Huw Thatcher: always a big brother to Carys as she starts a new stage of her life in Manchester – he would be so proud of her
Last weekend was a big moment for our family, as we took Carys off to Manchester to start there at uni. I couldn’t be prouder of Huw and everything about him. I am just as proud of Carys; despite the life changing events of the last 4 ½ years, she has done very well at school, with her sport, and with all parts of her life.
After losing her best friend and soul mate, and being hurt more than she ever should have been, she has walked her own path when she should have been following in Huw’s footsteps – and is now settling in at Manchester. Huw would have been with us helping her settle in last weekend, and as we left Carys last Sunday, Carys, Jenny and me were struck with that thought more than any other. As Jenny and I walked away people must have looked at us and thought ‘oh those two parents getting emotional about leaving their son and daughter at uni – they’ll get over it’. Some of the emotion was for leaving Carys – but we’ll see her soon and she’ll thrive – and the tears were for Huw who we should have been waving off 12 months ago. Carys is 25 miles away, but Huw is somewhere else – further away – although he is as close to our hearts as ever.
Carys is doing so well – a young lady. For the first time she sometimes seems to me older than Huw – and that’s wrong – he should be older than her. However Carys still looks up to him 4 ½ years later as her big brother – and I love to hear that – he will always be her big brother – he was the man – the real deal.
As one of Carys’s friends’ Mum said to me the other day ‘Carys is amazing’. She always has been and the first 13 ½ years of her life that she spent with Huw, gave her the best start ever.
Back in Holmfirth things have continued to be active with things in Huw’s memory. The final total from the national 3 Peaks challenge was £2,700 which was way more than I thought it would be – but the experience and achievement was worth more. The money is being used as follows:
– £2150 to the Disabilities Trust for projects in Yorkshire and Llanelli (in South Wales);
– £450 to a local project to provide gardening facilities in Holmfirth for disabled people – run by a great local guy called Mark Dickinson who himself knew Huw and had a stroke some years ago. Mark was involved with Hepworth Football Club and I am delighted we are making this donation along with a further £250 to make it £700 for this project; and
– £100 for repair and maintenance to Huw’s bench at Sands and Digley and his web site.
Ryan says ‘I wanted to take the opportunity to continue to raise the profile and raise some funds of an amazing charity in the Huw Thatcher Trust. I had the pleasure of teaching Huw in my early days at Holmfirth High School he was one of the most kind hearted and talented students who was the captain of the first ever school side I coached. His legacy and memory is now firmly embedded into the school community and none more so than in the PE department where our students walk past his signed shirt hanging with pride on the PE corridor on a daily basis, inspiring the youngsters of the future’.
That’s a wonderful tribute from ‘Blez’. Huw was incredibly proud to captain the school football team but as Blez points out there was more to Huw than leading his peers on the football pitch – a kind hearted and talented young guy – now inspiring the youngsters of the future. Thank you Blez, it means a lot you’re doing this and if anyone wants to sponsor Ryan they can do so on his just giving page here.
Finally, I want to say good luck to Abby Sanderson, Huw’s friend who is running the Yorkshire Marathon on 11th October for ‘Beat Ovarian Cancer’ and the ‘Huw Thatcher Trust’. Abby is a footballer and keen sportswoman and a great role model for young women in sport and sport in general – well done Abby.
Loving you forever Huw – your family and friends will never forget – never stop missing you. #always a big brother xxx