We would like to thank all at the Paragon Water Polo Club of Newcastle-under-Lyme for hosting a tribute match in Ross's
memory as their annual social gathering between Christmas and New Year. The game was between the current first team and the
'Legends'; i.e. a collection of guys who have previously played at Paragon. There was a great turn out, the evening was a
tremendous success and a great tribute to Ross. A number of people at the pub after the match commented that it was one of
the best nights that the club has ever staged. The end result of the match was Parogon 5 : Legends 7 but the best part was
that everyone was there to celebrate Ross's achievements and his life.
I wanted to write something but have never met Kate or your parents so didn't know what to say to them.
So I though an E-mail.
What a bugger. Shit man, a real shock. It was great Knowing you.
would have been great to see how your life worked out.
Always wanted to see how your great plans for the House
worked out in
Anyway. Just wanted to say Good bye in my own way. The others
here are saddened and shocked by the news. We all have Happy memories. We want to wish Kate Happiness and the best for the
Rest Peacefully (Unless they have Windsurfing - Then GO HUGE)
Bye for now
I took great pleasure in recounting our adventures during the summer of 2001 to my wife. I will remember him as a
happy loving man, larger than life yet wonderfully humble.
He was clearly a remarkable
person and had a major effect on many people’s lives.
was a lovely guy
I will always remember Ross telling me a story of going wind surfing near
in high winds.
was a genuinely nice guy. That's as good as you can get.
was a fantastic guy - words fail to do him justice.
for a fresh sea breeze and a two miter swell.
remember Ross well from our days together at
you for the website photos of him - I have just been looking at them and remembering.
the news even in
I remember how
happy you both were
last met Ross about 18 months ago when he was in Musgrove doing a locum as a SpR in anaesthetics and we did a day case laparoscopic
hernia list together on a Friday morning - he was his usual cheerful self and he was chatting all about what he'd been
doing and how much he was enjoying anaesthetics and what he was planning for the future.
My very first
and fond memories of you and Ross were meeting you both at Szu’s house, had a great time talking and getting to know
you both. The other fond memory of Ross would be the photo of him showing his nipple at the ball, stuck on Szu’s house
under the stairs. Always cracks me up and gets my attention ever time I go over there
I remember seeing Ross
a couple of months ago. He had just started riding into to work and was full of the joys of recent windsurfing trips!
was a great bloke, a joy to work with and will be missed. My thoughts will be with him.
There must have been something very special between you two, making a fresh relationship
work when in opposite parts of the world!
a wonderful man and the messages about you are heart touching and filled with warmth.
Ross has changed
my life and although I would never have admitted it to him was a constant inspiration to me. He upheld many of the same life
values I do and he will inspire me to continue getting out there and getting stuck in - hopefully in a boyish and not taking
life too seriously manner.
you and of Ross.
became like a second home to us (complete with computer corner!) whilst we were travelling
- He had a unique ability to make friends feel so relaxed.
We will remember Ross - as always smiling, fun loving, ready to chat and share his lovely stories
- and someone who enjoyed life to the full - he loved
a great friend who I always envied for seeing the lighter side of every situation. I lived with Ross for 6 months out of medical
school and truly valued his friendship since that time. We enjoyed many a ski trip and drinking session together and I will
miss him dearly.
vibrant and special life it was!
sure my impression of Ross cannot do him
but I think I will remember him as an action man in long shorts and glasses and always with a large smile on his face.
I feel his death has cheated many of us of getting to know him more
so sorry that all the wonderful energy and cheerfulness of Ross has been lost to this world.
My eyes are weeping
like a girl, yet I'm smiling...only Ross could do that. He lives on in everything he did.
was clear he was the right kinda bloke.
really show what a great guy he was
I will always remember that time we spent in St Anton with you
It was the most fantastic holiday ever... Learning how to ski. I
remember he was always fun and encouraging despite my complete
lack of talent on the slopes. What I remember most is those boys and
their walkie-talkies! They did enjoy them. And the après ski with rum
and hot chocolate. And of course who can forget our great disco on the
slopes: Mooserwitz! Then it was so good to catch up with you 2 again in
at Carolyn and Anton's wedding.
From reading the website, he
sounds like a great guy.
I was remembering
our time at Frenchay doing A&E when Ross used to come down when he was on-call (for orthopaedics I think?) and you two
would have a flirt and chat. The beginning of 7 very happy years for you. The website is a fitting tribute to him and definitely
shows what an amazing guy he was.
I have this wonderful picture
of Ross in my head of him riding that huge draft horse clomping away a mile behind us with a big grin on his face, just having
a great time and happily plodding along. He was such a happy guy
we were lucky
enough to have shared in Ross' life, even if it was far too short.
He really impressed
us with his energy and enthusiasm. . Ross was clearly such a special person.
I am putting a windsurfing photo of him in the back of my van so he will still get
to come to the beach in spirit.
One for Kate on behalf of
Ross and I met at Brandon
Bay in Ireland. I got out my old van slightly weary after the drive, he was bouncing outside the cottage we were all renting.
I was examining the sky critically, being too aware of the flat forecast. Ross was jumping about in excitement: his Kate was
due to arrive in two days. You had to love that boy. Kate got there on the eve of the first windy day in about a week. You
had to love that girl. You could feel the fire. On the way to the pub Ross says he can sense a big night out coming. Mind
the forecast mate, says I. (How calculating can some people be?) Someone has to sacrifice himself and the wind will come,
he replies. He did not quite miss out on the next day: he went for a surf in his boardies to shake off the hangover. We’re
talking October in Ireland, right?
A year flies past and I am
talking to Ross on our porch in Perth. Kate approaches us laughing: “that’s all you boys ever talk about: sex,
sex, sex”. We roar. One of us has been going on about carbon, isobars and curling lips. The other about his girlfriend’s
exams, interview and future plans. The next day we score a great session at Point Moore, stay the night in the Geraldton Backpackers
and after a quick session he returns to Kate in Perth. I go on.
In February I am back in
the UK, suffering badly from hypothermia and lack of daylight. Every time I bump into Ross at work, and that’s nearly
every day because of his omnipresence, he drags my secret memories of the spots out of me. I am reluctant but he insists.
The sunrays of my memories bounce back off him and I bask in them, grateful for the brief escapes. He is the younger brother
telling me how to live. He tells me about arranging himself a fellowship in Birmingham. “You must be kidding mate, why
not go somewhere warm and windy?” I say. “I can’t leave Kate here and go to back to WA, can I?” replies
Ross. “Yes you can, we’ll look after her for you.” “I
know you would, That’s why I’m not leaving” ... mad laughter …
I know he was thinking of
her when it happened. It wasn’t the way or time to go but at least he left us smiling, thinking of the greatest love
of his life, happy …
For jam jar glasses,
For Guns n' Roses style leather jackets,
For a floor littered
in toilet roll that you dare not go near,
For blackcurrant and soda,
For Stirling Lager,
For Christmas dinners
in Collingwood Road,
For beers in the White Bear, the White Hart and Churchill Bar (to name just a few),
foot and clean,
For secret spots,
For Big Thursday and the Bear's prophecy,
For waiting out back at Hossegor,
Hell's Mouth, Croyde, Saunton and Putz,
For no fakies (and no notice),
For table dancing at the Krazy Kanguruh,
days in the park, nailing those jumps,
For fresh tracks in Val, Les Arcs, St Anton, Steamboat and Lake Louise,
"you're more of a bitch than a bitch" and 'squeal little piggy',
For the wookie defence,
For uncontrollable, inane,
For being so much fun, in the sea, on land and in the snow,
For being a fantastic friend,
For all these memories and hundreds more, thank you Ross.
We'll never forget you.
Andy & Alison
Boys and Their Toys
- Road Tripping with Ross
Friday night and a fleet of vehicles (mainly VW van driven by supposed
men and containing large amounts of very overpriced objects made of epoxy, carbon, neoprene and aluminum - a.k.a. “boys
with toys”) converges on a predetermined location – maybe North Wales, Swansea ferry port, Cornwall, Geraldton,
I go downstairs on what seems early on the morning of our first day. I’m
not surprised to find that Ross has already been up for a while. Fresh bread has miraculously appeared.
Ross: “Sleep alright?”
James: I nod.
Ross: “Looking good. 20knots south-westerly.
Rhosneigr I reckon.
But you know
it’s swinging North-Westerly on Thursday –
might be good
in Hells Mouth. I’ve always wanted to sail there”
Ross: “Bacon sandwich?”
James: (Not yet really spoken – still gradually waking up) “Sounds great.”
A cup of tea appears in my hand and I watch as the sandwich is meticulously
prepared (years of experience!). As he lays some rashers under the grill I can’t help but notice the vast pile of bacon
that Ross has bought for us for the next few days. For the cordon bleu touch, the finest cheddar cheese goes into the microwave
to be melted before it is carefully layered over the bacon. I idly wonder what he did in the pre-microwave days.
A bit of tomato ketchup and the ‘Bacon Sandwichs à la Davis’
go down the hatch a treat .
After prolonged debate and after consulting by the latest offerings from
Windguru, Magicseaweed.co.uk, BBC Weather and Met Office, the convoy of VW vans heads off to a suitably windy beach from which
We debate again. “ 5.4 or 5.0 , maybe 6.0 - but what if it picks
up? Magicseaweed.co.uk said it would drop but BBC said it might pick up first.” We rig hurriedly. A guinea pig ventures
out successfully. “Phew! We’ve chosen the rig size.”
We rip. Forward loops, back-loops, shaka-McFlakas………..you
name it. At the end of an exhausting day on the water cold beers appear out of the mini portable fridge in the cherry red
Rossmobile. We congratulate each other on our exploits and look around at the beautiful coastline. The fresh air blows through
our salty hair air and whilst we may have been gritting our teeth at work in the previous weeks, we remember how lucky we
are to be alive.
OK, so maybe ‘ripping’ over exaggerates our expertise a little
bit and maybe some of the forwards were catapults. Last month Ross, Matt and I spent a week in North Wales staying in the
Davis family cottage in Criccieth. We lucked out and had a couple of brilliant days mountain biking in Snowdonia before a
low pressure system trundled through to give us all the wind and waves we could hope for. Our first sail was off Black Rock
Sands in the evening when a brisk wind came through late. As the light faded we sailed with the sun setting out to sea and
Snowdonia’s hills behind the dunes in the distance. Ross was on a bit of a mission. Our great friend Mark had recently
learned to forward loop. Spurred on by the thought that Westwood could loop,
Ross was now going to jolly well learn too (“friendly rivalry!”).
Now, years of mental preparation and rehearsal are required to ready oneself
prior to the business of forward looping. You first learn to do the move in your sleep. Eventually you then venture on to
the water to learn the high speed catapult with face plant (painful!) prior to the high speed catapult with back slap (you
know you’re getting there, but large and vital areas of your body are black and blue by this stage) prior to finally
perfecting the forward loop. Gee’ed up by Westwood’s success and with my encouragement (sorry Ross’s mum!)
Ross attacked the first practical stage of the on-water process with gusto. As the sun headed lower I watched with a mixture
of trepidation and hilarity as he repeatedly face-planted in a spray of white water. He never got to finish the process because
the following days were super-windy and the conditions weren’t right.
It’s the evening of our first day.
Ross: “What do you want for supper? Shall I make my usual?
Mozzarella and parmesan
On our trips we like our carb loading so the old favorites always come
up. In the stone cottage in Criccieth we took turns to produce the dishes that
we’ve individually perfected over time: Ross’s pasta bake (excellent with a bit of brown sauce!), Matt’s Toad in the Hole, my Chicken, Crème Fraîche & Pasta. The excellent local fish ‘n’
chip shop spared us from moving on to a second round of home-prepared cooking. Ross had been eager to stun us with his chicken
with Campell’s Condensed Soup on pasta dish which, if my memory serves me correctly, Kate had banned him cooking in
her presence! Amazingly, considering I lived with Ross in Australia, and how many times he talked about it, I never tried
Morning of the sixth day. Ross has already been up for a while. Fresh
bread has miraculously appeared.
Ross: “Winds northerly……….”
I feel very guilty because I know that he just won’t be able to
empathize with how I feel but I have to break the bad news. The very holy Bacon Sandwich à la Davis is indeed a wonderful
But for the sixth day in a row?
James: “Ross, I’m sorry mate but I just can’t eat anymore pig!”.
Ross furrows his brow in surprise at that the thought that man cannot
live by bacon sandwich alone. I have cornflakes as Ross munches another hallowed B.S. à la D.
The last afternoon we spent together was windsurfing at Rhosneigr on Anglesey.
The storm had stirred up the sea and we spent hours sailing out through lines of rolling swell, loosing sight of each other
in the troughs and gibing off the peaks. A great memory. Ross never got to sail
Hell’s Mouth as the wind direction was unfavourable.
Most of the recent time I have spent with Ross has been on trips like
this – usually doing something active like windsurfing or mountain-biking - so I’m not qualified to talk about
the work side of his life. However he’s most definitely not just a boy with toys. Many have him to thank for helping
them out in life, notably supporting those at work over the hurdles of exams and interviews. They will doubtless come forward
with their stories. He was an exceptional person in his positive approach and enthusiasm for all aspects of life yet in spite
of this he always remained ego-less and modest. To me he has been and will always be an inspiration for those reasons.
Ross, you always put a smile on my face and I am very lucky to have had
you as one of my closest friends. We won’t forget you and you will ride with us always on the oceans and in the mountains.
Life without you will not be the same and our thoughts are above all with Kate and your family.
sure everyone looking at this website will share my sentiments of being absolutely gutted hearing the awful news about Ross.
Ross was a great bloke, a true friend and I’ll miss him enormously.
first met Ross at Bristol - we were studying medicine together and I shared a student house with him for 4 years; he was one
of my closest friends. My memories of Ross are all happy – always smiling and laughing (showing off those rather large
disgusting tonsils) as he was frequently up to some form of mischief!
had great times in our student house – the combination of the roguish trio (Ross, Vik and Simon), several outrageous
vets (no names mentioned for legal reasons!), a few beautiful babes (I’m talking about the girls!), a massive sense
of humour and obviously copious quantities of alcohol was a great recipe for great fun and good times. It was a student life
that couldn’t have been better.
from our silly banter and frequent hilarious antics Ross also knew when supportive friendship was required. I’ll never
forget his great support through medical finals and Ross came to my rescue with the perfect solution for winding down after
a hard day of exams: fine whiskey! None of this cheap blended malt rubbish, he reliably informed me! Ross had a superb supply
of fine whiskeys – which, as you can imagine, he was extremely proud of and only too willing to share. We spent late
evenings drinking whiskey and chatting about anything and everything except medicine to de-stress during our medical finals.
I shall always remember Ross’ kindness to me at that time.
University I met up with Ross on several occasions - it would only take a few milliseconds to start our usual banter with
one another. He took great delight in telling me about the latest windsurfing trick he’d managed to pull off knowing
full well I’d later try to copy him and regret it!
so much to Vik for setting up this website.
I have so
many happy memories of Ross. He had such an enthusiasm for life and so many endearing qualities. He loved his many hobbies
and sports and I cannot remember him being downbeat about anything for long.
I was lucky
enough to have Ross as a work colleague for several years. The 6 months we spent together in A&E, more so than any other
job before or since there was a great sense of camaraderie. I can remember having water fights when it was quiet and coming
back to see our work colleagues who were on at 2am on a Saturday night. Half way through this job we managed to ‘kidnap’
the departments mascot which was a duck. We then sent a ransom note with cut out letters demanding that the (male) lead consultant
met our demands turning up on a high street corner wearing a yellow dress and red rose to deliver the £5 ransom fee. This
prank gradually took on a life of it’s own with the porters sending pieces of stuffed animals as the unrealistic demands
increased. Ross could be filled with mischievousness but he also had great capacity for compassion and kindness. He always
had time for friends and was always so pleased to see you. He was one of those true friends who you may not see for several
months, but when you did meet up it was as if no time had passed.
I were sharing the vascular job as SHOs when I met my wife Caroline and we had many great times together whether it was at
work, out in town or at home savoring his splendid lasagne or chicken and mushroom soup extravaganza. He was always cheerful
at work and a pleasure to spend time with him. When Caroline and I got married Ross was in Australia and unable to come, but
he took the time to select a case of wine to give to us as a gift before he left. He
was so pleased to be able to give us this gift. He always very generous.
gave a different perspective on things and could always lighten the mood of a conversation. I can remember saying to him that
he should invest in such and such and he replied that he had his off-shore investments; meaning his wind-surfing equipment!
us to lots of new things in life including new wines, malt whiskies and enthusiasms for varied sport, including kite flying!
Now that he is gone we will endeavor to appreciate life more and savor the moments. These were attributes that came so naturally
and easily to Ross. We will miss him very much.
I went to university
with Ross and was in the same block in Halls. He played a big part in some of the best times of my life as he did in the lives
of many others. My most intense memory of him is his incredible smile. A smile that was usually followed by what can only
be described as a filthy giggle. I looked through my photos today and smiled at the memories. Like the time we had a fetish
party and Ross, for reasons known only to himself, came dressed as our friend Jon complete with the paunch that he loved to
get at Jon for developing, and the time that Jon, Vik and I tried, for some unexplained reason, to sleep under the Clifton
suspension bridge overnight. By about 1am, having run out of beer and tins of
beans, we were so cold and miserable that we had to ring Ross to come and rescue us. The list goes on…
My husband, Mark,
has never met Ross but is a keen windsurfer. When he saw the website he said that Ross looked like someone who had an enormous
enthusiasm for life and lived it to the full. I know they would have got on.
I am rubbish at keeping
in touch with people and have not seen Ross for some time. For this I will always be sorry. I am devastated he’s gone
and cannot comprehend what his family and Kate must be going through. My heart is with them. Ross will be sorely missed but
very dearly remembered.
We were all shocked and saddened to hear the news. The
last time I saw
Ross was at Vik's stag weekend in Exeter. It was amazing how easily we
slipped into the old ways.
had a great sense of humour and always escalated things to the
limit (and sometimes beyond). I enjoyed playing a game
of Vikaroo with
Ross; a version of Buckaroo that involved us balancing objects on a
passed out Vik's head. The food
fight that followed ended when Ross
decided to throw an entire cheese
cake at Vik. Up until that point we
had all been politely throwing small pieces of bread.
of pushing the boundaries is my abiding memory of Ross. I
particularly remember one incident during the great West
Waters Wars of 1993 when I arrived at the front door of
Collingwood Road with my pathetically small water pistol only
to have an
entire dustbin of water emptied over my head. I looked up to see Ross
and the gang standing on the roof,
cackling loudly the only way Ross
Ross, thanks for all the special memories at Bristol. The West
posse met up for a few beers the other night (Will, Andy, Chris, Taff)
and we all raised a glass to your memory.