I know I don’t update this site much, to be honest the internet is overrated, one thing that isn’t overrated is life, and today the life of a good friend and inspirational paintballer has been tragically cut short by cancer. I’ve known Jay for a long time, he and I have got in to some scrapes together, taken road trips and shared more than a few ciders.
I knew Jay was ill, in fact, I have known for some time, since he first had a melanoma removed several years ago. We hoped that was the end, Jay showed amazing resilience. Soon he was back on the field and in 2011 he got the calling to play for Nexus, throughout the Millennium Season and at World Cup in Florida that October. Then the cancer came back, and he wasn’t well early this year, but a new chemotherapy treatment seemed to be doing great, shrinking the tumors and restoring the Jay we all knew. At the end of June the Millennium Series rolled in to the UK with the London Masters event at Basildon. Alongside this the European Championship was held, played between national teams. Jay was proud to have been picked for the Great Britain team and wanted to defend his nations honor by helping retain the title. He, and his teammates played valiantly, only to be defeated in the last game by Russia. Jay played with all his heart and soul in those games. After the event he felt unwell again, I saw him a couple of weeks ago but hadn’t been back as I didn’t want to give him the cold I was carrying and he seemed to be getting better.
None of that has helped me come to terms with what has happened, today’s news was like a thunderbolt. I didn’t see the post from his family on his facebook this morning until friends had texted me, it took more than a while to sink in.
In his all too brief life he touched many peoples hearts, he was a great friend to many, few I think really appreciated just how intelligent he was, he had a wicked sense of humor and as one of our friends once stated, Jay was like Marmite.
It’s hard to believe that this is one of the last photographs I will ever have taken of Jay, doing what he loved and representing his country.
Jays friends, his family, teammates past and present and the worldwide paintball community have lost a very special person, love and respect brother, forever 21.