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Gone but not forgotten - Shaun Flanagan

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Shaun Flanagan - Well what can I say about Shaun?  He was simply my best mate in the whole world ever and losing him in June 2003 to an undetected and completely unexpected heart condition was the biggest trauma of both my his wife Andrea and their children's lives.

Shaun and I did so much together from meeting in 1989 at a Redhill Hotel quiz; he introduced me to rugby league, including the concept of family arguing over Cas matches on the telly (him and his Dad!), which coming from Pontefract was an almost entirely new game to me, trips to Cas matches, loads and loads of quizzes of course and the biggest thing we did together, which was a trip to Dallas, Houston and New Orleans in 1995 to investigate the JFK assassination case and other things.  We had a hire car and one of my abiding memories is of his distrust of my driving, he let me drive the hire car round the car park at a motel on the first night, once and that was it for the whole trip!  I also remember watching the England vs German Euro 96 semi-final at his house in Ferry Fryston, which being a England football fan was a big thing to me and us both being on the floor in despair when Paul Gascoigne's leg wasn't long enough.

Shaun was of course an FTQL day-oner and played in the all-conquering Station team of the early and mid-nineties before moving to play with the Dude Steve Scott's team at the end of his time.  Shaun was only 38 and had just started a new job as an Arriva train driver (previously an Arriva bus driver) and bought a new house when he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on 21.6.03.  I remember those two and a half weeks between his initial problem and final passing just like it was yesterday, every minute.  I haven't worked on 21 June, the day he passed, since and I was even inspired to write the one book that we all supposedly have in us, about that whole experience of losing your best friend young.

Like I said, it was the biggest loss of my life and it was that event that made me realise just what people come to mean to you.  The hole in all our lives is just as big as the day it happened.

Shaun Flanagan - died 21.6.03.

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