Jude – Chris was one of my oldest friends. We both grew in Forsbrook. I can’t remember the first time we met but it would have been at Infants School – probably trying to avoid the wrath of Mrs Buchanan for not eating our school dinner! We went all the way through school playing rugby for Blythe Bridge High and testing Johnny Mills’ patience when he was trying to teach us English.
After finishing school we remained good friends – spending many a good night in our local pub ‘The Smithfield’. We travelled far and wide together, down to see Chris at University in Birmingham or to watch Stoke City away from home. There were trips up Hanley and long haul holidays to Spain with the lads from Blythe.
In 1990, with Wilf another old school friend and his mate Rob, we decided to back pack around Europe on the train and ended up island hopping in Greece. One night we ended up with a bunch of other travellers sleeping out on a hard, cold concrete hotel roof in Athens. As always your Dad made the most of the situation and kept us all entertained. Mind you I can’t imagine that hotel would have been high on his list if he ever travelled to Greece later in life though!
As we grew older we saw each other less but always stayed in touch and caught up whenever we could – despite living on the other side of the planet from each other! When we moved to New Zealand your Dad was one of the first to come and visit us. He always made an effort with people and he always enjoyed life to the full. Life was never dull around Chris. I will miss your Dad immensely but he will always be a part of my life and yours.
RIP my friend Chris
Rob Hannaby (Nobby)