It started in 1990. I was a student, working in Argos on Saturdays and came across a game called Space Crusade in the new Christmas catalogue. Having purchased that, and marvelled at the cool miniatures, I had fun creating my own games (without ever using the rulebook). Some weeks later, whilst walking through the newsagents one lunchtime, I saw a magazine with the same illustration on its cover as the Space Crusade box. I immediately flicked through it and saw new rules, metal miniatures..wow! That was my 'red pill' moment and the rest is history.
The magazine was, of course, White Dwarf (issue134) but it was issue 139 that sealed my fate. A painting article by Tim Prow with some Blood Angels and four pages at the back of lots of space marine miniatures - what chance did I have. A marine/eldar battle report followed soon after and, though I had no idea or real interest in the rules, it all just looked so cool!
A bit of research revealed that there was a Games Workshop in Manchester (some 20 miles away) - a grubby little shop in Brown Street, just near the Arndale Centre, it turned out. So began my monthly pilgrimage to Manchester and a routine of buying random miniatures, books and paints, depending on what was in stock. It would take another 10 years before anything serious, organised or planned was to happen.