Jamie Gentleman


Where do I start! My heart hurts, my pulse is still as I start to share my tragic loss.

Jamie ‘G’ – our shining Star – went to heaven on Sunday 15th March 2009, five days before his 14th Birthday.

A sportsman in every sense – football, darts, golf, fishing – most sports he shone at and loved taking part. I can’t begin to understand this and each day rolls into another. We live for the happy 14 years we had and are grateful for every minute.

Jamie’s last day with us

A typical Saturday – woke up early in readiness for his football match playing for Clatford Under 14s. He played a great game and scored the winning goal. How proud we all were and his brother, Tommy (21), told him so! Home to refuel, lunch and then off to meet up with his friends. He left the house early afternoon, smiled, gave me a hug and three kisses and said “”Love you, see you in the morning””. Those were his last words to me!

I received a call around midnight from Jamie’s mobile, thinking it was him calling to say ‘goodnight’. No, this was the call every parent dreads! A call from his friends – Jamie had collapsed to the floor. Paramedics tried for an hour to resuscitate him, they told me afterwards that he had no pulse on arrival! In time, Cardiomyopathy was diagnosed. There was nothing anyone could have done.

Sink or Swim? We choose ‘Swim’ – keeping positive and strong to survive this tragic loss. Jamie is always close by.

The support of friend’s, family and local media has been amazing; this has helped us get through our days of ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’

Jamie’s school were brilliant, very supportive, both friends and teachers. They even notified Sir Alex Ferguson (Man Utd Manager) – Jamie was a keen supporter and within 2 days of this we received a lovely letter from Sir Alex. What a professional, humble man he is.

Jamie was also a very good darts player, so good he would play in the adults league, and last September (2008) he got to a final in London.

The Andover Darts Academy have been brilliant. On Saturday 1st August the Darts Open Youth Academy did a competition and presentation all for Jamie.

Adrian Lewis – Jamie’s favourite Pro – came down to present and play. They have named this event from now on “”The JAMIE G Youth Open””. How proud are we! £2000 was raised for our Trust.

It is now 6 months and not a day goes by without us of thinking about and missing him – his smell, his skin, his smiling face.

Most days we get through with our positive thoughts, keeping busy and knowing he is proud of what has happened since he began his new life in Heaven.

As my husband says, “”In Jamie’s world he is working in Astral time now – so 10 years could be 10 minutes! So we will see Jamie in about 30-40 minutes!”” I smiled when he said this to me.

Jamie’s Celebration Service, Friday 27th March 2009

Amazing – over 800 people attended, the most ever since The Princess Diana Tribute!

No hymns, just songs that Jamie loved and would sing and listen too, all appropriate to who he was, the lyrics the tunes were perfect.

We sang.

We laughed.

We cried.

All our emotions were shared and we were proud. The Service ended with the release of 7 white Doves – they flew, they circled, they said goodbye, we said goodbye. 7 being his favourite number and his football shirt number – Captain of his team. The sun shone and I knew Jamie was safe.

We have set up a ‘Jamie G Sporting Trust’ and have a Committee of very professional friends that will help this to grow and make dreams come true for 11 – 16 year olds in Andover. We want this to be local to ‘give back to the community’ – it is what Jamie was all about, giving and helping others. We will launch this Trust at our first ‘Jamie G Gala Ball’ in November. Fundraising events, wrist bands – “”Jamie G Keep Smilin’ “” – and a special song / CD by our friend Tim Cronin brought more funds in for our Trust. So proud, So grateful.

The Jamie G Sporting Trust

This Trust has been established to preserve the memory and reflect the personality of Jamie Gentleman: a young and competitive sportsman from Andover. He demonstrated the highest standards of team spirit and sportsmanship. The purpose of the Trust is to raise funds from charitable donations and to distribute them in support of sporting activities for the young people in the Andover area. The beneficiaries include individuals, sports clubs and other sporting organisations.

After care for us

We have had heart scans and ECGs to date and have appointments made at Southampton General for MRI Scans, treadmill tests and heart monitoring 24-hour tests.

It is great that we have been offered this – they certainly are looking after us. Our main concerns are for Tommy, our eldest son, aged 21.

The Heart Specialist has been very helpful and has spent a lot of time with us going through every detail regarding our future wellness, and how Jamie passed away.

The Inquest also clarified Jamie’s passing. BBC South were present and this was televised that evening, very professional and in everyone’s interest as Jamie was such a fit and healthy boy.

Creating awareness is the way forward

Andover Sound, our local radio, and local Press have been very supportive of this. Our community has been right behind us and we feel we owe it to the town to share this.

My story is endless. It hurts deep to think we cannot have him physically around, but somehow know he is spiritually, this works for us, some days.

I wonder “”Why?”” and “”How?”” but I don’t get the answers.

All we know is we must continue to keep positive and remember the great times we shared with him, to be grateful of almost 14 years of a wonderful, special son. Jamie lived his life to the full! From 7am to late at night he would want to BE – doing, talking, sporting, laughing, chilling – he certainly had a great young life.

I make no apology for going on, it helps to share and create awareness of how important this is – we all need to know – and of course to share and talk of a wonderful soul that is so missed and loved by everyone.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Love and much light.

Night-night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite – we miss and love you Jamie.

Jacqui Gentleman