I’ve had a few requests from people who couldn’t make the funeral to read the tributes made to Chris in church so here you go. I’ll do them in four posts as they are long ! ! The first from Elwyn, Chris’s brother.
Christopher Phillip Pugh – “My Little Brother”
Good afternoon all, Father, Family, Mum’s, Dads, Boys & Girls, Relatives, Children – Friends of Christopher
I have been asked by Christine to take a little trot down memory lane for you with my thoughts, on the man, the husband, the father, the friend and my little brother Christopher Phillip Pugh.
I have often been asked, if I could use only one word to describe our Chris what word would I use?
To be honest there are many that spring immediately to mind… Handsome, funny, crazy, annoying, irritable, daft, caring, loving, meddling, and of course mischievous but the word I’ll settle on is Different and let me tell you why!!!
All our lives as brothers we have been different in many ways, Or Chris was dark and handsome with Mediterranean good looks whilst I was fair ugly and pleasantly chubby, I have blue eyes he had brown eyes,he was an animal lover and I have spent my working life in the meat trade dispatching animals, he liked football I liked rugby, he had an eye for the pretty girls and I have never looked at another woman but our Maxine!!!…… She’s sat in the front row what you expect me to say…
But there were things that made our Kid uniquely different, for those of you who didn’t know him in the very early years his first family nickname was “Joey Squealer” this name derived from, where most normal 8-10 year old boys would run around playing whistling or singing, Our Chris had the ability to let out this 14 second long variable pitch ear shattering screech, that could literally be heard on Crowhill shops from the bottom of Keswick avenue our family home and would be repeated monotonously once he could refill his lungs to the point of utter distraction to one and all. Told you he was different…..
Our Kid had a great work ethic he was a professional milkman at the age of 11. I remember him coming home as proud as punch with his tailor made Express Dairy Coat, his leather wallet on his chain and his customer order book, to ensure that none of his customers missed out on their daily milk delivery and of course that he never missed out on his Christmas tips. An early signs of the young entrepreneur that was to make our Chris so successful in later life. As I said earlier the continual theme of my thoughts about my brother is around the word “different”.
I remember my mother, much to my dad’s amusement dragging all three of us, me, my sister Tracy and our Chris, kicking and screaming down for Sunday morning mass at St Ann’s Church on Burlington Street week after week, and then all of a sudden our Kid actually started looking forward to going, but no one really knew why? Had he found the lord and his religious path very early on in life? – No he had decided that the Sunday morning collection plate was for taking out of rather than putting into and the sixpence piece mum gave us would be best put to use at Broadbent’s paper and toffee shop on Crowhill – see I told you he was different!!
I also remember on two occasions, as I mentioned earlier, that his love for animals got our kid into a few sticky situations …. Firstly while driving home from Sheffield where he worked as a used car salesman for a short while he managed to swerve and just miss a young lamb on the A57 snake pass and end up in a ditch unfortunately badly breaking his wrist. The second occasion when he woke me at 2 am one morning, telling me that a cat had run out in front of his beloved Fiat half way down Keswick avenue, causing him to swerve, smash through old Bert’s privets knocking down Bert’s tree, firmly lodging the car on the broken stump, so myself and Barbara Brookes despite our best efforts couldn’t push him back out on the road – I can only assume that both animals in this story were intoxicated as they had both fled the scene,there was a strong smell of alcohol and our kid swore blind that he hadn’t touched a single drop –
which brings me on to “Our Kids” ability to argue until he was blue in the face and wind people up and prove he was always right which became legendary , absolutely legendary……
I will not steel anyone’s thunder, as I am sure that as we get to later on into this afternoon / evening, the dam will break and the stories will flow of Chris’ ability to argue and win the most futile of arguments, never to be proved wrong or back down in his belief, he was always always right..
The smarter of us, would admit defeat very early on in the discussion, the less smart would debate for hours and hours only to end up agitated annoyed and brow beaten from the said engagement, but these people Chris considered his true friends, Ian Fogg, Alan Bramhall, David Winterbottom, Gary Robinson, Steve Webb, Mike Emerton, Tim Hunt, Gary Hall, Jon Casey and Ant Ellis, to name but a few, last but not least the man who took the most verbal and regular beatings and yet always came back for more, Ray Nurney – Ray I admire you and salute your tenacity Sir!!
Two quick stories spring to mind, firstly my mum and dad had gone on holiday, our Tracey had stayed out at friends, I was home on leave and decided to do as the majority of sailors do when on leave, go find my best mate Peter Jones also a serving member of her majesty’s finest and try our very best to blow one month’s pay in Ashton’s finest public houses andhostelry’s in one Saturday night. We both staggered home at 2 am in the morning weighed down by pockets full of shrapnel and lose change and crashed at mum and dads knowing there was a spare bed for Peter as only Our Kid was at home. Amazingly when we woke later that afternoon from our drunken slumber we were totally blown away by the fact, that we had managed to spend every last penny we had taken out the night before, even though we had a very fuzzy vague recollection of being weighed down by shrapnel and change on the long walk home from Ashton town centre – but on questioning our Chris and after a hour and half debate that he was the only one in the house that could have possibly taken it, we resigned to the fact, that we had probably spent it and our understandings from the night before were probably blurred with alcohol.
And as for winding people up as I said earlier my brother was different and legendary at the art. I got married to our Maxine and for the life of me, I can’tremember how or why, but we ended up taking our kid and Christine Nev and Claire Nevin and Ray and Jackie Nurney on our honeymoon to Zante in Greece …
Now the Greeks are known around the globe, for their laid back lazy mañana,attitude and approach to life fact …. We had been on Zante for a mere 90 mins only and decided to hit the beach, Me Nev and Ray in our board shorts and our kid in his budgie smugglers – ill re phrase that “our kid” in his Anaconda smugglers (for those of you who knew my little brother will understand my reason for change he wasn’t all that little!) when he spied a Greek speed boat driver lay in his boat awaiting for the punters to arrive to sample his water sports craft and ride
“What do you do? Says our Kid, to the Greek boat Captain” Drive very fast boat round the bay and tow you and your friend’s behind on a rubber rings sir said the Greek. – Is it fast? or is it for kids says our kid?
Not for children replies the Greek, my boat goes veryfast!! Ok says our Kid let’s have a go! Come on RayNev come on El we are off!!!
Totally oblivious to mine Nev’s and Rays protest of just getting here and wanting to work on the tan, well let me tell you man to man, the Greek told no lies, we hurtled around the bay for the next 15 mins hanging on to these rubber rings for absolute dear life, me Nev and Rayscared to death while my very different little brother whooped and hollered at sheer thrill of the high speed exhilarating ride. How I don’t know, but by the grace of god, we returned back to the beach in one piece albeit a little shaken, bruised sore and worse for wear from our water based experience.
The driver turned to our kid, as we dismounted the inflatable rings and said see “George Michael” (Chris was sporting long hair, designer stubble and two gold earrings at the time) I told you very very fast ride you enjoy??
Enjoy says our Kid.. Enjoy! Absolute rubbish mate I can swim faster, and for your information, I won’t be coming back on there mate its boring!!!! boring! boring! Says our laid back boat captain I’ll give you boring this is the most exhilarating water based ride ride Zante has to offer?
Utter Crap says our kid it’s a ride for children!!, Right said the boat Captain, ride again and I’ll show you speed “George Michael”… so within twenty mins we were back racing around Zantes bay at such a speed that the rings hit the wake of the boat with such force that the rings capsized and catapulted us some twenty feet in the air, Ray bust his nose and finger Nev hurt his back and I broke my leg much to the amusement of my very different thrill seeking little brother.. And all this two hours into my honeymoon
I’d like to finish off my little trot down memory lane and talk about bravery. People have said to me this last three years how brave and courageous my little brother was fighting his illness for three years and literally going to hell and back with his treatment and its side effects and his arduous attempt at recovery
Well let me tell you all, I didn’t need the last three years to tell me my little brother was brave and courageous. I remember him doing our Cameron’s swagger down old street in Ashton Under Lyne on a Saturday night with back combed hair, eyeliner and a diamanté neck brooch on in the mid 80’s, now in a town renowned for its alpha male knuckle dragging status that’s a brave courageous man and yes you guessed it just a little Different.
I shall miss our Kid and I am so proud that he was different because that made him unique and very special to me and made him my special little brother, but in his passing I am comforted by three things..
Firstly I saw my brother’s body where he ended his life on Wed 6th May in Dane Bank Denton and the look on his face told me he was eventually at peace, no longer suffering, or in pain and misery – This comforts me
Secondly that he was loved adored and worshiped by his wife his children his family & friends – This Comforts me..
Finally “Our Kid” is gone but will never be forgotten and I will be constantly reminded of his presence because I can see attitude and confidence and mischievous sense of humour in his son Cameron and his dark handsome Mediterranean good looks and gentle nature are portrayed in his beautiful Daughter Olivia and this comforts me and helps me at this very difficult time for me and our family.
To “Our Kid” good night god-bless “our” and thanks for the amazing ride
To Father, Mum’s Dads, Boys & Girls, relatives, children – Friends of Christopher thank you very much for listening