It was with enormous sadness that I learned that my friend and colleague passed away yesterday, after a brief struggle with a brain tumour.
For those of you who didn’t know him, he was super-intellligent, honest and generous, liberal-minded creative web geek. Even though we were complete opposites in many ways – him creative, me a bull in a china shop etc… we managed to hit it off. To be honest, I can’t recall anyone who didn’t take to him straight away.
In some ways our working class backgrounds meant that we had similar roots. Despite this he was excelling at School and off to Cambridge to read maths, whereas it was Bristol Polytechnic for me. My path was much more conventional after college, whereas Pete was living in a squat.
When we first met, we were looking for a Chief Technology Officer for our web start-up. Kevin had met Pete before and thought that Pete wasn’t that interested in the role – it was Pete being Pete though. Kevin called him again, and Pete said he was up for it. When I met Pete, I wondered who would turn up to an interview dressed like someone out of the band ‘Haircut 100’, but what struck me was his obvious mental capacity, desire to create something new and rock solid values. I knew then that he would be right for us.
We worked together for approaching three years, during which time I got to know him well. He enjoyed nothing more than a great coffee and a chat at Barristas, where we put the world to rights.
Pete had a great sense of humour and never took himself too seriously. I remember that one day he brought his dog Edith into work wearing this old well-worn coat, something that made me liken him to a Big Issue Seller – he was great at taking jokes at his expense.
He and I often played table football on the same team as the two worst players in the office we were often forced together. Every now and again we even won a game. Kevin is right when he says that Pete is the only person in the world with a table football move named after him – the ‘Ferney special’, which involves keeping you player just in front of the opposition goalkeeper and waiting for them to pass you the ball before snatching a sneaky goal. Pete would grin widely every time he snatched a Ferney special.
As someone who regards family as the most important part of life, Pete’s own attitude to family was one I could empathise with. He was devoted to his partner Debs, and often spoke about his beautiful daughters Bella and Maisie. As Pete’s illness took hold of him, I got to understand what made them all special.
Pete’s funeral is on 18th October at the Memorial Woodlands at Alveston.
Rest in peace Pete. The world is a lesser place without you.