Thursday, 19 February 2009

Franco's Speech

Big apologies to Mr Francis for missing his speech for Richie off. I have been attempting to house keep my email at work this morning and found the email he sent me before the funeral.

It made me smile reading through the list of names again - especially after purchasing new PJ's on Saturday with a picture of a big Racoon on them! I have slept in them ever since, probably time to put them in the washing machine though.......

At Uni he loved his beer his chips and cheese, he did a bit of roleplaying. We were cool geeks though.

After uni often weekends to go clubbing alot and dance like loons till the early morning

A gentlemen amongst gentlemen I don't think I ever had a crossed word with him

Though I did nearly kill him with a wadrobe once

Dr Honker
Tall Fella
Big Dude
Richie Racoon
Uncle Wee Wee
Big Guy
Big Fella
Baby Brother

Some cultures say names are very powerful so it makes Rich very powerful but it’s just testament to how many people knew him, loved him and what he meant to them.

Rich was the funniest, nicest bloke I’ve ever met and can’t really imagine the world without him. He lived life to the full. I’ll regret not spending more time with him.

He was a true gentleman with a code of honour and there was never a dull moment with him. His schemes, ideas, jokes and even speech stay with you, lift you. I’m sure you’ve all got your own favourite ‘Wildo-isms’
I’ll never be able to think of wire brush and detox without thinking of him.

It was the greatest honour to be his best man at his wedding to Sam and I know he loved you very very much and you’ve been such a ROCK to him throughout all this.
Bex Rich loved you immensely you need to be brave as your mum will need lots of hugs
And HARRY, the light in Rich’s eyes when he talked about were his life. Through Rich I sort of knew I’d be ok too.

I could talk about the big fella all day but words can’t convey what he meant to us all and I need to go and cry now…like a big jesse in his words.

I’ll miss you mate!

Monday, 16 February 2009

My Poor Friends!

I just wanted to drop a short note in honour of my fabulous friends - who are putting up with an enourmous amount of ranting from me and all taking it on the chin and letting me shout/stamp my feet/swear/strop and cry at the unfairness of it all.

Thanks guys, wish I could say it was going to stop sometime soon but I can't promise that! However, I promise to keep making the spicy pasta and to keep the wine fridge topped up for all emergency situations!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Make A Wish

As many of you may remember we collected donations at Richard's funeral and kept the floral contributions to close family. That day we collected over £400 to be donated to either a charity we set-up or to be sent to a charity of my choice.

So firstly a massive thank-you to everyone that made contributions. Lodge Brothers have split the money in two and sent half to Lymphoma Research and half to the Make a Wish foundation.

Today in the post I recieved the following note from Make A Wish:-

Dear Mrs Wildman,

I am writing to thank you for your kind donation to Make A Wish Foundation UK of £222.00 in memory of Richard Mark Wildman.

We recently granted five year old Lauren's wish to be a princess for the day. Lauren is from Suffolk and is living with Cerebral Palsy.

On her wish day, Lauren and her family were driven in a limousin to the beautiful Framlingham Castle, a truly fitting location for a princess. Dressed in her princess gown with wand and crown, Lauren was given a special tour with "the Queen of the Castle", before enjoying a magical horse and carriage ride around the castle grounds.

Your donation will help Make-A-Wish grant even more magical wishes, so thank you! If you would like to help us further please visit our web site or contact us on 01276 405080.

As a token of our appreciation please find enclosed our Make-A-Wish star which we hope you will wear with pride, together with a copy of our newsletter.

Kind Regards

Laura Stentiford
Fundraising Assistant

Hopefully this letter will inspire you all to keep doing all you can to raise funds for the children and young people that need our help to make their wishes come true. I would be really chuffed if you would use Richie's fundraising site to filter this through -

Sammie x

Another Proud Moment

Good morning all.

So I'm sitting at my desk dialled into a meeting, trying to catch up on some work whilst listening to the meeting (multi tasking!! always a challenge for me!). My email pings and I switch focus to my inbox and read the latest mail. As I read a lump forms in my throat, the email is from a man who has been searching the internet for some inspiration around trading after a bad day in the office. He found Richard's bet trading blog and from there this blog...... I have copied his email (with his permission of course) below:-

So, there I was.....after a bad days trading yesterday, scouring the net for words of inspiration. I found your husbands blog regarding trading. I saw the comment from someone in 2007 saying 'time to wrap it up' and thought, perhaps this chap is having difficulty trading too, so thought to continue reading the blog. I kept reading and reading, eventually crying my eyes out.
I thought to myself, that could be me. It put a few things into perspective.

Our little girl (my step daughter actually, but my parnters little girl) had leukaemia when she was three years old. She is now 10....and I have been with this lot for 7 years.
Richards words are an inspiration. I am so sorry for the sadness you must feel.
I am just a bloke who tries to trade and make my way for those who I need to feed. I hope Richard will sit and watch over my trading today and let me know if I mess up......
I will think of what is important today and wanted you to know Richards blog still touches people like me.
my site, it is very very new.....
Had not a clue how to write a web page before I started.
All our very best wishes to you and your little boy,
Andrew Moss, Sarah (my partner, who is walking the dog right now and wonder why my eyes are red when she reurns), Poppy and Rosie.

I have re-read this email a few times, everytime I am re-inspired by my fantastic clever husband and feel so proud that I had him as part of my life. Myself, Harry and Becs continue to miss him everyday but today I feel a little less sad as I am reminded that he is still with us and inspiring people everyday as he did when he was alive.

Sam x

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Charity mate!

Big thank-you to all of you that gave donations after Richard's funeral. We raised £443 pounds that day. This money has been split down the middle and donated to the following two charitites:-

Make A Wish Foundation - This charity grants 'wishes' to children and young people suffering from terminal illnesses. Richard supported this charity whilst he was alive.

Lymphoma Research Trust - This charity uses money collected to support research and clinical trials for treatments for Lymphomas.

I have not yet set-up a registered charity as this is a long process and with my two babies and full time work find little time to do this, and to be honest I just want to get out there doing things to raise money. So, I have set-up two pages on the Just Giving website. One in the name of MrBaldy which donates directly to the Lymphoma Research Trust and the other in the name of ChemoMan which donates directly to the Make A Wish foundation.

We have some contributions on there already along with the money raised by the ladies in Ibiza.

The sites details are as follows:-

Anyone can make a donation via these pages in Richie's honour. You can even pay using visa/debit etc and even paypal.

Ill add details of the events I am taking part in to help raise funds.


My own tribute

My Darling Richie

I can’t quite believe that we actually have to say goodbye. You’ve been my life for nearly seven years and I am unsure how we will all manage without you.

As you know, my darling, you first hooked my heart when you were playing the Ugly Sister Silica in Cinderella back in Christmas 2001, I could never resist a man in a dress! We got together a few months after this pantomime and I don’t think you ever properly realised how you saved me. Before I met you I was broken and lonely and you bought me back to life and bought lots of laughter to mine and Rebecca’s life. I have described you to many people as my Superman and I wish so much that I had reminded you of this every single day we were together.

Our first year together was pretty much dominated by acting with the Maidenhead Drama Guild. Allo Allo, Canterbury Tales and Nevilles Island – we had lots of fun taking part in these performances and although I did not act with you in Nevilles Island I have lots of fun memories of hosing you down backstage for your curtain up entrance, especially the night we had had a minor falling out I think you started your performance that particular evening soaked through to your underwear!

I have so many special memories that I can always look back on with a lot of love as the special love you gave me will stay with me forever. And of course you gave me our Harry. I remember the distinct shock on your face the evening we found out we were expecting our ‘peanut’ and I remember even more the look of love in your face the first time you held our boy. The one thing that scares me the most is how I make sure our H understands how incredible you are as a Daddy as well as the complex, funny, witty, creative and all the other brilliant words used to sum you up as the man you are. And of course you became Daddy Rich to my girl Rebecca, I was so proud of you for doing this as we all know this was no easy task! And in the early days she played such splendid tricks on you that I know this appealed to your own sense of humour.

Our wedding day last year, at our favourite place Berryhead in Devon, was the best day of my life. Another weekend full of love and laughter, and many more memories that I will cherish forever. I was so proud walking down the aisle towards you with my amazing Dad, especially seeing you with tears in your eyes and in true Richie style you followed this up with some humour and yelled ‘hell yeah’ when you were asked to take me as your wife. We were not blessed that particular weekend with the weather however we were very blessed to be surrounded by all our friends and family.

The beginning of this year bought us news that rocked our world when we found out that you were poorly. But baby I am so proud that you remained so strong throughout all your horrendous treatment and that is mirrored in your wonderful blog. This blog that you created is a testament to your ability to reach out and touch people by giving them hope, courage and inspiration mixed with your wonderful wit and humour. That pride heightened when I read how your Chemo-Man creation was inspiring a 4 year old boy to keep fighting his own cancer battle. We will carry on this wonderful work of yours by keeping Mr Baldy going and will raise funds to help develop cancer treatments and help other patients with their treatment.

I wish that I could keep writing this letter forever and ever so that we did not have to say goodbye. However Mr Racoon fate has decided that our goodbye is now and therefore I have to let you go. As you leave us now and embark on the next stage of your journey remember how much Rebecca, Harry and I love you and will miss you everyday but we all understand that a piece of you remains with us always in our hearts.

Lots of love, Mantha

Tribute from Sean

Words from Sean, Richies mate:-

Dear Sam

Please accept my condolences and sincere apologies for not being able to make it to Rich’s funeral. Unfortunately, work are sending me away to the Middle East on Friday, which is really shitty. The compassionate leave I need is only available for direct relatives.

I understand you guys are getting together on Saturday, I will be writing news stories at a telecoms conference in that day. To say the least, I would rather be in Maidenhead. Wayne asked me if I could write down some memories from days of yore when the Wildman was a Wildboy. Though, the Rich you met, fell in love with and married as a thirtysomething, was the same crazy, hilarious man that he in his twenties, teens and naughties. My enduring memories of Rich will be that he was always interested in doing something different. Conforming and doing the expected just weren’t his thing. He’s an inspiration to us all.

As a youngster, while everyone at school was into football, Rich carved a niche as the best cricketer around. His fast bowling was legendarily menacing. Rich was our secret weapon in school cricket, since he was about a foot taller than any of the other kids our age, he appeared to be about two or three years older.

Our school was on track to become the champion of whatever cricket league we were in, right on track until the last match of the season when our games teacher inexplicably decided that Rich would be last in the bowling order. The opposition had a batsman of Bradmanesque ability. He single-handedly smacked our best efforts into the boundary time after time. Until Rich got a turn, it wasn’t quite bodyline, but he piled in a few bouncers and just about took the head of the batsman clean off. We didn’t win the match or the league title, but that didn’t stop us laughing all the way home about the sheer terror Rich’s bowling induced in their star batsman.

When he wasn’t honing his killer right arm deliveries, he never sat still. Rich always had a project of some description on the go. From taking on minor civil engineering jobs like building an absolute death trap tree house or digging a “mine” in the back garden of the Wildman’s Julian Road house to learning a wide variety of obscure, knife-wielding, martial arts.

While most of us ere more than happy to just play computer games, Rich used to hack into them and create completely new ones. I distinctly remember one platform game he wrote from scratch that involved steering a ginger biscuit past a number of hazardous levels before ultimately dipping it in a giant mug of tea. Slightly more innocent than Grand Theft Auto, but at the same time strangely compelling! He was always creative, not content to sit back and accept that things couldn’t be changed.

I guess it was these early tinkerings with computers that caused Rich to steer off in another direction from the rest of us at 16. Most of our group went on to do A levels at the same school we’d doe GCSEs, but Rich did his own research and went to a different college altogether to learn how to become a computer programmer. He was adamant, even then, that he wan’t just going to have “a job of work” which is what his dear old dad had said grown ups had to do.

As well as the computer, another prominent feature in Rich’s room was an old typewriter. It was at this typewriter that Rich created Albert. He was a cowardly dragon who featured in adventures that we penned together. We’d take it in turns to write a page at a time, each time trying to outdo one another in terms of storytelling and surrealism. I have to say Rich always wrote his page faster than I wrote mine.

While my chapters tended to focus on structure and direction, his were characterised by weird and wonderful creatures and settings. This was the first time I’d ever written fiction, and it’s something that I’ve loved doing ever since. That’s why I ended up writing for a living, so I have Rich to thank for that early inspiration. Though writing business stories about telecoms isn’t quite as much fun as writing about Albert and friends!

We even recorded one of the Albert stories once, with each member of our circle of friends taking on a different character (I’m pretty sure this was Rich’s first theatrical performance!), and we also created an entire role-playing gaming system based around Albert and the magical world he lived in. It was like Dungeons & Dragons on acid with magicians summoning occasional furniture and warriors turning into weretrees rustling at the moon.

Before we both embarked on our separate academic paths though came a reward from our respective parents for passing our GCSEs. A three-week trip to Ibiza! Staying with sister Chris and family and then sleeping in Chris’s gym was a holiday that involved listening to a lot of Sex Pistols, drinking a lot of vodka and completely failing in all our attempts to pick up girls. For some reason the young ladies of Ibiza just weren’t interested an two spotty 16 year olds from Nottingham.

When we got back home we stayed in touch, during those post-school, pre-university days when we ‘discovered’ a mutual love of a nine per cent strength lager called Crucial Brew and Rock City nightclub. Though, again Rich had to be different. While our circle of mates were all into various heavy metal bands, he opted to become a goth! Even now I associate Fields of the Nephilim with sitting in Wildo’s back bedroom drinking Mad Dog 20/20, planning a night at the TBI.

Our musical differences didn’t stop us creating what was probably Lady Bay’s first punk thrash metal band, Rebel Death. Well, I say band, at that stage it involved one crap electric guitar, my limited knowledge of bar chords and Rich’s lyrical musings. If you want to hear Rich’s Revel Death song ‘Against Society’ being performed by the band go to if you’re easily offended, don’t go there! He didn’t play in the band, but he is credited with writing two or three of the songs and we always played Against Society at our gigs.

We saw less of each other after we both went to university, it was during this time that Franco can no doubt fill in some of the gaps! After uni though, we teamed up for regular jaunts and continued our friendship as if no time had passed. Although, during those days, our musical tastes which were more closely aligned. Having both moved on from ‘alternative’ music, we embraced house and techno in a big way. Clubbing was the new passion and like everything else that Rich did, there were no half measures.

One classic memory I have of a post-clubbing Sunday was driving along with Rich back to Banbury where he lived at the time. I don’t know where we’d been, but we were driving along in the fast lane of the motorway and, oddly, my car started to decelerate. I say oddly, because I had my foot right down. The clutch had snapped so there was no traction whatsoever and cars were starting to pass us on the inside. A gap in traffic allowed me to steer us over the carriageways and onto the hard shoulder. Without breaking, my car was still freewheeling along at quite a pace. Then miraculously, a service station appeared on the horizon.

Amazingly, the car had enough momentum to roll the best part of what must have been about ¼ of a mile to the service station, up the slip road, into the car park and bang into a parking space before coming to a complete halt. Laughing like a drain at our good fortune, Rich had called up the AA who promised to drop him back in Banbury and then take me back to Nottingham. The downside was we’d have to wait a couple of hours for the pick up, the upside was the case of beer we had stashed in the car boot. Sitting, in the sun on a motorway service station grass verge watching the traffic roaring past, beer has rarely tasted better.

Obviously, we both settled down a bit since. Over the past few years Rich made a life for himself in Maidenhead and I made one in London. Sadly, we didn’t see enough of each other during this time. But I know he was very happy with his new life. He didn’t stop doing new and interesting things and he didn’t stop making friends and influencing people. Right up to the end inspiring people all over the world with his blog.

Rich, a Wildman by name and deed, is a total legend, and though I’m deeply sad at his passing, I’m extremely glad I had the good fortune to have lived only two streets away when we were growing up.

All my love,

Sean x

Tribute from Wayne

Personal note from Wayne, a school friend of Richies:-

Richard. (AKA – Wildo, Rich, Tall Fella, Chief, Mr Baldy)

To me, Rich was always a bit different, even from an early age.
I have known him since we were both at Infants School (aged 5ish) up through Junior School (up to 11years old) Both of us being at Lady Bay School.
Secondary School (Rushcliffe Comprehensive), we pretty much went our separate ways (this means we were in different blocks in school, and had little to do with each other on a day to day basis).
Then there was college and Uni, Work, Kids and MARRIAGE!!

The early years…
My memories of Rich as a person at that age….he was a kid (like we all were…obviously…Durrr), just a bit different. We used to play together, and go to each other’s birthday parties etc. Normal kids stuff. However, he was intelligent, but possibly geeky with it, always at the top of the class
He was into Dr Who and similar.
I recall he had lots of stuff that related to Dr Who. I especially remember him having K9 (a robot dog) and a Tardis that made Dr Who disappear….Cool!!
At junior school, inevitably there were gangs…His was U.N.I.T (UNified Intelligence Taskforce)…surprise surprise….Dr Who related. This gang was only for those who were seen to be inteligent…..oh and liked Dr Who, so he was already showing signs of being a bright lad.
Rich also played for the school in the cricket team ….he was a mean fast bowler, and even at this age understood that bowling at high speed and making it bounce at peoples heads scared the hell out of most people, and that got easy wickets. Tall for his age, and coupled with his ability to alter his face to look like a pit bull sucking a lemon as he was about to bowl, understandably made him a force to be reckoned with…. I think he was the team captain.
He probably could have made it in cricket if he had kept it up.

I have a few memories from these early days I believe are worth mentioning, he may have been bright, but was prone to being stupid with the rest of us.
I remember being in his garden digging tunnels (which collapsed on my head), building tree houses (which collapsed and Dallan Bradley fell out of) and having wars with the older kids from over the bottom hedge (apples, stones, sticks) which the tunnels and tree houses were supposed to help with. Although bright, construction engineering didn’t seem to be Rich’s forte.
We created a haunted house in his garden shed once, hiding Dallan Bradley inside in a sheet to be a ghost. We got Julian Hallam (a friend from over the road) to go into the shed and we closed the door behind him. Whilst Julian was inside in the pitch black dark, Rich and I squirted Red Tip-Top (a fruit drink of the day) in on Julian via a hole in the shed, both of us shouting that it was vampire blood. Dallan proceeded to do the ghost thing. Julian screamed at the top of his voice and continued to scream whilst smashing the door open and running home…cool… We laughed, but thinking about it, we may have mentally scarred Julian for life!!
Rich and myself were also chased by an angry farmer, after having created a base from his hay bails. We were little, but fast and fit, and got away easily by jumping a fence into another field. Little did we know, the farmer had jumped into to his tractor and 5 minutes later we were running again being easily caught up. Rich decided to try and jump a 2 meter dyke/stream…..he found he couldn’t do it and got caught. I had carried on going. Not sure what happened, but I think he just got the hair drier treatment from the farmer.
Richard, Sean and myself also tried creating tattoos and selling them at school. This didn’t really catch on…. probably because they were just blue ink pictures drawn on the sticky bit you lick from an envelope.

With age comes different experiences and urges…. and cricket faded away.
I didn’t really see Rich until later in teenage life due to the fact that we were in separate parts of the school. We would run into each other on occasions (sometimes quite literally), sometimes with Sean, or Ian Gardner (one of Rich’s best mates from Infants/Junior days with a similar interest in Dr Who), and Sean may be able to fill you in better for this period.

What I do know is, he had become more creative, using his computer of the time to write programs, one of which moved a very basic robot shape across the screen…. Great!! He was very proud of that one…. I personally didn’t get it? Each to their own.
He also created a world with characters (Flash Albert) with Sean, which included recording story chapters to tape, and writing reams of inane stuff. I will leave Sean to explain that one.

During the Uni/College days, we would occasionally meet, usually to go to a club or pub and have a good time.
Often we would meet to play role-play games. Most of us tended towards the likes of Dungeon and Dragons, Star Wars and Judge Dredd. Rich would prefer Vampire, Cthulu and Rolemaster, the more mature, creative and intellectually challenging role-play games of the time.
Rich took role play one stage further by doing live role play, requiring taking on a persona and getting dressed up (cloaks, robes, suites of armour etc etc), running round different locations hitting each other with sticks and pretending to cast spells. I’m sure his Martial Arts training in his earlier years gave him an advantage with this…. he knew how to use two pieces of stick with a chain linking them.
I suppose this was where he first gained his love for dressing up (something he later did far too easily…. including getting into ladies clothes for Panto!!).

Again, he was prone to thinking out of the box, and being a little leftfield (I think he liked Leftfield’s music!!), and at one point tried getting a few of his mates onboard with a Pyramid scheme. I think it was selling some sort of cleaning product!!…. Loony!!

Rich himself did computing at College/Uni, and for this I am eternally thankful. He helped me with some work I had relating to computers, without which I probably would never have progressed to gain my own degree…Cheers mate!!

Starting in Banbury and then moving to Maidenhead, Rich enjoyed life (ladies and Booze especially…. sorry Sam!!). Spending money earned from his computing career became the norm. He had all the games consoles going, and his flats (shared with friends in Maidenhead) would look like a war zone, with a temple to the Gaming God erected around the TV.

Never really a sporty person (apart from Cricket and Martial Arts) it was a little left field when Rich showed his apparent love for fast cars. I suppose he needed something else to spend his money on other than booze and computer games. Starting with a Vectra (ok…not very sporty), then a Toyota MR2, and obviously finally the Audi TT. I had the pleasure of being in a car with Rich on a couple occasions. As far I could tell, driving was not his forte either. However, just like him, he was so inclined to keep himself busy, he even created what he referred to as “Motorway Games” where he would try and miss “cats eyes” when changing lanes, or try and keep up with “motorway buddies”. It works, I catch myself doing it even now!!

Life in Maidenhead then took a dramatic turn…He met Sam.
Time to settle down!
Time to have Kids!
Time to get married!

Rich enjoyed his boozy, gaming and lady filled life prior to meeting Sam, but he loved life even more having met Sam. Rich was always flighty in relationships, and often mentioned, “hitting the big red button to abort” with earlier ladies. But I never heard Rich mention the big red button with Sam, not once! He Loved you Sam.

I know he was also extremely proud of being a Dad, not only to Harry, but also to Rebecca. Prior to myself becoming a Dad (and during), I remember Rich telling me on several occasions how wonderful it was with Harry, the smiles, the new words, the new actions, crawling, walking, hugging, crying…. nappies, sick…..yep….wonderful. I could also hear it in his voice when he chatted about how Harry would kick everything (the cats being potential targets occasionally).

So from all of this, how do I sum up Richard.

A bright, intelligent man, who enjoyed life to the full, and had time for others.
A true character, with a great sense of humour (his blog was testament to that), albeit a bit wacky at times.
A creative and energetic man, who always looked beyond the horizon to new alternative possibilities and experiences, and was positive, even to the end.
A man who loved his Wife, family and the life he had with them.
Finally, He was a friend. And I am proud to have had Rich as a friend.
My only regret is that we did not meet up as often as we should have.

I will miss him, and I am sure others will too.


Tributes from Innocent

Tributes from Richard's colleagues at Innocent Drinks:-

· Richard managed the IT development team here at innocent. He was one of the most straight forward, natural, engaging, and above all, amusing people I have ever worked with. He leaves a big gap and will be sorely missed.
· Forget about being the creator of Chemoman, Rich WAS the Amazing Human Cake Radar: he could sniff out a birthday from the other side of the office and always returned with a slice, no matter how small the cake or how many people. Days without cake foraging were bad.
· The psychic link with Dave & how they would turn up in matching Tshirts on 3/5 days a week.
· The best desk buddy ever: no one else has ever sung or crooned at me so much.
· My main memories of Rich are the long, rambling conversations we would have in the car on the way into work - He would make fun of everyone and everything and always had big plans and schemes for the future. Secondly, the Elvis costume he wore to the last Christmas Do. Unfortunately, it was made of some kind of cheap plasticy rubber thing (including the wig). We had to contend with a 6'4" Elvis, sweating profusely. Very pleasant. He was a big personality in the IT Team and it's way too quiet without him.
· Energy and enthusiasm for everything and I mean everything, the best and (I fear that last) panto dame we will see here at Fruit Towers, he is (and always will be) sorely missed
· Richard had a great big infectious smile that he brought with him to work every day.
· Was always the life of the party, I remember a particular innocent knees up where we had the school uniform outing, there is nothing more hilarious or shocking than seeing a 6ft giant dressed as a 12 year old school boy propping up the bar and racking up the drinks bill faster than you can say hypnotist. I will miss Rich's personal way of explaining techy terms using stick men drawings!
· Rich and I were in the bar after one of the IT do's and there was a separate party of people who we started chatting to. When Rich was asked what his job was he said we were biscuit designers. "Well you know the chocolate bourbon's that was us. We also had a hand in jammy dodgers but that wasn't our best work." When pressed further, as funnily enough people didn't believe him, his response was that "someone had to design them".
· Typical of his randomness and ability to keep a straight face whilst on the wind up.
· Top gags and a top fella.
· Rich was a brilliant brilliant man. He made me chuckle every single time we spoke, whatever we talked about. His outlook was pretty special, it always helped put things in perspective. A good few of my classic innocent moments and quotes are down to him.
· Rich once taught me the correct way for a pantomime horse to walk. Apparently my initial technique was a bit basic.
· He had a wonderful attention to detail.

Tribute to Mr W from Katy

Hi to anyone that still might be following this blog.

I have decided to begin posting on here as wifey and see if it will help me in the way it helped Rich.

I am going to post on some of the tributes that were read out at Richie's funeral. For those who did not know Richard that long or very well then these will hopefully help paint a bigger picture of the great man.

Letter from Katy, my best friend:-

Richie Racoon

I first met Richie through the drama guild he was playing one of the ugly sisters to my prince charming, it was his, sams and mine first dabblings with the guild, but the start of things to come.

It was during Allo Allo the next play where I got to know both him and Sam better, Sam was playing Helga, I Mimi and Richard a German soldier, Sam and Rich had just started seeing each other, and Sam and I had just started getting to know each other. I feel honoured and privileged that I was there to see their romance blossom, the highs, the laughter, the silliness!! I also think it’s a testament to Richard’s generosity that he accepted that where Sam was to go, I was to follow, (as one of my ex boyfriends commented he felt as though he was sometimes going out with me and Sam!) but I always felt welcome and enormously enjoyed his company.

It is fair to say that most of my memories involve fun and laughter.

I’ve enjoyed countless weekends away with Sam and Richard…..

Barcelona, for Sam’s birthday, where the three of us discovered a hilarious drinking game called fish face which saw the three of us slightly tipsy and thinking that wearing sombreros in the city was the height of coolness!!

A camping expedition with Kat, Henry, Little Rich, Sam and Rich to The New Forest, where Sam and Richard (the world’s tallest couple) camped in what was the worlds smallest tent – surely a sight to behold, which saw Sam sleep in the car and Richard head to the camping shop first thing in the morning after an awful nights sleep to purchase a 5 star deluxe man sized tent and double mattress!!

A weekend in Munich to visit our great friend Santhosh, involving champagne at the airport to see us on our way, much pretzel eating, drinking from stein’s, attempts to learn to count and say the days of the week in German and a pedalo trip on the lake where Santhosh and Richard got a bit carried away and kept steering us at speed into trees to much comedy effect, until that is we got told off and had to clean the boat!! (well the boys anyway, it was their mess!)

Other memories of Rich that bring a smile to my face include Rich appearing in Neville’s Island, singing Oklahoma manicly in blood stained y-fronts!! (All in character obviously!)
Many a BBQ at the Wildman’s with Rich surely being the best BBQer the world has ever seen.
His calm composure on his wedding day as Harry stole the show, by using a bouquet to hit Rich around the head with, while claiming “hat, daddy, hat” as Sammie and Rich tried to say their vows!!

I was always in awe of how big his brain must have been , he knew everything and was interested in everything! His interest in NLP, his love of acting, writing, filming and directing all of which he was hugely passionate about and talented at and he was not afraid to try new things and strike out on his own. I loved conversations with Rich, which could be on any subject, the wild, wonderful and wacky, but they were always highly enlightening and entertaining.

Seeing him become a father to Harry was wonderful, already a dad to Becs who he loved very much, when Harry came along I can testify that you could visually see the change in him from a man to a father and Harry was the light in his eyes. He was so proud of his boy and loved him very much.

Richard’s strength of character, warmth, generosity of spirit and zest for life shone through even during his illness this past year. Whenever I asked what I could do, he would always insist all I needed to do was to look after Sam, he never asked for anything for himself, he didn’t stop cracking jokes and believing in the positive. In testament to this, his love of theme parks and big scary rides meant that on his birthday in October this year, he was insistent we all went to Fright Night at Thorpe Park and man it was COLD. Similarly, he was determined to come out and have fun on Sam’s birthday in November – he was the one who wanted to go dancing!! Although we settled for dinner and drinks with friends in the end. Even in the face of bad news, rather than sitting and moping, he wanted to get out and face the world to eat Mexican and drink Tequila with Sammie and his friends.

I am proud to class Richard as one of my friends, I feel privileged to have known him and know that the world and those people he has touched in the world are the better off for knowing him.