Summer update: forever proud of the young guy who four years ago was living his live and dreaming his dreams
As I reflect on the summer of 2014, it is another reminder of how much each specific time of the year leads me to think about Huw – recently it has been about what Huw did in past summers (especially his last one in 2010), and what he would be doing this summer. I think it will always be like this, which is fine by me because along with being a parent to Carys, reflecting about Huw’s life is the most important thing to me.
I just know Huw would have done well in his A levels like his friends did, and would be off to a good Uni this Autumn. It would have been a proud time for him and his parents, but also a reflective time in some ways as the eldest child would have left home. And so it is a time to reflect now – reflect that Huw was taken from his happy, exciting world, without having the chance to experience an amazing time of his life, show us more of his talents, and give us the pleasure of his company.
A level results day was an emotional day, for what Huw would have done, as much as for what Carys actually did. On 14th August Carys was rightly delighted with her A/S level results, and it makes us extremely proud of her given what she has experienced over the last 3 1/2 years. If her big brother is watching over, he will be so proud of her too.
As well as being sad, it has also been fun to see Huw’s friends getting their exam results, and going away to Magaluf or wherever for a quiet week of reflection and sightseeing – well ok perhaps not quiet – and perhaps with a nocturnal type of sightseeing 😉 It’s also been good to catch up with some of Huw’s friends over the summer, whether it has been bumping into them, or arranging to meet them for coffee, a bike ride, or whatever. I love to see them and I always ‘see’ Huw when we meet up, and imagine him with them. I’ll miss seeing them as many of them go their different ways this month – they have been a source of fun, support, and friendship over the last 3 1/2 years – and most of all a source of support for Huw – he was one of their peers and a friend who means a lot to them.
Earlier in the summer we finished 19forHuw and I have written a report on that already – I hope that account conveys how much it meant to me and I want to tell you the final total of what we raised for that which was in the end over £4,500. This total relfects a huge number of individual donations from family, friends and work colleagues which spurred us on during the event. It also reflects individual commitments of effort and determination on the part of those who took part and who provided support in the form of support driving and organisation. The £4,500 has helped take the total raised by the Huw Thatcher Trust to help disabled people with brain injuries, up to £98,000. We can all be very proud of that and it reflects what a universally popular guy Huw was – I will do an update soon about how the additional funds are being used. Next year there will be another type of challenge that I’m going to organise in Huw’s name and memory, although it will not be cycling this time – I will say more about that another time but just to say that like 19forHuw, it will be something that others can take part in if they want to. Here is a picture of the extended group on the last day of the ride at Sheffield Wednesday football club.
Shortly before 19forHuw another important occassion saw William Oakley presented with the Spirt of Huw Thatcher football award for 15 year olds. It was well well deserved by Will and as an aside it was really nice that a player who knew Huw won it. One day, the winners of this award will be too young to have known Huw – but they will know about him and that a long time ago a great player and personality called Huw Thatcher used to play Centre Back for the Hepworth first team with pride and great spirit. Here is a picture of Will and the award – along with me and his Hepworth United coaches.
To finish this update, I leave you with a picture of Huw and Carys in his last summer in 2010. Both trying not to laugh at a private joke. Huw looking forward to meeting me 2 days later to go and see Derby County vs Cardiff City, and looking forward to many future summers as a young man with his friends and family. A young guy living his life and dreaming his dreams. Four years later his friends and family have had another summer with out him. Huw’s friends have finished their A levels and started to go their own separate ways. The sister who Huw doted on, has grown up and excelled in her A/S levels. The friends and family are lucky they had the chance to share part of their lives with Huw – they have been proud to give so much to the Huw Thatcher Trust and to call Huw their friend, son, brother, cousin, nephew or grandson. Forever proud of Huw xxx