Life extracts I feel like writing.

Jay Ford #21

Over the past week and a half I’ve been distracting myself as much as possible with extra work at the Olympics and generally just trying to keep myself away from home, trying to not think about Jay.

The whole of today[10/08/2012] however has been devoted to his memory, consumed with his funeral, wake, and time reminiscing with friends, so I thought I’d continue that and pen some thoughts, memories, and a sort-of eulogy on here…

There are so many things that I want to say, so many anecdotes and funny memories that are probably worth sharing, I just don’t really know where to start. So, I guess, if we go from when I first met Jay:

Heavens Gate 2 day tournament down at the field of dreams near Reading, I was discovered passed out, lying next to a log in the middle of the car park and tents. Jay and Pete Bourne stumbled across me on their way to fetch more cider in the early hours of the morning. The only thing I remember was that I was bundled into the Cartel Survival Pod (Jay’s mum’s KA) and told that they’d be back to check on me in a bit after they’d found more cider, the only instruction was that under no circumstances was I to open the glove box and look at what was inside. It was a pretty fucking cold night and I’m pretty sure that if I’d stayed where I was, I wouldn’t have been well in the morning (as it happened I wasn’t well in the morning, but that was the alcohol and not hypothermia). We talked about it numerous times since, but Jay never could remember what it was that was in the glove box…

In the years that followed I could regale numerous stories of where he put my life in danger – probably to make up for helping me out on that night. One of my favourite is when we were in America driving around California. Jay always struggled with his lefts and rights, and so if the concept of driving on the opposite side of the road wasn’t confusing enough, once you added directions into the situation and tried to follow a tiny free map from the car hire company, it produced some situations that in hindsight are pretty funny. The worst occasion was when we ended up the wrong side of a 4 lane dual carriageway with a large central reservation and a few lorries hurtling towards us. A super quick turn into a McDonalds drive thru where we narrowly missed taking out the wall, also saw us narrowly avoid being cleared completely off the road by a massive truck that had no intention of slowing down for the confused on-coming tourists. We parked up and Jay casually got out and declared that he’s glad we ended up there as he wanted some Mountain Dew…

Jay has done so much for me over the years, whether it was helping me out in sports or just generally introducing me to some other great friends. I would never have gotten onto Tigers, met Tommie or Dicky… etc, without knowing Jay first. To be honest, I’d have probably gotten bored of paintball a few years ago if it wasn’t for him – though some may argue that that may have been for the better, certainly my wallet would.

Jay had such passion for paintball that it was truly infectious. Those that played around him played better for it, he inspired confidence in your own game, and also a willingness to train harder and achieve your potential. He was almost always the first to arrive for training, and the last to leave the field. I wont repeat Jay’s step-dad’s eulogy, but he went into more detail about his animus and talked about his dedication and drive to compete at the highest level right upto his retirement for health reasons after the London Masters.

Jay probably wound up a lot more people off than he made friends with(judging by the size of the turnout at the service on Friday, that’s a LOT of pissed off people) due to his wickedly dark humour and the great enjoyment he received from mugging people off. He could quite easily turn from being your best friend one minute to being your worst enemy the next, he had quite a short fuse and at times could really throw his toys out of the pram. I do however feel privileged to say that I obviously must’ve been a close friend based on the things that he shared with me, and that means quite a lot…

So yeah, I’ve rambled quite a bit, and would happily tell so many more stories, but now all I want to do is go and drink some more cider. Jay said that I was like a shit younger version of himself and I only hope that I can somewhat live upto that. I’ll be raising another glass in Jay’s honour tonight, he was one fucking amazing cunning urban fox, an absolute muggy cunt at times, but a great friend. You will be sorely missed mate, and it’ll take us all some time to get over this.

He was JF21.


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