Friday, 3 June 2016

Janet and Paul - Forever in our hearts

It would be wrong to say farewell to the season that has just finished, without first paying tribute to two very good friends, that I've shared many a happy hour in the company of, on my non league travels over the years, who have both sadly passed away since the end of the season, within the space of a week.

One was a complete shock, whilst the other, though not entirely unexpected, still shook me to the core, when the terrible news finally came through.

Janet (along with her doting husband David) was well known and well liked around local football circles and had a reputation for speaking her mind. And though they would most likely be out and about in support of Retford United or Retford FC, they would also regularly push out further afield.
If ever a couple were meant to be together, it was Janet and David, I cannot even begin to imagine what my long time good friend (we were at school together) must be going through right now, nor all of Janet's family and friends.
She started watching Retford United when Bozzy, AKA her son Wayne, started playing for them back in the clubs formative days.
The match day experience at Cannon Park just isn't going to be the same without Janet and her "forthright opinions".
I am really going to miss her massive presence and the non stop banter and laughter.

"Bury Paul", as he was known to everyone within the local football community, knew that he was on borrowed time throughout last season, but still got out and about as much as was humanly possible.
His calm demeanour, humour. upbeat spirit and humble acceptance of his condition and it's implications, were inspirational to all who knew him.
His pragmatic humility, humbleness and complete lack of bitterness about his inevitable fate, knew no bounds. He wasn't one to go down the self pitying road, nor let anything get in his way of living every last day to the full.
Everybody liked Paul and admired his spirit.
The last time I saw him he gave me a hug and said "Just in case I don't see you again... you take care of yourself and your lovely woman" The next time I expected to see him, he wasn't there and a mutual friend said that it was only a matter of time now.

Deepest condolences to everybody affected by the passing of these two wonderful people. 

There is a 2015-16 warts and all season review in the pipeline, but there is plenty of time for that kind of stuff at a later date. 
Some things are far more important than football.

Janet and Paul R.I.P