March 30, 2009
All good things must sometimes come to an end.
The Compleat Sean Bean began as a simple FAQ in 1995, with a mailing list of a few internet-savvy fans.
I was inspired to create the FAQ when I saw Sean in an episode of Sharpe, which was running late one night on PBS. I perked up. I thought, "Who IS that?" - because Sean wasn't known at all in North America - and I set out to try and find out, and to celebrate his talent online.

I never planned to create a traditional fan club. My aim was to make a space where hard-to-come by information could be stored, accessed and shared by everyone. Using the internet this way is second nature to us now, but in 1995, it was pioneering work.

I had the help of a number of friends in the UK - people I'd never met before who I grew to know through their appreciation of Sean's work, and people who were already friends, who faithfully saved newspaper clippings and photos. The internet had not yet evolved into the massive communication network we see today. British media outlets didn't have the online presence they have now. The standard mode of news sharing was still by way of print - magazines, newspapers - and traditional broadcast - radio and tv.

The FAQ quickly evolved into a website - I taught myself basic HTML and hand-coded the first pages. My job was eventually made quite a bit easier with the advent of a WYSIWYG editor. And The Compleat was born.

I had the very kind cooperation of Sean's publicist at the time, an engaging fellow named Phil, who was bemused about the internet and had to scramble fast to accommodate this new form of fandom.
I remember a phone conversation I had with him, where he pointed out to me, rather sheepishly, that he and Sean didn't really know much about the internet. I remember my response, which proved to be very prophetic - I said, "You will, Phil, you will." It was during that conversation that Phil revealed that he and Sean had gone to an internet cafe down the road and spent a number of hours exploring The Compleat. That, to me, was validation enough to continue.

Over the years I have also had unprecedented access to Sean's London reps, and for this I remain extremely grateful. I could not have maintained The Compleat without that cooperation, and I know that cooperation would not have been extended without Sean's agreement. To Tom and Maddi - my eternal thanks.

It has been an adventure. I've met Sean four times. The first time was on the set of "Extremely Dangerous" in Manchester - a flying visit which took Sean by surprise. That meeting could not have taken place without the cooperation of producer Malcolm Craddock and Sean's reps in London. Thank you.

The second time I met Sean, he graciously granted me a one-on-one interview on the set of "Don't Say a Word" in Toronto. Again, this could not have taken place without the help of Tom in London, and Sean himself. You can read the result on this website - "Sean Bean: The Interview". I'm proud of that work, and proud of the fact that it's still accessed by journo's who want some background on Sean before they set out to do their own stories about him.

The third and fourth times I met Sean were in London, when he was appearing onstage in "Macbeth". They were quick visits, a few words exchanged in a scrum of fans outside the stage door of a regional theatre, another quick "hello" and a quick personal chat outside the stage door of the Albery in London, following a technical rehearsal.

When I began The Compleat, I wanted to celebrate Sean's talent and share the research I'd accumulated with other fans. I'm proud that The Compleat was the first, and is the oldest, Sean Bean fansite on the internet. Over the years, other sites have appeared and have evolved. All of them are excellent and I applaud the energy and dedication that all of these webbos have put into their work.

But it's time for me to pass the torch. After 14 years, I no longer have the energy, or the time, to give The Compleat the attention it deserves.

I have not reached this decision lightly. I have fretted over it, deliberated, worried, and shed tears. I've met a fabulous group of friends over the years, both in person and virtually, all because of The Compleat. You know who you are, and I salute you.

The website isn't going to go dark. It will stay as a presence on the internet, an archive of all of Sean's work as of the date of this message.

To all of the other Sean Bean fansites, chat groups, blogs and message boards - please take up the torch and carry on the good work you've started. If you "borrow" anything from this website, please attribute it - that's all I ask. To Phil, Tom and Maddi - thank you for all of your help and kind cooperation over the many years we have been in touch with one another. To my friends and fellow fans - thank you for helping me make The Compleat the pre-eminent site for information about Sean.

To Sean. What can I say. When I began The Compleat, people kept asking me, "Who's Sean Bean?" You were well known in England, but the rest of the world had yet to discover you. Since 1995 - and hopefully, in some small way, because of The Compleat - the rest of the world has got their answer.
Thank you.

This was The Compleat Sean Bean.

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