It was the most shocking experience of my life. "When I heard of our son's death I was standing in Richard's brother's house, cleaning up as you do.’The call came early afternoon, I answered the phone, it was his wife, her only words were 'are you alone' I said yes she just said 'Richard is dead' then, it hit me, I screamed and called her a liar then ran franticly around the house not knowing what to do. I ran to the car… kept telling myself it's not true… I get to Carlsberg and ask them to get Richard's dad and brother… but all the time not believing what had happened. We all jump in the car still not wanting to believe a word. We then raced around to tell the family… my mum threw herself on the floor… calling for Richard and yet I stood there not knowing what to do. The media soon put it out on the TV before all the family knew… as we went back home and raced off to Manchester. There was an accident on the way which held us up too."

The situation was made worse by the media, with half the family having to go into overdrive to tell the rest of our nearest and dearest quickly, so they wouldn't find out second hand via the TV and radio who deliver the headlines with speculation showing no regard for our family's feelings, even in the absence of the full facts. Half of our family found out via the media. The drive up to Manchester to see our sons body was hell I kept thinking it's all a lie he's going to phone me in a minute please god don't let it" be" my phone kept ringing I don't want to talk to anyone why are they ringing me I remember the silence between all three of us the cold a disbelieve and denial this is not happening how his dad drove to Manchester I will never know to this day. I was told People had already been on the internet chat sites trying to guess what my son died of and where giving there thoughts which some remarks were not very nice yet some where passing on there sorry it was all to fast and all to quick I couldn't even put the radio on or the T.V I didn't want to believe any of it.

I was trembling and shaking with emotion as the tears were streaming down my cheeks. "The rain was pouring down we all sat in silence on that agonising, long, long drive from Northampton, none of us wanting to believe what had happened. On arrival no one could believe it as the nightmare continued when we went in to see Richard. He lay there, so still, looking so beautiful; my heart was bursting, wishing him to wake up, so perfect he looked.  I kissed his head and told him I loved him, still believing he would wake up any minute. His dad and his brother found it so hard to hold back the tears, his beautiful son and brother to Glenn; they both embraced Richard still not believing what had happened." I noticed he had put the new pyjamas on I had brought him for Christmas a fresh white top with Gray trimmings and Gray trousers.  We fell apart when we saw his lifeless body, our son's normal joking jolly self completely drained away. As a child Richard used to pretend he was dead as a joke, but it really hit us that there was to be no 'just messing about mum, sorry' as our son just 29 years-old slept in peace. Upon arrival at our sons Swinton home, where he had died overnight in his sleep, his clothes and shoes were everywhere strewn over the house his car sat in the drive, but there was no evidence of a break in or suspicious death. It was at this point that reality started to set in. Not wishing to open up the agony for all parties but here is where our grieving process began to be interrupted. Not being classed as the next of kin, due to Richard marrying just seven months earlier, there is 'one step removed' nature to the grieving process for so many parents and siblings under UK law our son was so young he wasn't 50 or 60 he hadn't been married 20 or 30 years like us his parents. With tears streaming down my cheeks to this day when discussing my lovely boy, I try to convey what can best be described as a harrowing journey.'

All of a sudden you realise you have no say in what happens to your son, a part of you for almost three decades, cradle to, well not even grave. No one could give us answers to questions, even at the hospital; all of a sudden we were in a stranger's house, where no one seemed to have the time to answer our questions, it comes across as if they don't care, although they cannot. We hated having to leave our son for one minute but after two days of torment we returned to Northampton still unable to properly grieve.

When our son was moved to Lincoln all three of us stayed in a hotel together for the three weeks just so we could be with Richard, the family followed the day after to stay for a night to say their good buy's to our son but even the funeral arrangements, almost passed us by too" even" down to not being allowed as a mother to have flowers on my son's coffin and as a mother and father not being able to choose the cloths he wore or to be talk about at his private ceremony as a family his child hood and dreams were all dismissed where he came from where he grew up. As a Mother you reach out for your son your heart is wrenched in every direction that maternal instinct moves in more than ever he was our baby our boy we brought him up for 29 years we needed to be close to him touch him kiss him to try and make some sense out of what had happened and every small detail and word that was spoken meant so much to us.


With Richard's 30th Birthday coming up Macclesfield arranged a tribute which coincided with their next home game. The club kindly let off 30 Doves, yet it still seemed to be for someone else as we could not get our heads round what had happened, let alone believe it was our son that had gone" all I could think of is I was meant to be at my sons now with him celebrating this day. Macclesfield were so kind to all the family they looked after us so well.