Tributes to Adam from the Family
What can I say about you – my wonderful boy, always affectionate, kind and funny.
You are the most caring and non judgmental young man I have ever met. You are so much like your lovely Dad in so many ways. You both have an amazing relationship with time that has no connection with reality whatsoever. You both have minds full of questions and a real enjoyment of discussing the meaning of life or what you read in the Guardian that day for hours at a time. You showed an intellectual depth coupled with a really wonderful humanity in your conversations and thoughts.
You share a passion for sport and football in particular whether it be playing, coaching, watching or (in the case of Manchester City) suffering! Your Dad always phoned you on his mobile after the match. I know that the level of discussion you guys managed with such a wealth of detail and knowledge made your conversations much better than any of the TV pundits. (In fact Adam you have so many of the qualities of Gary Linekar including charm, football knowledge, easy manner, ears, nose … I think that was a career waiting to happen.)
Another wonderful quality you share with your Dad is your gentle nature. I am so proud that you could be so unashamedly gentle and loving. You are so open and honest and confident enough to show your vulnerable side to your friends. One of them told us recently that you told your mates that you had the best Dad in the world and that you really, really loved him, Another of your friends was heard to ask “So what is Adam’s Dad like?” And the reply came back “Just like Adam but 30 years older.” (Yes Adam – your Dad was really pleased when he heard that.)
We know you and have always loved you to bits and felt you were really special. What has been absolutely overwhelming since the day you left us is the number of people you had such a big impact on. Your wonderful warmth and humanity touched everyone you met and you were so loved by so many people.
I will miss your wonderful quirky sense of humour. I now know that you are famous amongst your friends for telling really bad jokes and your penchant for funny fancy dress outfits. I also know that you were a true and loyal friend and you cared deeply about them. I have never heard you say a bad word about anyone – you always looked for the good in people and gave the benefit of the doubt. You also had such a strong sense of fair play and what was right and just.
Your relationship with your brothers is loving, if boisterous at times and you all knew you could rely on each other totally. We have had so many wonderful family times together, out walking in the lakes, sitting round our family table and eating and drinking together.
You are the most loving and affectionate son a mother could wish for. I am so glad that our last day together was so full of hugs and kisses. I am immensely proud of all of my sons and I am desolate to have lost you Adam. You would be proud of the way they have tried to support each other when feeling such utter despair. I do not know how we will find the strength to carry on without you but we are holding on to your spirit – it is with us constantly. On your last day you lost your life trying to help someone and because you were very clear in your wishes to be a donor – you have given new life to 5 critically ill people. Loving and giving to the end. You are my beloved son and my heart is aching for you with such pain. I will miss you more than I can ever say.
Your Mum xxxxxxxxxx
This is something I never, ever expected to be doing and it is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Putting into words a celebration of Adam’s life and achievements when all I want to be doing is to be grieving in some private place. It is not easy but I want to do it for Adam and in his memory it is important for all of us to take away the positives of a happy and wonderful life to set against the overwhelming sense of loss.
Adam was a very special young man – as his Father I would say that. He’s always been special to us – his family, but what has amazed us over the past few weeks is the number of people who knew him and whose lives had been touched by him. He seems to have had an impact on the lives of everyone he’s met and the messages and tributes to him are simply overwhelming. It seems as his friend Olly told us “You only had to meet him once and you knew him.”
How did this work? Largely I think because he was sure of who he was and didn’t feel the need to hide large parts of himself away. There was no brittle ego to protect. What you saw was what you got. With Adam the smile came first. He trusted people with who he was and found that they responded.
We all recognise that laughter is important in our lives and Adam could make people laugh. Not because he was a comedian – he wasn’t. Not because he could tell jokes – like his father, he couldn’t but he did have a sharp wit and a wonderful sense of the ridiculous and by being himself he could create and respond to situations in a way people found funny. He was not afraid to be laughed at by his friends because he could laugh at himself and so laugh with them. His friends talk fondly of “Podge Moments” where his offbeat sense of humour created such an impression. These began at primary school and continued throughout his life. He even turned his inability to tell jokes into a way of making his friends laugh and I’m sure if you talk to any of them today they will be able to tell you about the Pie Joke. Adam and the pie joke have become inextricably linked. His footballing friends are planning to hold an annual 5-a-side Tournament in Adam’s memory and the winning team will receive the Golden Pie Award.
Among the hundreds of pictures of Adam we’ve been looking through over the past weeks there are many showing his sense of humour – impish grins, cheeky smiles, funny faces, wearing daft hats and a surprising number of fancy dress outfits ranging from Indiana Jones to a scarlet devil complete with a 3 pronged fork. The outfit he is best remembered for is when he turned up to Danny Barton’s 21st dressed as a leprechaun. For someone of Adam’s height the whole idea was incongruous but of course this was the point and what made it funny. But he wasn’t just funny at party times or on special occasions. Casey who he worked with a few years ago at the St Mary’s College Gym said in her card “I’ve got so many great memories of Adam – he made me laugh every day.”
No portrait of Adam would be complete without mentioning sport and the outdoors. He loved all kinds of sport and was never happier than when he could participate – anything from football to cycling, mountain biking, golf, sea kayaking, swimming, running and hill walking. The football, in terms of time, had come to be very important to him, whether playing, watching, coaching or just talking about it.
He was really passionate about his coaching and like with everything else he did, he was dedicated, thorough and totally committed. He first tried his hand at coaching giving training sessions for his team mates but was given his first real opportunity when he started coaching Padiham Ladies 2 years ago. After the first year he moved to Ulverston and to continue with his coaching commitments it meant travelling twice a week for the training sessions and the matches a round 150 mile round trip each time. I remember asking him if he was sure that this was what he really wanted to do and pointed out the time and expense involved. But he’d made up is mind “It’s what I want to do and besides I promised I‘d do 2 years and I will”. And he did. He was a good coach and took it very seriously. He was studying for his coaching badges and would have liked nothing better than to have become a full time coach.
Gary and the team rated him very highly both as a coach and a man and are organising a memorial friendly match with Blackburn Rovers Ladies team towards the end of the season at Padiham. The team will be wearing their special shirts with Adam’s name on.
He couldn’t wait for the new season to begin – not only to get back to his coaching but also to start playing for the new St Mary’s College Old Boys Team that he and some of his friends had recently formed. We found a photo on his phone, with Adam proudly showing off his new kit. The team have decided to retire his number 14 from the squad so it will be forever Adam’s. He has a box full of trophies for football collected over the years since he was a junior. The three most significant to me are the two he was awarded in successive years at Darwen Rangers for most improved footballer and the one he won with West View in 2007 – 2008 for the Players Player of the year which tells you all you need to know about how he played the game. Totally committed , never missed a practice, a team player who would give 100% for the full 90 minutes.
I’m not going to go on about the Man city connection as Pat has already said in her letter to Adam how much it meant to us both. I know it was the source of much friendly banter between him and his Rovers supporting friends and he would have really appreciated that “just this once” as Olly said they have turned up with city scarves today in his memory. They also bought a special XXL City shirt with No 1 Podge” on the back and got friends to write farewell messages on it. There’s still a little space left on the right sleeve if anyone wants to add to it.
He could have been equally committed to cycling in fact for a short time he was. This was another sport he had a real talent for. One summer holiday we stayed in the French Alps where the previous summer it had been on the alpine stage of the tour de France. He’d got interested in road racing when he started watching the Tour de France on TV but although a keen mountain biker, he’d never been on a road bike before. He wanted to try the climb. I wasn’t so sure so I took him round in the car. It was along steep climb with many hairpin bends and dizzying drops. It was bad enough in a car and going down the other side to Morzine was even worse. Adam was really excited by now and wanted to give it a go and I was even less sure than I had been before. However I agreed to let him do it. He hired a bike for the day and set off after breakfast leaving Pat and I trying not to be too anxious. We didn’t expect him back until late afternoon. He came back elated and triumphant soon after lunch! I was staggered how easily he’d coped and taken it in his stride. He continued with his cycling for a year and really enjoyed it but it cut him off from his friends and he couldn’t easily keep up with the football and the cycling so in the end the football won.
Adam was also a keen walker. This started very early in his life as it was a family activity and happily all of our sons have kept a real love of the outdoors and mountain walking. Adam and Jamie were 4 and 6 when they first went up the Langdales with me. We had planned to do the Coast to Coast walk in September as part of Pat’s retirement celebrations, and Adam and our other sons were all going to join us for parts of it. Sadly, that was not to be and now we are going to do it for Adam. About 30 of Adams friends are going to join us to walk for a weekend in Grasmere and Patterdale and are going to get sponsorship to raise money for the Consequences Campaign.
Adam did have, as his Mum mentioned in he letter, an unusual relationship with time. And yes, whatever he was doing Adam was very slow. I admit I used to see these things as problems for which Adam needed help but the more I reflect on Adam and how he lived his life the more I’ve learned about him from his friends and others who knew him, the more I’ve come to realise that these so called problems were nothing of the kind. His slowness didn’t matter, it didn’t inconvenience anyone else, it didn’t seem to bother Adam and the end result was always a job well done. When he cleaned his football boots for example, he would disappear outside with his bowl of soapy water, cloths and brushes for what seemed an eternity but the result would be a gleaming pair of boots that looked as though they’d just come out of the shop window. It was the same with any other task. He never cut corners. I think, in fact I’m sure his employers recognised this quality in him. He would do a good job, he would be thorough and would be totally reliable and dependable.
The other aspect of his relationship with time – his lack of any natural sense of time passing similarly didn’t seem to cause too many problems. He was usually in the right place at the right time and again as far as work was concerned none of his employers had any problem with his timekeeping. In fact all of his jobs have involved working shifts of one kind or another and with Fraser Eagle he worked all over the country often having to leave in the early hours of the morning to get there. None of this caused him any real difficulties in fact despite seeming to be in a different time warp he coped very effectively. But perhaps what is even more important was that this also meant that he always had time for people whatever the circumstances, whoever you were Adam had time to smile, to chat, to listen. A couple who had met Adam at the Cascades Health Club where they were members, wrote to us shortly after Adam’s death “We are elderly and, unlike some young people, Adam would always have time for us, with a smile, a joke or a conversation” and only the other night when I was looking through some of comments posted by his friends I came across a former Fraser Eagle bus driver who knew Adam as a work colleague. “No matter which station, what time, whatever the weather, no matter how busy, Adam always had a smile on his face, always professional and always found time for a chat. An absolute joy!
If the capacity to make time for others was one of Adam’s great strengths then another equally important one was his positivity. He was positive about the world around. Like everyone else he had his ups and downs but when things went wrong he didn’t stay down very long because he just knew things were going to get better. He didn’t waste time on regrets he simply turned the page and moved forwards. As one of the Padiham team says “we will remember how positive an outlook he had towards everything and everyone even with the odds stacked against you.”
Everything and everyone. the everyone is important because he was indeed positive about people. He had a trust in the goodness of people in general. He always expected the best of some one. This is how he managed to present his real self to perfect strangers without worrying about making himself vulnerable because he not only had confidence in who he was but also confidence that others would respond to that. That is why people who had only met him briefly felt that they knew him, because right from the beginning you really did.
I began by saying how overwhelmed we have been by the response to Adam’s death and the number of tributes we have received but by the unanimity. They all say the same or very similar and are a testimony to how positive an effect Adam has had on people’s lives.
So how do we react to this cruel and unnecessary loss and how can we best honour his memory? Perhaps by recognising the good he touched us with and trying to spread this goodness a little by behaving towards others in the way Adam did. In that way we would be adding just a little to the sum total of human happiness and kindness and making our small corner of the world a better place to be. That would indeed be a fitting tribute to the Adam we knew and loved.
I never ever thought I would be doing this Adam but it is time to say a final goodbye. The last day we had together is so fresh that it will have a special place in all our many memories. While we were packing upstairs you busied yourself downstairs, washing up, tidying and putting stuff away. You even vacuumed the stairs and just generally made yourself useful. When we came down for lunch you were very skittish and chased your mum round the kitchen trying to give her hugs and kissing her arms. Then you went off to play football – a pre-season practice with your mates – and returned home to take us to the airport. You were so happy that day. You were looking forward to a great night out with your friends and had a date with your new friend Emma to look forward to on the Sunday – you even pointed out where she lived as we were driving to the airport. Life was definitely looking good. You were enjoying your new job and an exciting new football season was not far away. At the airport we said our goodbyes. I can so clearly feel you in my arms as we had a goodbye hug. “Drive carefully” I said – as I always did, “and have a good night out”. “I will” you said “and you have a great holiday”. You got back in the car and we went off to get the flight to Malta.
The next day, after our world had stopped, we said another goodbye at the hospital where you seemed merely to be asleep and were still warm and smelling of you. This really is the last goodbye and I say it not only for myself but on behalf of your grieving family and all your friends and colleagues and all those who knew you.
So goodbye Adam, you will be missed by so many people. For your Mum and I, and your three brothers, there is a tear in the fabric of our lives which at present seems irreparable. We have to hope that over time we can pull our lives together again. You wouldn’t have wanted anything less and we have to believe that with the help of our fond memories of you and the legacy of love you’ve left behind we ca n achieve this. We are so proud of you Adam and I can promise you that you will be remembered with love and a few smiles and laughter, for the rest of our lives. We can only hope that the pain of your leaving will, over time, be eased by the joy and happiness of those memories.
Finally Adam I would like to leave you with an epitaph to remember you by. It’s not original – it comes from a book I read many years ago when I was a young man ‘the Woodlanders’ a novel by Thomas Hardy. There is a scene at the end of the book at the graveside of the hero and a young village girl sitting by the grave says to him “You was a good man and did good things”.
All those years ago when I read those words, I thought that if at the end of your life people could say that about you then you hadn’t gone far wrong. And Adam my beautiful son, if anyone deserves to be remembered for the good they’ve done it is you. You were a good man and did good things. Goodbye my sweet boy.
Adam’s life was stolen from us and in that moment everything changed.
Firstly there was shock then came the anger. That is still here and I have nowhere to put it – no box or drawer I can hide it in. Then came the sadness, the pain, the overwhelming sense of loss. The shock told me he was not gone and if I jumped on him he would wake, this trick worked so many times before. I don’t have the words to express my sadness – and I have never felt pain like this so I can’t put into words how it feels. The sense of loss is easy to tell you about – a part of me died with Adam and I don’t know which part of me is gone but I am no longer whole.
My brother and my friend you had a profound affect on me in life, your death has changed all of our lives for ever. If something breaks you ask me and I will fix it, nothing is broken for ever – everything can be fixed or so I thought. Now all is broken and I can’t find the tools, neither have the knowledge – simply, there is no fix. The next best thing I can find to a fix is a focus, What happens to us all next?
We all have to grieve and come to terms with our own sense of loss in our own way and in our own time. All our lives have changed forever. We are to be reshaped by what has happened and changed by what is to come. The place I sat in the world has gone forever. Some where there is a new place and it is only mine to find. We all now undertake this journey none of us have the map or a rule book on how this is to happen. Sadly, it has to happen all the same. As it does we need to use Adam as our guide. The life he lived and the man he was, we must remember the goodness, the easy way, the smile that shows the world as the great place it can be. The passion for life and most of all the honour he showed till his last. Each day to come we won’t let the fact that this is so unfair taint his sense of fair play. we can’t let the hurt we feel spoil his meek and gentle ways. He was not bitter so we have no right to bitterness. He was not an angry man so my anger must go. He loved his family and he loved his friends so we carry that sense of love.
As we all walk the path we must take to find our place, most of all we must remember each other, and be as he would have wanted. We shall care for one another, give the time he shared so freely to others and be patient and strong for each other. We have no right to let this break us and we will not let this leave us bitter. Life will never be the same again but with my beautiful brother in mind we can and will find our own proper place in the world.
To you Adam I promise we will be the family we always were. You will join us at the table as we laugh and cry together. In the times that are to come we will walk side by side loving each other. Father, Mother, Brother all proud of the life you lived. This your family love you deeply and that love is unconditional it is steadfast it will give us the strength to help each other and all who need our love.
I promise I will search for the capacity to forgive in your name and service my anger in a way which would make you proud. I hope thoughts that were given the gift of life by your death take some sense of you and love a long and happy life each a testament to you.
I promise this will not stop me continuing to chase my hopes dreams and as the plan of life unfolds to me I will remember you each and every day. I will strive to honour your life in the way I conduct mine. When I start a family of my own I will be sure that my children know their uncle Adam. Through all of us here now and thoughts that are to come it is a certainty your spirit will live on.
No-one knew you were quite so special in life but in your death we find you were the glue that held so much together. You were always solid ground in the muddy parts of life and somewhere to rest in a storm. Adam has left us but he has not gone. Adam will never smile at me again but his smile is always here. I will never laugh or cry with you again but when I laugh you will be with me and when I cry I know you will put your arms around me and protect me from all I fear.
I can’t tell you one last time that I love you – but I still feel your love. You can’t console me at this time but your life and the way you lived it leaves me with a sense of pride.
As we try to rebuild our lives we will remember you and the light you carry within. As I put my best foot forward and when the timing seems right, I will strive to be a better person and live up to the example you have left. I leave you Adam with these words – they remind me of the man that you became. I love you brother and promise to find your strength to keep me going.
Rest easy until we are together again.
Adam was my brother, a younger brother, someone I felt a responsibility for. Since the beginning of July as well as a sense of loss and enormous hurt there is a terrible sense of guilt that I was not able to protect him and look after him.
I am very lucky to have two children of my own, Annie who is seven and Fergus who is three, Adam was wonderful with them and always had a huge amount of time for them. Annie has been blown away by him not being there and can’t understand why the fun, kind and loving uncle is not around when we visit home. In a way for Fergus it is worse he will never have the opportunity to know Adam and appreciate the special guy that he was. I have lost a very special person in my life, someone I loved and someone who I always felt loved me and mine. I have also had to watch those left behind torn apart, broken and lost. There are no words, quick fixes or tangible ways to try and address the hurt and loss that affect my family.
I’m sure that as a family we will survive because the love that nurtured Adam and helped create the man he became is all still there. It is hard to write about these things without resorting to cliché but not a day goes by without my mind in someway turning to Adam, it might be a piece of music it might be a silly football story or just the fact that there is one less of us around the dinner table but he is not coming back and that enormous gap is there forever. Like everyone else who ever came into contact with Adam I feel lucky and privileged to have known him but sometimes that only highlights the massive scale of the loss to me and the people I love the most.
I will never forget the cold grey morning of July 5th 2009, how can any of us forget that day?
I have never felt such emptiness inside as I did on that day, and as I still do now and for the rest of my life. How can anyone continue as they did before? The answer is that we all must carry on. We will never be able to continue as we did before but will carry on never the less; we must continue with our lives, we must continue to cry, to laugh, and to love.
I have found it very hard to come to terms with what has happened, but the thing that has helped me is the love and support from a loving family, a loving girlfriend, and many loving friends. One thing that we all must take away from this is that to have friends, family and people who care about you is so very important.
What can I say about Adam that people don’t already know? As you all know Adam was always very caring and giving, particularly to me. As his younger brother Adam always looked out for me, one particular example of this, which springs to mind, is that when we were about six and eight years old, we watched a programme about Greek monsters and this subsequently left me afraid of the dark and too fearful to sleep, so I asked Adam if he would guard me from the top bunk of our bed until I managed to drift off safely to sleep. I cannot remember how many times, or for how many months or years I asked him to guard me for, but like the dutiful older brother he would always do it without question.
There were many times both at primary school and at secondary school, he would help me if I had fallen out with my friends or if someone was picking on me he would always step in, but never with violence. Even from this young age Adam would always resolve problems amicably, using his good nature and his uniqueness. It is a shame that the society in which we live is one where violence is the first action of reason.
I feel that it is a real testament to Adams character that so many of his friends were there waiting at the hospital when I first arrived, and the amount of people that rushed to his bedside, to be with him so that he would not be alone, and all the tributes and messages tha were left at the statue and on facebook were amazing and I know how much that would mean to him.
What happened to my brother is tragic beyond belief. However the fact that he died helping a friend in need and that he has helped five families avoid the heartbreak we all feel through our loss of Adam, I think we can all find some solace in the fact that he died as he lived, helping people.
Oh brother I can’t, I can’t get through I’ve been trying hard to reach you, cause I don’t know what to do Oh brother I can’t believe it’s true I’m so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you Oh I wanna talk to you: Coldplay, Talk
Miss you always, love you forever brother.
Your little bro, Jamie x
Decent, peaceful and tolerant are the words which I will always associate with you Adam. Words that can only scratch the surface at the depth of feeling in the people whose lives you’ve touched.
Only love can break your heart, and the number of broken hearts left behind is because of the love we all have for you.
Without love, we wouldn’t feel pain and loss but without love, where would we be?
Pride is the overwhelming sense when I see the way in which those closest to you, bravely fight through the pain with the great dignity and humility you were blessed with. I know how proud you were of your adoring parents and it is easy to understand why, as the qualities they show in their darkest hour are those that we also love in you. Love is the only lesson we can learn from this time.
Delightfully dreamy and dippy at times, our Adam. I will now remember forever, you making us all laugh our way through the last meal I had the privilege to have with all of you. You were still slowly savouring the main course half an hour after dessert had been served; steadfastly refusing to change your pace despite the brotherly banter. You give a whole new definition to the term ‘laid back’ and I’m honoured to be a part of a family that created someone like you, so trusting and thoughtful.
Tranquillity is a gift so rare in a person but you truly had a gift of making others feel good with your serenity and kindness of spirit. All you ever emitted was positivity and humaneness, and I’m trying hard to be inspired by this; despite the anger I feel that you’ve been taken from us, when people like you are so badly needed in this world. I endeavour that I may never lose my temper as I never saw you lose yours.
Attentive and respectful of other people, you’d never push your own agenda to the detriment of others and I now feel great sorrow that we have not had the chance to see you shine brightly for as long as we should have. The respect I have for you is rooted in, not only the values we share, but the honesty and integrity you had in upholding those values. I know from your great friends that you have the strength and emotional intelligence to share your beliefs and vulnerabilities, rather than barricade them from the world and I hope I can learn this lesson from you. May your heart lead you on to a place more deserving of your company.
Just and fair as a man could hope to be. The reason that you were never involved in any trouble was the compassion you had for others and the realisation of the value of your life and your family. We should feel pity for people who do not fear the consequences of violence because they must have no idea of the love that we have for you and you had for us. If I can do anything to respect your life it will be to make the world a brighter, safer place and be a more decent member of the human race.
Sleep tight Cuz, with love from Matt
From Uncle Paul
Adam (An Uncle’s Perspective)
“If we could all be more like Adam”
The world would be a better place
He always showed a happy face
With natural wit and easy, gentle charm
He wouldn’t do another harm
“If we could all be more like Adam”
The world would be a safer place
He cared about the human race
He’d always help a friend in need
His generous soul would take the lead
“Yet we can’t all be just like Adam”
A special young man in many ways
This is what his friends all say
With endless tributes, flowers and cards
He commands respect and deep regards
“You have left your mark on everyone you’ve met”
When our tears subside and you are laid to rest
We’ll always remember that you were the best
You showed by example it’s cool to be fair
But to lose you so soon is far too hard to bear
“I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one, to pine on the stem
Since the lovely are sleeping, go sleep thou with them.”
Sleep well Adam, you’ll always be in our hearts xxxx