Remembering Grandad - Roy Williams (1932 – 2011) / by Darren Williams

Nan and Grandad

Nan and Grandad

On October the 25th 2011 I lost my Grandad, the person who gave my family everything we have today through generosity, a kind heart, love and support. I wish he could see what im up to right now, i think he'd be impressed. So just as a tribute, one year since he passed i'd like to share the words i spoke about him at his funeral. If you knew him, please read on and remember him as i did.

For Royster, sorely missed, wonderfully remembered;

Well, I’m not really here to tell you how wonderful he was because we all knew that and in typical Williams fashion I could talk all day. Neither am I going to talk about grandad and his football days. Its quite weird for me, Ben, Elliot and Carly, as a lot of the tributes over the last week have been remembering our Grandad as a footballer and Hereford United legend. From what I have been told and read its clear he was very good, certainly better than me. I just remember him and will always remember him as being my Grandad, and he was really good at that too, if not better.

For me, Football was just a way that granddad was introduced into people’s lives and many of you became friends for life and many of you are here today. But, simply knowing Grandad as a footballer would be just scratching at the surface of his life. So ..........I am going to talk about MY Grandad.

First of all he was affectionately known as Royster, a nick name given by Elliot a long time ago, and a nick name suited him as we grew older because, because he certainly didn’t. He never felt like an old man to me, he was never a ‘grandad’. He was young person really and liked young things, enjoyed the company of young people and generally didn’t act as you imagine old people to act. He didn’t have a bus pass, he didn’t talk about the war, he didn’t wear glasses, he didn’t have false teeth, he didn’t wear beige....well not too much and he didn’t moan about the weather.

Infact, he didn’t moan at all, (Nan might disagree) but not to us grandkids. Remarkably he battled through the last few year of ill health, without complaining, fussing and feeling sorry for himself, and never made an effort of sharing his illness with the world, it was never really on the agenda.

Instead he went to Spain, played golf with his friends, sat and watched the football with me and my friends, and his favourite recent films were Madagascar and Meet the Fockers. He really was young at heart!

This is probably the reason why not only older friends are here today, but there are many people younger than him are too, my friends, Lisa friends, Dad friends. Friends young and old became naturally enamoured with Royster and if you could bottle his personality it would be priceless.

As grandchildren, we all spent a hell of a lot of time with Nan and grandad, we were always spoilt rotten by the pair of them. Elliot and Carly lived away for many years and also nan and granddad used to spend a lot of time away in Spain, but somehow we still all managed to spend a lot of time with them as kids altogether. One thing I will always remember as kids was the volume of Nan and Grandads conversations!!! We would be sat the lounge and you would think that world war 3 had kicked off, as you hear them bellowing at each other in the kitchen. Yet you’d walk in and they’d be having a normal conversation by their standards, but sounded like a game of who can shout loudest. There was always a favourite line you’d often hear from Grandad which will be fondly remembered by all, 'Bloody hell She!'. Anyway, a noisy house was a happy house, and you knew the only time there’s a problem in the Williams house was when it’s quiet.

However, he never raised his voice to us grand children, except for the odd ‘Mind the Ladro!!’, I remember when we were little we used to run around the house playing a game called Queen Elizabeth the 1st, I don’t know why it was called that but it involved me, Ben, Elliot running and hiding around the house whilst Carly had to find us. Carly soon cottoned on that it was more fun for us boys than it was her. But we must have made a hell of a noise running around and hiding in cupboards wardrobes, treading on boxes, knocking off shelves clothes off, but never did we get told off. We used to play in the garden, climbing the biggest of the firs in the corner, as we got older and heavier (no thanks to the salami on toast that Nan and Grandad used to have at breakfast) we used to break bow after bow off the bottom of the tree until it was just a bare stump for the first 5 foot ......but, he didn’t care as long we were having fun.

Me, Ben and Elliot used to play football down the side of the house, there was a lovely trelace perfect for kicking the ball back and forth over, great fun! The only problem was not for us kids, but for Nan and Granddad and their beautiful pink climbing rose bush that used to grow through it. We must have taken every head off the every rose over and over all summer long, they never had a chance, but neither Grandad or Nan bat an eye lid.

One of my personal oldest memories of grandad, was lighting fires in the back garden. I don’t know how old I was but I used to love it. Mum used to drop me up there and we used to burn the fire all-day long, I would chuck whatever I could get my hands on into the fire. It left its mark on me, as anyone who knows me will know that the sight of an unmanned a box of matches or a lighter is simply too tempting to resist. I haven’t burned a house down yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I couldn’t talk today, without mentioning granddads beloved Rolex Tour. Past tour members are here today, and hopefully one day you may play on the tour once more in honour of Grandad. If you do, you could play for this, i would like someone to accept this is Cup for Grandad to honour ‘el Presidente’ as he was affectionately known as on tour. Some of you may still have your winning Rolex watch from the tour, and if they’ve run out of battery I’ve been told by Morrow that Oswins are more than willing to chuck it in the bin for you. Bloody MORROW!

When you lose someone like Grandad, you’re grieving and feelings come over in huge waves of emotion. Its one those inevitable parts of life that nobody escapes. But you don’t sink in those waves; you ride them out on the back of a 1000 of fantastic memories and feelings of happy times.........So, your job in life is to make sure when you're hit with these waves of emotion, you have enough great and happy memories to ride out the biggest of waves, safe in the knowledge that nothing could make you sink.

Finally, I noticed he said the following words quite often in his last few years. Usually if we took him anywhere, or did something nice, had a roast dinner, a family BBQ, or a day at the football. It was usually characterised with him giving a wave with his better arm.

So, In the words of my Grandad “Thank you very much everyone, I’ve had a lovely time”.