I knew Tommy a little over the years but only spent time with him really in Tokyo last year when everyone else had departed after the Rugby World Cup. This circumstance was sadly in a hospital ward with, by then, few other visitors.
I was glad and pleased I was available to go in as much as I could. There were many hours spent, and, in lucid moments, tales told of his adventures and laughs in other far flung places. These usually related of course to following a team in green, of all codes and genders.
One funny story I recall off hand, and everyone that knew him has one I am sure, was when he blagged his way into the Irish women’s cricket team’s hotel bar in Bangladesh, the only place open, by claiming he was their ‘physio’!
With his banter and antics he made all the staff in the hospital laugh too. They were very fond of him and he was the ‘celebrity’ on the floor. We parted during that particular journey, his journey of recovery, with a “See you in London”. Sadly that journey didn’t end and there will never now be a ‘see’ in London.
As the often quoted saying goes, but the exception is so true in Tommy’s case,
‘Everyone dies but not everyone really lives’
Don’t forget your green jacket!
(RISSC London Member)