“Although this is just a glass, it represents something quite important to me, something which I think about every day and defines me as a person. I took my Journalism degree in Liverpool John Moores University and became friends with a great bunch of lads, including Neil. Neil was a lovely guy, really kind, generous and funny; an effervescent character who was always the life and soul. At the end of the second year, he died suddenly from an un-diagnosed epileptic condition.
Graduation day was very emotional, a mixture of pride in what we had achieved whilst feeling like there was an absent guest. Neil’s parents were at the ceremony where he was awarded a posthumous honour by the University, after which his parents presented his closest friends with one of these tumblers.
I’m not a person who is big on possessions, yet it is the one thing I have kept over the years as it is the one thing I have which helps me remember a friend who would have been a success in life no matter what path he took.
I’m a very positive person, and whenever anything bad happens I try and take a positive thing out of it. Up until Neil’s death, I was someone who trundled along with the flow, but his death taught me that life can be up at any time and should be embraced and grabbed with both hands…”