Growing up as children, most peoples idols are famous sports stars, actors/actresses, authors or someone famous from a range of backgrounds, but what impact do those idols truly have?

How often do those idols be more than simply just someone you admire but actually won’t have a huge impact on your life? Someone who has a regular impact on your life? Someone who can support your journey and life’s goals?

Granted, my idols growing up until the age of around 12/13 were Simon Shaw (England Rugby Second Row) , Lewis Moody (England Rugby Back Row) and finally Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons Back Row), but how many of those 3 did I actually meet or spend time with regularly to where it shaped my personal game in rugby? Bar Dowson, I never met the other 2 and only spoke to Dowson for 2 minutes at a Falcons game.

Great people to admire, but not people who on reflection shaped my life in any way too great. As many people will know, my idol was my Grandfather. Someone who I believe shaped my view on what a “good man” should be. Someone who had a regular impact on my life, but also someone who would tell me if I was out of order in the way I acted.

In my opinion, idols should be someone who can have a true impact on your life rather than just someone who you admire for their craft or talent. My grandad was not someone who was overly talented in any sport or craft, but he was the sort of person who found a way to make things happen and to mend things which shouldn’t be able to be fixed!

Ultimately, he was a good man. Someone who no-one could ever say a bad word about when he left us just over 3 years ago. Even to this day, the lessons he taught me, I follow and will always follow.

I just want to end this post by adding in the poem I wrote for his funeral. It explains why he was my idol as such and why I will forever be in debt to the life lessons he gave me.

This post is rather dismissive to current society admittedly in terms of looking up to someone famous but in my view, life isn’t about the famous ones who you admire, but it’s about taking the lessons from those who truly care about you and will support you!

He wouldn’t want us to be down at this sad time,

so listen up, have a drop of whiskey, or a glass of wine

he put a smile on my face that no one else could

he taught me how to act, just like a good man should

he led his life working hard with self dignity

he loved his family, with nan he had a true affinity

his passion was horses and craftsmanship

he gave us all smiles with his subtle wit

he would thankyou all for coming today

remember him in your own special way

so I say goodbye to you for today but not forever

thank you grandad, you truly made my life better

Until next time,

Thankyou as always