Gareth was born ‘at home’ i.e.: not in hospital in 1969. When the midwife delivered him (though I suppose I did the delivering!!) she declared, “He’ll be a six-footer” and so he is, six foot three in his stockinged feet.
He was a quick developer like his older sister and was toddling at ten months old. There was very little baby language, Gareth preferring to wait until he had the words, and later, sentences, correct in his head before he delivered them.
He was a bright and inquisitive boy and retained information like a sponge. He was always a gentle soul and as he grew bigger and more noticeable so he adjusted his demeanour, never wishing to worry little old ladies or small children. At school he was known as ‘Rambo’ and younger boys who worried about being bullied would go quietly to him and tell him their troubles and Gareth would sort them out. We knew nothing of this until after Gareth had left school. He has never been one to blow his own trumpet.
He was a superb swimmer and played rugby at club level. He has always been grateful for the opportunities he had to develop his swimming. We felt it was important that he was physically challenged so that he learnt to coordinate his limbs which can often be a problem for tall boys. He was good at judo, though too tall, and good also at karate.
One of my abiding memories is of seeing him taking his little sister to school, walking hand in hand with her, twelve years his junior, he so tall, she so small. Now the age difference means nothing. They love and appreciate each other. His older sisters, one either side of him, love and respect him too, as he does them.
He is the loving husband of a woman I regard as my fourth daughter and a kind and caring father to their three children. He works too hard, like his father before him, and we all worry about that, but he loves and is loved by all his family.
Happy Birthday, Gareth - even though you try and fail to make us forget your birthdays, we don’t. We love you.