The Consequences to Family and Friends

The loss of Adam in our lives has had an enormous impact.

When the Trial was completed we were asked to write about the impact losing Adam had on our lives below are the statements from Family and friends that tries to put into words what that loss is like for us every day that we face without Adam.

Family Statement

On the 5th July 2009, our lives changed forever, David and I had just arrived in Malta on our holiday when we received the news that our lovely son was in critical condition after being assaulted.

Thankfully we returned home in time to say our goodbyes. This was a senseless act that took the life of my precious son.

A light has gone out in our lives. Adam was our much loved and very loving son. His smile lit up our lives, his humour brought joy to our lives and his affectionate nature brought great love.

We have always been a very close family and were lucky to have four wonderful happy sons of whom we are immensely proud. All of them share our values and are decent kind people who care about each other deeply.

As a family we enjoyed spending time together. We all enjoyed walking and have many wonderful memories of hill walking in the Lake District. We also all share a keen interest in a variety of sports and playing, watching and discussing sport has always been a part of our lives. Adam participated in many sports but his real passion was football. He was a Manchester City supporter with his Dad, a keen player since primary school and a talented and respected Coach of Padiham Ladies Football team. Adam did a Sports Coaching degree and was also a qualified and experienced Fitness instructor.

David, his father, has been hit very hard by this tragedy. Adam was David’s first child and we had him late in life. David’s joy was indescribable, more than he could ever believe, we had been blessed. As David looked at Adam he saw not only our beautiful child, but he saw his family specifically his own father. Adam possessed all the great parts of David and his family. He was a walking legacy.

Adam was very close to his Dad and they were very alike in many ways. The bond between them was very special and the loss of this relationship is too painful and difficult to put into words. Dave loves all of his sons but his relationship with Adam had a special element to it because they were so like each other. They were physically similar being the only tall and slim members of the family and the shape of hands and gestures were uncannily identical. They both have a very gentle personality and were very openly loving and affectionate. They could talk for hours about football, politics, music and never tired of having long debates. He shared his father’s natural curiosity about life.

Adam was a significant part of the heart of this family and now we are all missing a beat. He gave all of us his unconditional love and as his Mum I miss his hugs, his smile, his warmth and his presence more than anyone could ever know. I have just retired and one of the things I was looking forward to most was doing more hill walking with Adam. It had been difficult in recent times because his weekends were so full of playing and coaching football. Having more flexibility in my time would have meant Adam could have joined us at our static caravan as a base for walking trips. We had booked to do the Coast to Coast walk in September and Adam was going to help with transport and join us for some stages of the walk. Instead it became a walk for Adam and with the help of 50 of his friends who joined us for two stages of the walk we have raised almost £5000 in sponsorship from the event. This money will go towards what we want to do in Adam’s memory, which is about working with young people to see that violence is not acceptable, not a normal part of a night out and can have such tragic consequences. This we hope will help us to make something positive come from our terrible loss.

Adam was wonderful with children. We know he would have been a fantastic Dad when he had his own family. He would have been a warm, kind and loving husband and he was a much loved and loving son, brother, uncle and friend. We always felt he was special, but since he died we have found out how much he was loved by other people. His friends are grieving terribly and most of them in their early 20’s are so acutely aware of the senselessness of his death.

The trial of the young man who hit Adam was a very traumatic experience for us as a family. To have to listen to what the young man said about our son and the actions after on facebook, to be unable to respond, was very difficult. To watch the last minutes of Adam’s life on CCTV was very poignant and to listen to the accounts of his final moments so many times was incredibly painful. If the young man had faced up to what he had done it would have saved us going through that ordeal.

We as a family know this young male’s life will be radically changed, but he has to be accountable for his actions he took our son away from us by a senseless act. He also needs to benefit from any sentence imposed so that it can have a positive contribution on the rest of his life.

Remembering my son will not have that opportunity. Adams death can never be justified, but to have another life wasted would be a greater tragedy. David will assist with any restorative action that may help this male if given the opportunity, even if it only helps him understand face to face the reality of his actions. Adam always looked for the best in people he never wrote anyone off and we must honour his ethos and beliefs.

Adam was a very happy and much loved young man with his whole life in front of him. His death was so senseless and it has affected hundreds of people. The life we had before the 5th July 2009 is over. We have to try to build a new life, accepting our great loss and learning to live with our pain and grief. We miss him every hour of every day and we ache for his presence in our lives. We know we are in a place where no parent ever wants to be and it is more indescribably, gut wrenchingly painful than any words can tell.

This tragedy has not just affected our family but our wider family that includes all of Adams friends. Like ourselves they are frustrated that Adams voice has not been heard. In truth Adams beautiful voice will never be heard again. We as a family have had no previous involvement with the criminal system and felt aggrieved that this young man could present himself as a pillar of the community at court whilst suggesting that our son was the offender. We want Adams voice to be heard and want the court to understand the true weight of Adams loss not only to us but to the wider community.

Clare

My name is Clare; I’m Tim’s fiancé. I have lived with Tim and his family for just over 2 years. Adam died shortly before the anniversary of our second year together.

Before that time Adam had moved back to the family home from Ulverston. We spent quite a few days during the summer out in the garden while Adam was helping Tim build a patio, we spent the time chatting, having a laugh and enjoying the sun with a couple of beers after working all day. I’m glad I had those happy memories of that time spent with Adam before that sad day in July.

We also spent a lot of time together during many family meals and they too were happy times. Since Adam’s death it’s been harder to sit round the table and talk about life and things in general because it always reminds me that somebody is missing that shouldn’t be.

I know that death is a part of life and it’s the one thing that will surely happen to everyone, but when it is so sudden and pointless it makes you sit down and reassess life completely. I have had to witness first hand a loving and gentle family struggle with the pain of losing a son and a brother who was loved so deeply that I feared they would not be able to deal with the amount of grief that had taken over them.

Help and support came in so many different ways that I was left feeling overwhelmed by the good and kind in people this helped me because I was angry at the world for a short time due to what had happened.

Adam saw the good and kind in everyone and it was reflected in all the letters that the family received of peoples stories of Adam and how he’d affected their lives and in what his friends said about him and all the memories people had of him. I know his family have gained strength from this and it has helped them through some dark times.

The weeks after Adam died there were times when I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning because of all the sadness I knew the day would bring, I didn’t want to see the people that I loved so much in so much pain but like them I would get up and be strong and see what the day would bring. I know that they will never ‘get over’ the death of Adam but they want to cherish Adam and all their memories and turn them into something positive.
Adam really was one of the greatest lads you could have ever wished to meet and I know that I would have been proud to call him my brother-in-law when I marry Tim. I’m pregnant with our first child and it makes me sad that our child will never meet their uncle Adam but we will make sure that he/she will know him and all the good times we shared with him and also what a caring person he was.

Just one example was when Jamie, Adam’s younger brother was having a garden party for his birthday. Jamie was cooking some food in the kitchen for his friends and Adam came in and offered to take over so Jamie could go back outside and enjoy his party, I was watching TV in the front room and Adam came in a few times to check I was ok and to see if I needed a drink or anything. He later drove Jamie’s friend’s home from the party so they weren’t walking home in the dark.

Adam was like that all the time which made him such a good person, he was selfless, giving and kind, he would go out of his way to help people on many occasions. It’s a trait which some people find hard to offer all the time but he was free with it always.I wish I could say that the circumstances in which Adam died happens quite rarely but unfortunately this is not the case. If people could see what happens to families affected by these pointless acts of violence then maybe they would think twice before they act.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to know Adam for the time I did but I should have known him for a lot longer.

Emma

This has not been an easy thing to do. To write down and talk about the emptiness I feel that I spend most of the time trying to conceal or pretend isn’t there.

I have spent the last 8 months not really talking about how the loss of Adam makes me feel, I don’t really feel like I have a right to. The guilt that has been with me since Adam passed away has eaten me up from the inside out. The ‘what ifs’ and the ‘if only’ that I have been saying over and over in my head are starting to hurt too much to revisit time and time again.

Adam was my best friend and he was from the day I met him. I can honestly say that he is the only person that knows me inside and out. That knows everything about me. I loved his gentle ways I loved how slow he was to make a decision about anything, I loved his calm nature and his humour and ability to laugh at himself. After living with him for just over 2 years he changed me as a person. He made me think about things more thoroughly, he made me calmer in nearly any manic situation, but most of all he showed me how to empathise with others, which is a gift I value so closely. As slow as Adam was he was very intelligent. I loved our long conversations about everything and anything. We shared the same passion for music and watched many live concert’s in the time we where together. He also took me to my first football match and bought me many football shirts, he was determined to turn me into a blue…and it worked. He was very much into his football and took great pride in looking after his football boots, and often just the two of us would go down to a local field with a football and have a kick about. He would teach me new skills, and it is then that I saw what a fantastic coach he was, a fantastic communicator with a natural ability to break a skill down step by step…and with the patience of a saint he put up with my silly tantrums when I couldn’t do it and persisted with me till I got it right. I learnt a lot from Adam.

Adam had a passion for all that he did. I am now a keen mountain biker which I do as often as I can which is due to Adam. We bought new mountain bikes together and went on some very challenging runs, even a mountain bike holiday in South Wales. This was one activity that I use when I need to get away and think about Adam and be alone with my thoughts, something I did a lot of in the weeks after his death, it somehow made me feel closer to him.

Adam was a fantastic cook, as long as it took him to make a meal, he strived for perfection in it, again, I have learnt a thing or to from him in the kitchen. I have also learnt how to make a list of things to do… and then never read it again.

Adam’s commitment to everything and everyone was admirable and so I strive to be like him. He would travel to every football game for Padiham ladies, no matter how inconvenient it was for him and he would always put others before himself.

Throughout university hardly anyone in Adams year knew my name…I was known as ‘Podge’s Missus’, people used to ask me if it annoyed me, but to be honest, it made me very proud. Adam was known as ‘Podge’ to all his friends and all his friends loved him.

Adam was not afraid to show his emotion or talk about how he felt, he was sensitive both with his feelings and with other people’s.

Since losing Adam, I feel like there is a hole inside of me, like part of me died with him. He was my support when I had no one else, he gave me advice, he listened, and he loved me. I loved him so much and now there is a hole inside of me, where he once was. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t laugh about something we had done, or quote one of his daft sayings, which makes me smile, which only makes me come crashing down with a thud when I realize I will never hear him, see him or hold him again.

I have never missed anyone like I miss Adam. I get a physical ache in my chest and my throat, a craving just to talk to him, to hear his gentle hello as he answers the phone, to feel his very patchy stubble on my cheek, or even waving me in through the kitchen window as I jump across the stepping stones in the back garden.
I have struggled in work, I kept busy to stop my mind from wandering but my passion for work was gone. I had what I have nicknamed ‘blips’ at work resulting in me having to go to a school counsellor.

I stopped talking to friends on the phone or by email, because when they asked me how I was, I didn’t want to answer. For the first couple of weeks after Adam died, I didn’t function, I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I didn’t see the point. I have never had to deal with bereavement before and the physical and mental pain is something that you can not describe or put into words.

Now 8 months on I have described it to others like a set of children’s blocks. With Adams passing as the very rocky foundation, any little things in life that I would usually not be phased by becomes a block on that foundation, and they build up over time, until eventually they fall and tumble, and leave me distraught and useless, until I fix myself and prepare myself for the first block all over again. I found myself with a lot of anger, but with nowhere to direct it. I am a keen sports player and so a lot of it came out during training or during a match but always ended with me in tears. The anger starts in the pit of my stomach and bubbles until I don’t know how to control it, and with nowhere or no one to direct it at, it is shown in raw emotion.

I miss Adam everyday, and I have pictures of him all over my flat. I wear his bracelet that I bought him all the time and a necklace that I bought him on holiday I wear at every hockey game for good luck. I find it hard being in the flat that we chose together, and I still get mail delivered in his name. It is the little things like this that often hurt the most.

I have not been able to bring myself to visit his house in Blackburn and for that I feel guilty and a coward, I know how much it hurt from the last time and at the moment I do everything in my power to avoid that pain that I feel. Sitting round the table without Adam sitting next to me, holding my hand, laughing with me or sat with his legs entangled in mine was so very difficult. When I read his hand writing on a piece of scrap paper that I have stumbled across or old cards that I have kept, or look though our many photo albums of our holidays we went on it reminds me of the fantastic times that we had together, but then engulfs me in sadness to know that he isn’t here anymore.

Adam was gorgeous inside and out, and I am comforted in the fact that I knew him inside and out, in ways that no other person ever will. This is selfish but something that I cling onto with my heart and my hands. I miss him everyday and since he left a piece of me is missing to.

I can’t bear to see anyone arguing on a night out and not to long ago I saw a drunken punch up in the street, which left me feeling incredibly angry and then incredibly sad. I can’t cope with difficult situations or confrontation the way that I used to. I often speak to Adams picture and tell him how I’m getting on or what the score was for Manchester City at the weekend. I miss our conversations.

I still can’t believe that somebody had the power to take Adam away from us. Everyone that met him knew him, what you saw is what you got with Adam; everyone liked him and thought he was great. I loved Adam and I still do, I just can’t believe that I will never get to see him again, I lost my lifeline, my support and my best friend. People told me with time the pain will heal, but now with time it is more real that he is never coming back and that hurts more.

For a few months after his death I had dreams, some nightmares but some just dreams with Adam in them, which felt so real, that when I woke up I just wanted to go back to sleep so that I could hear him and see him as vividly as I did in my dreams.

Now the dreams have stopped and the ‘blips’ are not as bad, but the pain and anger is still very much there, I have just become expert at pushing them to the back of my mind where they are not visible to anyone but myself. I loved Adam as my boyfriend and as my best friend and it still seems too big to get my head round that he is gone. I miss him like crazy, I like to think that there will always be a part of him in me from the part of his personality that I managed to obtain over the 3 ½ years we where together and he will always be there in my head, in my heart and on my right arm where his bracelet sits everyday.

Olly

The night of the 4th of July 2009 will be one that will stay with me for the rest of my life and for all the wrong reasons. What should have been a fun reunion between a group of very close friends turned into the worst night of my life.

I find it easier to understand when someone is taken from you by ill health or old age, but to lose a friend aged 24 for such needles actions from an individual I cannot understand.
Adam Rogers was and always will be one of my closest and dearest friends and he was taken from me.
I can tell you all truthfully and without a doubt in my mind that Adam was a kind and gentle person who wouldn’t hurt a soul! Aggression just did not run through his blood.
People often comment on those that have passed, ‘They were so kind’, ‘They didn’t deserve this’, ‘Such a gentle person’ even though it may not always be 100% true.

If you asked anyone that knew Adam what he was like, they would all tell you that Adam really was ‘the best of the best’. He really was kind, gentle and loved by all that knew him.

‘I will never speak to, I will never see, I will never laugh with Adam again. But one thing I always will do is miss Adam!’

It is incredibly difficult to try and understand why Adam is no longer with us. Losing Adam has affected me more than even I imagined it would. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of him. I have his picture on my desk to remind me when I’m down or mad, ‘what would Adam do?’ and believe me it helps!

If you where to ask me if it made me depressed, I would have to say I think so yes. I have a great deal of sadness deep within me and at this moment in time it feels like it will never go away.

Since Adam’s death, whenever I am out with our friends at a birthday or when we all get together it is unbelievably clear that Adam is missing and that everyone knows it. Only the other day I attended a friend’s gig in the cavern, Liverpool, Adam would have been there. At the end of the night the band sang a song written about Adam and the whole room stood still and listened, it was an exceptionally strange and sad moment, yet it was clear everyone was thinking of Adam. It was hard because since the night of Adam’s death I haven’t gone out much at all. Bumping in to people looking for trouble is always on my mind and it is simply something I cannot deal with. When planning a game of footy or a get together running through my phone and going to his name then stopping and realising I can’t ask him it hurts.

No sentence given will ever bring Adam back to us! I only hope that the guilty party learn from this and realise that aggression is not the way forward, ‘It can kill’! A young boy’s actions have taken Adam from us and he has to suffer the consequences. A great deal of pain fulfilled me when the boy pleaded not guilty and tried to discredit Adam’s name. I never had any doubt that Adam was totally innocent but this tore me to pieces at the time.

It is strange having so much sadness and anger built up inside me, but knowing that there is only one way I can react to it by doing what Adam would want and that would be no reaction at all, and try to pull whatever positives I can from this situation. This I am struggling with.

Adam’s death has changed my life completely, someone dear to me is now missing and I have questioned any faith in god that I had. I am unsure if I will ever see him again, I can only hope that I am wrong. It’s hard trying to just get on with things in a normal way, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Adam be it a sad or a happy thought. I just hope that over time every time I think of Adam it is a happy thought remembering all the good times and not of all of this. Adam was taken in his prime, at a time he was in my eye’s so very happy with life. I just hope that my anger and sadness towards all of this dissipates over time as at the moment it is eating me up.

I will never forget Adam and will try my very best to channel all my energies in to something positive. I can only at this time thank Adam for being my friend and tell everyone he will be sadly missed.

Scott

Words can’t describe how devastated I was on that awful night when Adam was taken from us. I know my pain pales in comparison with Pat, Dave and the rest of the Rogers family but it has affected my life enormously.

I considered Adam to be my best friend and spoke to him every day. He was the one who spoke to me and reassured me when I was having difficulties at work or in my personal life.

He was also the one that everyone looked forward to going out with or playing football with because he had the ability to make light of any situation and make everything enjoyable.

Since Podge’s death I have found it really hard to cope with not being able to see him again. I can’t comprehend not being able to ring my best mate everyday for some advice or just a little banter. He was truly the best of the best and will be missed by myself and everyone. To be taken in such a pointless and unnecessary way has saddened and appalled me. Even more so with the defendant trying to paint Podge as something he wasn’t, to try and taint his character in the vain hope it’ll clear his name.

Can’t wait to see you pal, you were and always will be my best friend. Rest easy and keep looking over everyone x

Rachel & Joss

Saturday night 4th July started really well, we had gone out with a group of friends and met Adam, Scott, Carl and Chris who we hadn’t seen for ages, in the Live Lounge.

Adam walked up behind me and tapped me on both shoulders to get my attention. I turned round and we hugged each other and I kissed his cheek. We had a conversation about his status on facebook; it was about Kasabian being better than Oasis.

At about 3am we went outside and both of our group of friends were sat on the benches. Adam was crouched on one knee as there was somewhere to sit. I stood next to him and nudged him gently with my knee to make him fall over. I sat down next to him and we chatted. I noticed the socks he was wearing, brown with diamonds on. I said they looked like ‘Dad’ socks and Adam laughed. Adam said he had an empty house that night as his Mum and Dad had gone on holiday that day and invited a few of us to go up to his for a few beers. Some of us were hungry and wanted to go to Darwen Street for something to eat before we went to Adam’s. We said goodbye and we gave Adam a quick hug before we left him sitting on the floor, talking to the rest of our friends.

We got our food from a takeaway on Darwen Street and ate it on a bench near the cathederal. We’d only been gone about 10 minutes. Scott got a phone call from Chris saying Adam was on the floor. We thought Adam would have just been playing around as he usually did so we weren’t too worried. We walked back in the direction of the Live Lounge.

As we got near the memorial, we could see people stood around looking shocked and I sow someone led on the floor. We rushed over and someone said it was Adam and that he had been hit. I saw that Carl had blood all over his face and Chris’s shirt was covered with blood. I rushed over to Adam but I didn’t recognise him, I could only tell it was him because I saw his socks. I knelt sown next to his head and stroked his hair. I kept talking to him and told him it was going to be alright. He was breathing heavily and his eyes were open, blood was coming from his mouth. Then the ambulance came. I could tell by the paramedics face that it wasn’t good. They didn’t rush and just said he was ‘very poorly’. Me, Joss, Scott, Chris and Carl got into a taxi to go up to the hospital. As we drove away, I noticed that the ambulance didn’t move. We had been at the hospital for about 10 minutes when the ambulance finally arrived. The nurses asked if we could contact Adam’s family. Scott rang Adam’s brother. We gave a statement to the police and sat and waited for news in the relative’s room until the early morning. Adam’s brother came and said we should all go home and he’d let us know if anything happened. Joss saw Adam going past the door on a trolley; he was going for a brain scan.

Joss’ Mum came to pick us up from the hospital at about 7am. We had a few updates from Scott, one telling us that Adam’s brain scan showed no activity. Later Scott text us to say they were turning off Adam’s ventilator and there was nothing they could do. At that point me, Joss and everyone who knew Adam were devastated and in a state of shock. We all gathered the day after at the war memorial near where it happened, we sat in silence on a bench, trying to comprehend what had happened the night before and realising that Adam was gone. We were told that day about the boy who hit Adam, he had been bragging about it on Facebook which made us so angry and upset, how somebody could be so cruel.

In the weeks and months after that night we couldn’t eat or sleep, we felt sick. When I did sleep I had vivid nightmares about what I saw, living it again and again. We couldn’t think or talk about anything else. The doctor prescribed me sleeping pills and suggested counselling. When I finally went back to work they referred me to a counsellor. We kept thinking about that night over and over again ‘what if’ or ‘if only I had done this or that’. We blamed ourselves, thinking we should have looked after him and took him with us to Darwen Street or gone up to his house straight away, then none of this would have happened. We couldn’t go back to the Live Lounge or drive past where it happened or even socialise outside our house at night. We became protective of each other and out families, scared of losing the ones we love. It put a strain on our relationship while trying to cope with the grief, losing patience and taking it out on each other, struggling to understand why this had happened to Adam. We still worry when we go out at night, conscious of our surroundings and the people around us. We become apprehensive when we see people arguing or staring a fight, fearing it could happen again. We will never forget that night.

It is still hard to comprehend how someone as nice as Adam could have been taken away from us like that. It seems so unfair. He never harmed anyone or had a bad work to say about anybody. He was always cheeky and happy. If you weren’t feeling too great he’d do daft things just to make you laugh so you’d feel better. He would have helped anyone in any way he could, he always put others before himself. Joss still finds it hard to talk about that night, he feels sad that he can’t just pick up the phone and talk to one of his closest friends, he misses him so much. We all do.