When Dad used to laugh and smile it meant that he was content. When he was with friends and family, you know he was the most relaxed and anything he had on his mind on or off the pitch, wasn’t bothering him.
If it wasn’t a problem to him, it meant no problem to us and the time he did have with us, we can enjoy, especially when he was smiling and laughing.
I was always proud of Dad in everything he did and he used to tell me: ‘Do your best at everything and anything’. He set a great example for Tommy, Mum and myself on and off the pitch.
What Dad achieved as a footballer for club and country throughout his career is something I think about every day and every time I watch football. To play with and against the top players makes us as a family so proud and honoured.
Once he knew he had to retire, his passion was always to give back. He wanted to help progress teams and players, using the experience he had while playing and what he learned from the high-profile managers he played under.
I couldn’t be prouder of my Dad for everything he gave to football, managing and our family
Dad set a great example for Tommy (left), Mum (middle) and myself (right) on and off the pitch
He always had that influential character and personality, therefore management after his playing career was inevitable.
As Dad was so busy on and off the pitch and in and out of the office while managing, life was hard for him to make time to spend time with us, which is what he always wanted.
Dad would never miss the opportunity to take me to footie training and matches at Wrexham F.C and he’d always do the same with Tommy and his boxing and football.
I couldn’t be prouder of him as a footballer, manager and a father because he gave everything to football, managing and us.
Life without a father is always going to be difficult. It’s been hard that someone that gave everything to us is not there. We relied on him for everything and he knew that. Dad took great care of Grandma and Grandad too.
He was the figure that we saw and made us knew everything was going to be alright. To then not have that sense of security and that loving family character anymore, it has made a big impact on all of us over the last 10 years.
I couldn’t be prouder of him as a footballer, manager and a father (pictured left with David Batty after winning the old Football League Division One trophy in 1992)
There are many times where I just want to look at the phone and see Dad, then I’ll think to myself….’Ah I’m busy right now I’ll text him’.
Or if I’m playing a game in the US, which is where I am based right now, I could send him the link, he could watch it and we’d speak about how I played or what I did good or what I could have done better.
I am also still on the path of following my father in his footsteps. I’m 24 now with not one single professional appearance. If he was here for me, he would do anything in his power in order to get me that opportunity, knowing I’m going to give my 100 per cent effort towards it.
Not having him here does make you have to man up and step up, both for yourself and for our family. Every day I think about Dad, which I feel is so important but it’s not as much about his death and the way he left us.
I do think about that but it’s more about the good times I had with him. Our one-on-one days out to go and watch the football, dressing smart, then a game the next day with Wrexham F.C.
He always had that influential character and personality both as a player and then a manager
I always think about when he played or when he managed and how highly he spoke of players he played with and managed.
I know how proud he would be of me and Tommy, how much we’ve grown maturely and how we both look like him and have similar characteristics to him.
Yes, I think about him every day but that is why we work hard every single day. Whether it’s our school work, work in general, our efforts on and off the pitch and in the gym.
A big thing for me, which he would want most, is to have the respect and the manners to show to people who we meet. Always being polite and always having a smile on your face when you’re speaking to someone, is what he’d be most proud of. It’s the little things that help us carry on and move forward in life.
Mum is our rock. As much as she probably thinks she hasn’t been, she has done so much for me and my brother. Mum was so strong for us, she became the role model.
She makes me think: ‘Right, look how strong mum has been through this’. Her efforts to cope and come through is the reason me and Tommy are walking out of the United States with Bachelor Degrees.
I know how proud he would be of us, how we’ve grown maturely and how we both look like him
Being able to handle supporting me and Tommy with our school and our sports and to give us that opportunity to carry on after Dad’s passing, we are so proud.
To say someone is a great person whether it’s your father, your friend, your brother or your mother, it’s always great to hear.
I feel like this world is losing good people and to go through everyday life being a great person and treating other people with respect, no matter what they do is so important. It doesn’t surprise me to hear people say that Dad was a great person because he had great values.
Anything that I would do, which was wrong, he’d let me know and ensure I did it the right way next time.