GARRY -Gone But Never Forgotten
Most of us will by now be aware of the shock news of the death of our great friend GARRY,known to his family as Dad or Grampa. Our thoughts will obviously be with his family,his loved ones,at such a dreadful time.
Indeed,it is right and fitting.
Like many of us,I only “knew” Garry through CQN,from which this site evolved. And then I met him. In truth,I have met many good and great friends because of that site,and I make no bones about it. Few were just as much on my wavelength as Garry.
That didn’t make me unique-it was impossible to meet the fella and not feel that way. Have a serious conversation with him,he’d be right up for it-then after twenty seconds or so just go “fuxake,who’s round is it?”
Garry was a man who didn’t take life seriously,though that is wrong. He didn’t take his leisure time seriously,he made sure that the important things in his life were looked after. Trivial things,like his four kids,and his grandkids.
You know,the important things.
His love for music was just ridiculous,but it was far exceeded by his love for his family.
And for life.
There are many tales I could tell about my mate,many about his lad Ryan,in whose company he absolutely revelled. Including a wee day of sobriety in Dublin watching Karamoko for the first time. Then getting a few down our neck later on while Ryan was saying-I canny believe that on a dry Good Friday,I’m drinking during my first Ireland match with two guys from,of all places,Kilwinning!
And they’re called Pat and Mick!!!
But the tales if I’m honest are on the quiet side,because Garry wasn’t the type who invited strife. No real tales of heroism and valour here. Been there,done that. Certainly done that.
One of the first times we met up-after plenty of mails or CQN,etc,was on the Valentine’s Day trip to Belfast. I’d screwed up my passport application and had to drive up from Swindon to Cairnryan after a bloody shift! Got a call from our also missed MACANBHEATHA to invite the troops to a blinkin church hall to watch the match-when arrangements were in place to watch it in the town centre.
Sean was never a man for dealing a snider,my Dad was a bit wary,Garry said go for it. As did a good few others. St Matthews,church hall my arse,a bloody enormous place in a Catholic enclave and a pleasure every time we were in it.
But on more personal matters,I’ll never see a certain very strange CD again. But then,I’ll never see my pal again either. Garry is also responsible for me getting kicked out of Wetherspoon for the first time-and that was before noon on a Saturday!
My mate and I had travelled up to Cheltenham to meet him,met him in the pub with his nephew. Ordered up three pints and a J2O for young Chris. Unbelievably,the barman asked for ID-for the J20?!!!
I pointed out it was non-alcoholic,and that the rest of the pub was like a creche,kids everywhere. Chris showed his team photo and squad profile from Dundee United,no good.
Barred. From Wetherspoon. The shame.
Next time I met him in Cheltenham,I asked if everyone with him had proof of ID!
Next time though we arranged to meet in the pub across from the train station. Magic,a couple of beers to catch up and hop on a bus into town for a sesh. Nope,Garry dragged me across to a taxi because his Auntie Eileen has got a family barbecue going,and MAMAW wants to meet you.
Honestly? I was effin furious,selfish b that I am. I only have one day off a week,I rarely get the chance to see my pal-yet I’ve got to go to a bliddy barbecue? Wi strangers? On a sodding Saturday!
What a day that was. Not only were Garry’s English family outstanding-or tolerant-but his Auntie Eileen and I hit it off right away. His WeemawMolly too. Wee Jimmy,about 14yo at the time,who brought his own Jimmy-Wig. As a natural redhead long ago,I just about got away with that. He is now 6’2” and a student in Oxford,winding up the toffs. Plan was that next time I went up to Oxford-oh,always wanted to say that,I’ve gone up to Oxford!-to meet my mates there,I’d get him to join us if he wanted.
That day taught me a lot. Not just about Garry either. His Mum and his Aunt Eileen are both gone,so is Garry. I might have been at the “do” for about seven hours overall,and I enjoyed so much the simple joy of being with Garry and his most important women for about three hours.
Am I rambling? No.I’m not rambling. If you were ever lucky enough to have met Garry,you will know that I’m not rambling. If you were ever lucky to meet his family,you would know where it came from.
If you know his kids,you will know that he has done a fine job.
I could go on and on,but I have two disapproving sisters plus potential lawyers,so I’ll shut up. I’ll leave it for others,though obviously many of you have made your tributes at the time.
Meanwhil,I’ll leave you with GARRY’s opening words to St Peter…
Keep a space for me on that little fluffy cloud,mate. I’ve no plans to join you anytime soon-nae offence-but knowing you,you’ll have a front row seat.
GARRY DUNCAN R I P
Above article barely scratches the surface on my thoughts about GARRY Those of us lucky enough to have met him will understand