted to his plight through the media and Ken Bates who encouraged supporters to correspond with him.
The book can be purchased from Amazon clicking on this link