Just in case you, my loyal reader, were beginning to think that we had forgotten all about our Ben Hiscox, then think again. It is true that things have gone a little quieter since Ben’s accident and the funeral almost two weeks ago and thank goodness they have. The days following Ben’s passing were frenetic, desperate times when things just wouldn’t slow down. Now things have slowed down a little but no one has forgotten.
For one thing, we have Ben’s tribute match at Bristol Manor Farm on Bank Holiday Monday 4th May, kicking off at 1.0 pm where the home team will be facing Stoke Gifford. Much needed funds will he raised for the family and now that we know for sure that Bristol Rovers play off clash against Forest Green will now be taking place the preceding day, there is no excuse for not attending! And if you can’t attend, there’s no reason why you can’t donate to the fund. There’s no admission charge on the day – people will be able to give what they want and what they can afford because we know that things are tight for many and we want as many people as possible to come along.
I said before that the hosting of the game was a wonderful gesture by Bristol Manor Farm, but this understates their kindness and generosity. It’s far more than a mere gesture: it’s an act of solidarity, it’s trying to somehow make a bad situation better and it’s another reminder that, in this case, we really are in it together for the long haul.
I’ve become very attached to the family in recent times and I know that they are amazed at the incredible reaction from everyone to Ben’s passing. Amazed, overwhelmed at times perhaps but always thankful. I cannot speak, nor would I dream of speaking, on behalf of the family, but I am sure the strength of community has given them the will to carry on. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (yet again!), there are an awful lot of people out there who have tried to take a share of the strain, from those brave village lads who were at Ben’s bedside when he most needed them right through to the organisers for Monday’s game and all points and people in between. Whilst we know who carries the greatest sadness and loss in this tragic episode, it is important we remember that there are others who have shared it and we stand together with them too.
As well as the special tribute game next week, we also have the annual football club dinner which takes place the night before another game. Luckily, the village has a fine tradition of sobriety and I know the lads will all be on the Diet Pepsi throughout the evening. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything!
Life goes on, we know that, but it changes nothing about how we feel about Ben. You might not hear and read so much about him, at least not on social networks, but the chatter within the family, the football club and the pub won’t stop anytime soon.
In the immortal words of the great bard Gary Barlow, never forget! Don’t worry, mate: we won’t.