Written and read by Neville at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff 13 March 2012.
What does one begin to say when such unimaginable tragedy touches our lives. Losing the beauty and innocence of a precious life so young then being compounded with the ensuing power of grief resulting in the loss of another special life.
To talk about my brother Paul. He was a wonderful person, genuine and sincere. His love for his family was absolute and we all love him. Paul was the best of us, he was the youngest sibling in our family and for us all was the apple of our eye. Paul was gentle and kind. He was polite and reserved, completely respectful to everyone he met. He had great humility, was thoughtful towards others and generous to a fault. Paul was a loving family man who also had wonderful friends whom he cherished.
Paul will leave an indelible mark on our lives, he was a special person and I wouldn’t contemplate trying to do him justice in this brief moment. His impression will be left on us forever and we will always honour him. His spirit will continue living among us in both ‘H’ and ‘I’.
He had a positive attitude and presence wherever he went. He had a zest for life and was great fun with a good sense of humour. However, notoriously, being a redhead he also had fire in his belly.
He could have a temper, he had passion and a competitive side to his nature, which many of us would have seen in one guise or another on the sports-field, playing sports that he loved so much displaying the huge talent that he possessed. He could turn his arm to most things, enjoying rugby, hockey and cricket, playing all to a good standard. He was also a bit of a bandit on the golf course! We also had a shared passion which was Liverpool Football Club.
It is only now that I have lost him that I am beginning to comprehend the true depth of love we feel and the extraordinary light to life it brings. We will always love him, we will cherish and remember him for all the good he brought to the world.
Shared memories are abundant;
* The first time we went to Anfield was together. Arms around each other singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.
* Meeting down the pub for a pint of Guinness
* Images of him posing, going down ski slopes
* Returning to Queens College for an OQ’s cricket match and Paul opening the bowling, steaming in at me, firing in the quickest bouncer he could bowl
* And those family holidays to Cornwall riding the waves on those old polystyrene surfboards
But the one abiding memory I would like to share is back when we were at school. Waking up in the morning with the sunshine coming through the gap in the curtains being woken up for a brand new day. Not by an alarm clock but by sounds coming from the next room. It would be Daddy getting out of bed reciting words which would make us smile, lifting our spirits with a warm glow as we got ready for the school day ahead.
I’d like to finish with these words. Written by William Butler Yeats and titled, The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in my deep heart’s core.”
I will never ever forget those last three words we spoke to each other on our last encounter before you left us. I love you!