On 14th January 2017, our much loved son Chris tragically lost his life to a brain tumour, at just 26 years old.
Chris had always been a beautiful boy, with a calm temperament and happy nature. He was born with a complex heart condition which needed to be corrected by extensive surgery. Chris came through that, proving to be a fighter from the start, a characteristic that stayed with him. He faced a number of further challenges over the years which he always met with a positive attitude, determined not to let anything hold him back.
From a very young age Chris developed a love of football and found every opportunity to kick a ball around. He became a dedicated Arsenal supporter, going to all their home matches from the age of six and travelling to away games as he got older. As a teenager, Chris began coaching local youngsters at a community football group run by Upminster Baptist Church. He then went on to join the Arsenal Gap Year Programme, where he developed his coaching skills further, working with children of all ages and abilities. Chris spent two months coaching in different areas of Greece as part of this programme, which led on to him securing his first coaching job in the United States, where he was based in Chicago.
Chris loved everything about life in America; the job, the enthusiasm of the children, the coaches and club members, the sunshine, the sports, the fast food and living with the host families. He returned to the States for a further six years, travelling to many different parts, and whilst we always missed having him here with us, we knew that it was right for Chris and made him happy, as we wanted him to be.
Chris has always been much loved by his family; a thoughtful and caring son, brother and grandson, who got on with everyone and developed many close friendships over the years, both here and in the States. Although Chris has always been special to us, we never fully realised the positive impact that he has had on the lives of so many and how much love and respect people have for him.
We have been fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity, in Chris’ memory, over the past three years and will continue to do so in the hope of improving outcomes for others. We are truly grateful for the incredible support and generosity that we receive from family and friends.
Losing Chris has been so hard for everyone who knew him. You will always be loved Chris, kept safe in our hearts and still very much a part of everything we do.