Ian McNally

Hi Jude, like a few of your Dad’s good mates I was lucky enough to meet him at Aston University in September 1988. I’ve spent a few hours over the past few weeks looking back over old photos and some more recent photos which remind me of all of the fun that we have shared as a group ever since.
Our group just sort of happened – a bunch of like minded lads who liked a bit of football (which we were average at) and celebrating afterwards (which we excelled at). If you liked a laugh and you could put up with the endless repetitive ‘in’ jokes and could give and receive merciless character assassination in equal measure then you were ‘in’. I’m pleased to say that this has changed very little over the years. It was clear even during those early days that your Dad was someone special – he did an Engineering Course that meant over 30 hours of lectures per week whereas most of the rest of us did courses with about 10-15 hours per week. I remember joking with him that it was like having a full time job.
During these years and in the years after we had left Aston we did much the same thing, only in much nicer locations. When we left Aston your Dad and I worked for the same organisation (the sensible picture in those attached) – your Dad working for BOC Gases and me for BOC Distribution Services. This meant that we could earn a bit of money and enjoy a bit of travel. Some of the pictures attached show some of the many holidays and stag do’s that we all attended – always great fun with your Dad at the centre of making everyone laugh.
There is also some pictures of a great trip that we went on to Malaysia and Bali with Martin Smith and Julian Pidcock in 1998. I love the picture of your Dad ‘playing’ lead guitar for an Elvis tribute band that we went to see a few times when we were in Bali – but then your Dad has made a habit of making good friends with people all over the world. He had that effect on people – always bringing a smile to peoples faces and endearing himself to them through his honesty and generosity.
As well all got a bit older and marriage and children came along we still kept in touch, meeting up on a regular basis to catch up and share stories. I love the fact that although your Dad had an important job and obviously had to deal with some big-hitters around the world he still always greeted you with a Stokie ‘Alright Youth!’ which was enough for me to know that he was still the same Chris and that is why we all loved him.
Make sure that you and your Mum take good care of each other, lots of love from Maccy, Tracy, Ava and Ellis

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