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Tributes to Alan

Tributes to Alan

Please note: Dates next to names show where people appear in Life’s Good book.

“I met Alan about a year after meeting Hazel.  Such was his personality he just fitted into our group of friends and seemed to have been around forever.  The four of us went away for a long weekend often walking every year. Alan was a lot fitter than me, he never grumbled at my slow pace but I’m sure one time in the Malvern’s he had rocks in his rucksack so he could get a bit of a workout, but was too much of a gentleman to say!

What I remember most about Alan was his calm, patient exterior. I don’t remember ever seeing Alan angry even after his MND diagnosis, it was “bugger I have MND.” Our last weekend together, Steve and Alan went out for a bike ride, Steve was surprised that he beat Alan up a hill.  Soon after this Alan had his diagnosis. Those last 18 months saw a rapid change. One minute struggling with one side of his body to him being in the hospice, frustrated and trying to find the words by eye to ask us where we were going camping in the Lake District.

Alan certainly packed a lot into his life.  Seeing the look in his eyes when he married Hazel will stay with me.  Although their time together was limited their different personalities suited each other.  Alan would be wanting all of us to be getting on with our lives and encouraging us to get on with all we want to achieve.”
Jill Duffin – 5th November 2017

“I first met Alan in 2010 as Hazel was a good friend of my partner, now wife, Jo.  We used to meet up regularly with our ladies to play golf and socialise.  Over a few years Alan and I became good friends and enjoyed each other’s company.  He was a very gentle soul and a true gentleman which I very much appreciated.  

He tackled his MND with the same relaxed but pragmatic approach, and enjoyed living right up to the end, even though this was very tough for both Hazel and Alan.  The last time that Jo and I paid him a visit at the hospice he still had a glint in his eye and smiled at my attempts to make him laugh, which was probably him just being polite!  He was like that.” 
Andy Boyes – 8th November 2017

“My thoughts on Alan can best be expressed by sharing his own words. I accompanied him to a hospital appointment early in his MND journey, I was still shocked and saddened by the possible diagnosis and wondered what to say to him on such an emotional car journey. I simply asked him how he was. He replied in his usual stoic way that he “would deal with whatever came along.”  I then asked if he felt angry.  He replied “No time to be angry” and that he “had to deal with it and live life to the full.”  Wise words from a gentle, strong man.  Those words taught me a very important lesson that has stayed with me.  Alan was an inspiration in how he dealt with his illness …with dignity, gratitude for life, and a smile even on the darkest of days.  We were sad to lose Alan, and Phil and I will always remember him with love. It was an honour to help him, and Hazel, in some small way.” 
Teresa Meredith – 15th November 2017

“Having known Alan for 14 years, he was always a ‘true gentleman’.  His approach to life was always positive, even when diagnosed with MND.  He had the strength to fight through every day and retain a positive outlook and a zest for life.  We never once heard Alan complain about being diagnosed with MND – his words were ‘there are people worse off than me’.   He was a selfless guy and battled until the end, never wanting to leave Hazel.  The look in his eyes said everything he felt (love, admiration, compassion) etc.  Even in the hospice Alan talked about their next adventures and showing positivity about being able to go home and possibly go on holiday – he was never prepared to ‘give up’.  Although he was going through the torment of MND, he still always showed a great interest in our lives and was keen to know what our plans were.  Again, this showed us just how selfless Alan was! Alan said, on more than one occasion, that we must learn a lesson from him and don’t put off what we want to do…. just do it!  I’m sure his words will help so many people! Alan has impacted our lives enormously and will always be remembered for his positivity, coping mechanism and most of all for being a true gentleman and our wonderful friend.”  
Carol Harvey – 18th November 2017

“Alan will always be remembered by me and John as the lovely man he was. He influenced many of my views on life too and that’s a true legacy.”
Christine Cooper – 23rd November 2017

“I will never forget Alan being so cheerful when we visited you both at your home. You were making changes to the accommodation, to better suit his declining mobility, so he had every reason to be depressed, but that lovely sense of humour was still making us all smile.”   
John Biggs – 24th November 2017

“We came to know Alan through Hazel, and our love of golf. He was, without doubt, the most genuine guy – a gentleman on and off the course. His strength through his illness touched us both. He will be dearly missed.” 
Carol and John O’Hare – 25th November 2017

“I didn’t know Alan well, but was able to speak to him several times at the beginning of his illness. The fortitude with which he approached the impending prognosis, was humbling. He never lost his ability to try and make the best of the situation, and to support those around him. A lesson for us all.” 
Karen Johnson – 25th November 2017

“My memories of Alan were mainly that he was so cheerful and kind.  I remember him skiing in the Megeve région of France and whizzing off so much quicker than us ladies.   Then he would stop and wait for us, with a big grin on his face!  We were lucky to have known him!”
Iris and Ron – 28th November 2017

“Alan and Hazel were a match made in heaven, well in reality on a pub car park where they first met.  I will always remember Alan as the special man who brought true happiness, joy and love to our friend Hazel. 

It’s a very special man who is prepared to learn to dance so he can whisk his new bride around the dance floor on their wedding day as Alan did.  It’s a very special man who celebrated in some way the anniversary of the day they met every month. 

I admired Alan for his dignity in the face of adversity.  Alan was a  very special friend taken too soon, but better to have known than never known at all.  God bless you Alan, forever in my prayers.”
Valerie Duggan – 28th November 2017

“When first introduced to Alan by Hazel I knew he was from my part of the world.  My mother was born in Sunderland as he was, I was born in Jesmond.  Alan and I had an in joke that I was born in the posher part of Geordieland.  I will remember Alan as a genuine nice guy who will always be in my thoughts and prayers.”
Richard Duggan – 28th November 2017

“We have been friends with Alan for over 20 years. Alan has always been a perfect gentleman and a good friend. He conducted himself with so much dignity through his suffering with MND and always had a smile on his face throughout for everyone. He is greatly missed.”
Bev and John Hadley – 3rd December 2017

“Alan always had time for you, irrelevant to what he had on that day. Amazing work and life mentor for me personally and so lucky to have had a friend like Alan.  In my head, he is and will always be with us.”
Simon Pointon – 9th December 2017

“Miss Al every day. Miss making him his black coffees and having our chats. Simon and I talk about Alan everyday – he’s gone but never forgotten. He will always be part of ABC.”
Christina Woolley – 9th December 2017

“I still think about Alan all the time. In all my (nearly 48!) years no one person has had a more profound effect on my outlook on life than Alan did. I am hugely grateful to him for that.”
Matthew Wheeler – 15th December 2017

“He was a true gentleman. ABC Solutions will never be the same. He always used to call me rusty as I was always brown from going on holidays. I miss him”
Wendy Noke – 16th February 2018

“Alan you are not only my old boss but an extra special friend.”
Dennis Sidley – 16th February 2018

“What I remember about Alan, when we first met at an MND meeting, was his zest for life and wonderful spirit in such adversity. One thing Mel, my husband, used to say in the early days of his MND journey, was ‘you either get busy living or get busy dying, and I am going to get busy living’.  I think Alan took that approach too.”
Wendy Jones – 21st March 2018

 “Alan was an exemplar of how to deal with a situation like this. His example was a gift to others who may one day draw upon it when they in turn need to radiate strength and courage to the people they love.”
Steve Lord – 5th April 2018

“Alan was a true gentleman. He had a quiet dignity that told of a dynamo of resources within.  He not only kept himself fit, he enjoyed every moment of life while doing so.  Beneath the reserve was an impressive armoury of skills like cooking,, golfing, skiing, walking, cycling and driving.  One could also add the major life skills of organisation and a head for IT.  The attribute I will remember most was the love he had for Hazel, which showed itself in the joy he felt in her company. He was a people person, whose smile could engage anyone and put them at ease, as though everyone around him were a special guest.  To have such confidence around many people, and many new acquaintances is a rare skill and yet was effortless for Alan.  He was delightful company and a lovely man and I hope to see him again one day.”
Steve Duffin – 14th April 2018

“I played golf with Alan once in a mixed competition at Shirley and will always remember what a lovely gentleman he was to play with. I will remember him for his great courage trying to beat MND – he never complained. Gentleman Alan is how I will remember him.”
Gina Mills – 31st July 2018

“What I remember most about Alan was his joie de vivre. I have rarely met someone so optimistic with such a zest for life and a dry sense of humour to boot. For sure this helped Alan to navigate his way through the most difficult moments of the disease. His stoicism and courage in the face of adversity was inspiring – complaining was not Alan’s style, he just got on with it! Every race I run, his memory encourages me when the going gets tough. Every time I cross the finish line I shout, “This is for you Alan Carter” and all those who suffer motor neurone disease. Even more memorable was watching Alan and Hazel find each other and fall deeply in love, and the joy they spread, touched us all. Alan’s love of life and incredible sensitivity was a magical combination. A special man and I was blessed to know him.”
Sue Garfitt – 9th September 2018

“Alan was a thoroughly nice bloke.  Working on projects with him was an absolute joy.  As a client I must have been a right pain with my constant changes but Alan always made me feel like my job was the most important in the world, and nothing was too much trouble.”
Abigail Stewart – 16th January 2019

“I knew Alan from the squash club at Chapel Allerton in Leeds. Over the years we ran together, 10k’s, and maybe even a few half marathons, skied together on a couple of group trips to France and spent, many hours at the bar, putting the world to rights.  On a trip to Meribel, where Alan and I shared a room and held loudest snoring competitions, one bright sparkling Alpine day, Alan spectacularly wiped out on a black run (where else?), disappearing over a crest in a cloud of powder, skis and poles flying in all directions. We behind feared the worst.  When we finally caught up to him he was lying on his back in a heap at the bottom of the slope, covered head to foot in snow, laughing fit to bust and with eyes twinkling. Lately we had lost touch, but when I heard, around Xmas 2018 that he was ill, I made contact again.  I visited Alan several times during the first half of 2019. The first time I met him again, although he was already virtually paralysed and unable to breathe unaided, what struck me was how he saw the funny side, laughing about the fuss being made, the indignities of his condition and sympathising for his carers. And the last time I saw him, he was still looking forward to the future and he still had that twinkle in his eye.”
David from Leeds – 18th January 2019

“We greatly admired Alan’s courage and dignity in confronting MND. Throughout this terrible disease he never lost his interest in life nor his sense of humour. He had many interests and enjoyed sport, in particular we remembered that he loved to talk about Sunderland Football Club – he was a keen supporter. A genuinely lovely man, very sadly missed.”
Suzanne and Ian Hudson – 8th March 2019