28 February 1962 - 11 September 2001
Neil was born in Greenwich, London on 28 February 1962.
Soon after he was born the family moved to Essex where his brothers, Paul and Keith and his sister Joanne, were born.
Right from his childhood days Neil was very fond of the countryside and enjoyed the many pursuits that offered. He spent much of his leisure time with his brothers in the fields backing onto the house and especially by the river where his love of fishing was born.
When he left school, he had no planned career in mind and had a variety of jobs until in 1993, he took off with his brother Keith to “pack-pack” Australia. When they returned many months later he realised that he had to get his life back on track again and decided to undertake a degree course that he hoped would lead to a career in the leisure fishing industry.
However, having obtained his degree he found that employment opportunities were limited and since he needed to earn some money to finance a life to which he would like to become accustomed, he had to change direction.
Prior to his trip, Neil’s employment had been in publishing related businesses, so he was well placed when an opportunity came up to join the Risk in their London Office. A posting to Hong Kong a couple of years later was to change his life forever for it was there that he met Dinah Webster.
They left Hong Kong for New York in January 2000 to take up new posts in the New York office of Risk Waters Group and after renting a small apartment in Manhattan they found a delightful house in Port Washington, Long Island which they bought in July, only 2 months before they died.
Wherever Neil went he brought happiness and had the ability to make friends easily and more importantly, retain them. He was generous, kind and compassionate. He always sought quality, whether it was designer clothes, top fishing gear or a prestigious car. But he also loved the simple things in life; a walk in the fields, an evening in a country pub with friends and family and above all, fishing. He had fished all over the world but it is doubtful whether, in his mind, anything would compare with a day’s fly fishing on the River Test in Hampshire.
Neil and Dinah became engaged to be married during the week before they died with a view to marrying in 2002. Knowing them, it would have been a grand affair with a never-ending flow of champagne. They lived life to the full and probably packed more into their all-to-brief lives together than most of us will in our lifetime. To quote from the tribute contained in the booklet “In Memory of our Friends from Risk Waters Group” published to coincide with the Risk Waters Service of Thanksgiving held on 19 October 2001 - “Neil’s inherent respect for others and unselfish regard, meant that he graced all around him. Neil was the mediator and the generator - admired by all who knew him for his undeniable compassion and sincerity. Neil led by example. The example was that it is possible to be both a gentleman and a winner”.
We all loved Neil very much and it is impossible to describe how much we miss him.
Jim Cudmore (Father)