Sunday, 1 August 2010

A Tribute To Liam O'Brian (1995 - 2008)

I often talk about people who inspire me. Though not all inspirations come from the stage, some of the most amazing people are hidden in the shadows, and you don't even have to meet them to be moved by their presence or story. So please read this blog and take a little time to think things over and absorb the story. It certainly moved me.

Tomorrow - Monday 2nd August 2010, marks the 2nd anniversary of the death of Liam O'Brian, whos life was stolen from him at just 13 years of age. I never did meet Liam or even know of him 2 years ago. I in fact stumbled across his tribute page whilst looking for a friend on Facebook. Reading the tributes to Liam really moved me. I am not ashamed to say I probably cried a bit too. His short life was filled with so much happiness, not only which he brought upon himself but also to others. The memories people had of him were amazing to read, it really tears your heart in two, to know that such a fantastic person had their life cut short in such a horrible way. Liam himself sounded such a wonderful guy, full of energy... you know, the sort of person who could give anyone a lift if they were feeling down. I didn't feel I could just close the window, of that page and walk away having been so deeply touched by his story and the love and friendship shown by those around him so left a message of my own which lead to me receiving a lovely reply back from Liam's mum.

Liam was a victim of the shocking and sadly growing wave of knife crime this country has seen in the last few years. The exact circumstances surrounding what happened are not clear and never will be. What saddens me however is that somebody felt the need to take the life of a fun loving, innocent boy for no reason at all. What justification is there anywhere in this? Its not big, it doesn't make someone look good and if there was a conflict, such violent actions solve nothing at all. It just shows up some people for what they are - sick and twisted cowards. Though even these people have families, they too are human and that means they feel pain, be it emotional or physical. So why do they feel the need to inflict this upon others? It is just horrific.

What I have seen as a result of Liam's death, is the strength that his family have shown. They are united, strong loving people. I have become friends with Liam's mum Sharron and Liam's cousin Jack, both who are extraordinary people who I admire so much. The courage they show every day to keep going, and to keep those around them going strong is amazing. Further more their efforts to keep Liam's memory alive is fantastic. Had it not have been for these efforts I would never have made two new friends or heard all about Liam.

The thing is I can't just sit here and accept what has happened. We need to make a change remember Liam was just 13 years old, with a whole life ahead of him. Too many people have lost their life in this way - and we can't just let this keep happening time and time again. I know we will never live in a perfect world, but I don't think it is unreasonable to dream of better times, and I am sure that with a little unity we can make this happen. Ok, I appreciate the world will never be perfect, in fact far from it... but lots of small positive changes all add up.

I know a fair few people read this blog, though I will never know quite how many people it reaches and just who read it. But I ask everyone who does to take a moment to think, and if you can make a change for the better that's all I ask of you. Maybe there is nothing to change in yourself, but we all have the ability to influence others. Maybe if you just tell people about this blog - to open their eyes to the world we live in i(Just like reading about Liam changed my views) it could help. I don't have all the answers, what I do know is we have to, as individuals do what we can to change things. We can't have children like Liam losing their life in this way, SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!!! If we can all work together to make the world a better place... even if its just a small change we have done Liam's memory the justice it deserves.

Remember - I am not asking to to do this for me... I want you all to do it for Liam.

I deliberately didn't go into too much depth about Liam on a personality level as this video (linked below) made by his sister Lily beautifully sums up Liam's life. Please watch it. Its a fitting tribute for a wonderful person.

Feel free to leave comments or whatever on this blog. You don't have to be a member to leave a comment.

Rest in peace Liam xxx


  1. Aww, poor Liam. It sucks that this had to happen to him. Not that anyone should have to go through that, but still. Thats so sad. Its nice that his family is doing that though. Most people wouldn't do that.

    Sorry for Liam,

  2. It sickens me that anyone would do this to such a wonderful child for no reason what so ever.. I am the same age as Liam would be now, I cannot even imagine of what it would of been to have lost my life at that age.. I will pray tonight about Liam and hope that God answers my prayers and brings happiness to Liam's family and Liam himself resting in heaven.

    R.I.P Liam
    Isaac Martin

  3. It is so sad that a child so young had his life cut short. He had his whole life ahead of him to do wonderfull thing in life dreams to come true and goals to reach. But no that was all taken from him by a coward of a person who was trying to look tough. The blog was good to read and the video made by Liam's sister was moving as the photos showed what he loved most.
    he had a big smile which could have been seen for miles. R.I.P LIAM
    R.E Daniell

  4. It's really bad that a kid of this age is THAT bad... I can't believe that someone would actaully do this to a kid.

    R.I.P Liam...

  5. I always cringe when I hear stories like these.
    I'm a person who always looks up for solution in any given situation. There's always must be a solution.
    Sadly, in cases like these there is no solution. Nothing can bring him back, that's why my mind goes crazy, looking for a solution, there must be a solution, there must be!

    And there, still, is one. Liam's life and death must be shown, explain, taught to children in schools. It's the power of the example. These things should never happen again.

    RIP Liam

  6. It's so bad that a kid of that age can be affected by knife crime. I was walking down my street earlier this night and saw some guys, couldn't be older than 13 looking in each car down my road. Stopping to glance what was inside them. These sort of things need to be stopped.

    Poor Liam.... May you rest in peace.

  7. Gareth, This is great, The way you explained him is just how he was. Liam was a great lad and I will always remember him.

    R.I.P Liam xx

  8. It's surreal in a way to think that the people who took Liam's life are ordinary human beings with families and friends; you can't help but think of them as a collective body of sick individuals with the most distorted view of right and wrong.
    I pray that future governments will help put and end to the trail of knife crime which has been steadily increasing in Britain in the past 10 years.
    Touching to read, may Liam's family and loved ones find comfort in the thought of him residing in a better place now. May you rest in peace Liam.

  9. This is one sad story of which there are just to many. It certainly moved me. I am aware of this problem quite some time now and something has to be done to STOP this. The story of Liam is just sad, very sad. Because he was so young. And it reminded me of a friend, aged 13 at his death in 2003, although it was a total different case. Because of his illness. Only just like Liam it was also an innocent lost live. It is something I can not get over and there is not a week going by without thinking of him. I even had to stop having contact with his family back then and still as all I did was cry when I heard his mum on the phone or something. Very happy for Gareth he is having contact with some of Liam's family members. My thoughts are with you.

  10. Poor boy.

    How can people be so cruel and take a thirteen year old's life.

    Liam looks like a happy boy, his big smile. His family must be in pieces. I've Lost a son but he died from a rare heart condition in May 2008. R.I.P Liam. Taken far to young


  11. This is sick, just sick, Poor Poor Mite.

    I am the same age as Liam, we have the same birthday. I can't believe his life was stolen from him at such a young age, and in those circumstance. My heart goes out to Liam's Family and Friends on this hard day.

    R.I.P Liam x

  12. Its sad that news of attacks and pictures of victims are so commonplace all over the news every day that we have become numb to it. And even sadder that the perpetrators of these crimes are children themselves.

    What a world we live in. My heart goes out to Liam and his family, who will suffer and wear this burden forever. I wish that washing you all in empathy could bring Liam back but it can't, so all you have is my words and my heart.

    Jon X