Thursday, 24 March 2011

A tribute to a friend

Sometimes we get wound up with our interests and viewpoints that we let big things pass us by.

Just that has happened to me today.

In getting wound up about political matters in the Coalville Times I missed something altogether more poignant, and for that matter, important.

I didn't notice that in the obituaries that an old schoolfriend has passed away.

My earliest memories of  Adrian Coombs was when we started primary school together back in the late 1970's.

It's fair to say that in those dim and distant memories Adrian was never one of the 'cool' kids, but then neither was I.

More important than being cool Adrian was kind and warm-hearted more so, looking back, than any of the in-crowd ever were.

I left Thringstone primary school after four years to move to a different school, although I continued to live in the same village. As is often the case in those awkward early years when you leave school you lose touch with classmates and that is exactly what happened with the vast majority of children I had previously spent lessons and lunchtimes with.

With Adrian, however, it was different. Although I didn't see him every day, or even once a month for that matter, when I did come across Adrian he was always genuinely interested in what I was up to - I'm sure he was like that with everyone.

As we grew up our paths crossed less and less but on the rare occassions we saw each other Adrian always demonstrated, to me at least, the kindness of spirit that he always had.

A few years ago I heard that Adrian had had some major health difficulties and had moved back to the area. As a result I started encountering him in and around Coalville increasingly frequently.

Adrian was a regular visitor to where I work and our brief chats had become more frequent (until recent weeks). Every time I spoke with him Adrian continued to show his lifelong interest in others but at the same time he coudn't help but be effusive about his fantastic family, particularly his young daughter, regularly giving me updates.

We never went out for nights out together, or to the football, or anywhere for that matter but from those formative years I have no hesitation in saying that Adrian was my friend. I will miss him.

My thoughts go out to his family.


  1. hi leon i am adrian's niece,
    me and his mam and dad and the rest of the family would like to thank you for your tribute to adrian it was very nice of you,
    thank you,

  2. It's a pleasure. Adrian was a lovely bloke. It was a privilege to know him.

    I hope all of your family are doing as well as you can through such a difficult time.