This is the single, most hardest thing I’ve ever had to write.
My dear friend, Andrew lost his life in the US, last Tuesday 13th March 2018 after a tragic accident.
Nothing can ever prepare you for news like that.
I first met Andrew on 25th October 2013 when he came in for his consultation. As I opened the door, there stood a big Scotsman with a warm smile and a firm handshake.
That was the start of a professional relationship that after weeks only, turned into a beautiful friendship.
There are so many amazing memories of Andrew, from the things he did, to the things he’d say, to the things he’d wear. Nothing but fond memories.
We had quite a lot of banter especially when it came down to fashion. Ninety percent of the time I’m in a tracksuit for work, so when it came to a social gathering Andrew would often comment on how I looked.
Andrew always presented himself with impeccable standards. Envious maybe, I would pick out anything I didn’t quite understand. For example, Andrew would wear these shoes with tassels on. “What the f**k are those?” I would ask. He’d look at me and reply “they are in fashion mate. Not that you’d know anything about that.” And he was probably right.
A couple of months later I found myself at a till in some shop buying tasseled shoes. The first thing I did was text Andrew to let him know.
If you often read our blogs you would of seen a photo of Andrew at the top of the page (far left). The photo is of us at the finish line at Winchester, Tough Mudder 2014.
That day was one of my fondest memories to date. A group of people that came together to compete in a 10-12 mile obstacle course.
Andrew left a monumental impression on each and every one of us that day. He played the part of a leader and helped the team reach the finish line.
One of our team members that day was a girl called Sophie. She had reminded me of the time we were trying to conquer an obstacle called ‘Pyramid Scheme’.
We had to help each other reach the top. To achieve this we thought it would be best to use each other as a human ladder. Andrew and myself crouched down with our backs against the slanted wall for the team to climb upon us. Sophie had to stand on Andrew’s head in order to reach the top. Considering there were many groans coming out of Andrew’s mouth he didn’t mind at all. I was in hysterics, crying with laughter whilst fearing I would flounder. A very funny moment for all watching.
Kate (one of our PT’s) also shared a memory of that day, when she had just finished an obstacle called ‘Artic Enema’ (personally, I think this is by far the worst obstacle).
Kate came out of Artic Enema looking for warmth and there was Andrew, arms open, smile from ear to ear as he engulfed her in an enormous hug. He must of been freezing himself, but he never showed it. I put that down to his Scottish blood.
Once we had finished the course there were many hugs as tears. For a few of the team this was something that they never thought possible. Andrew helped those people achieve something they will never forget. I will never forget.
Andrew and I had an agreement that once Tough Mudder was over we would get dressed into our Superman/Batman onesies. No one thought we would do it, but as you’ll see in a photo below, we did.
It is one of my favourite photos of us. Teas/coffees in hand and sporting our true colours.
As a personal trainer, we are there to help people physically and mentally, but I can’t help but feel Andrew helped me more than I ever helped him.
You only had to be in the room with him for a matter of minutes before you felt revitalised and ready to better yourself.
Hand on heart, I can honestly say I have never met a more inspirational man than Andrew.
He has given me a new vision when it comes to business and I am currently in the middle of a new venture which leaves me excited.
Andrew and I often talked about where we would like to be in the next few years. Andrew shared with me his desire to one day help small businesses grow and I know he would of flourished doing so.
He also shared with me the importance of having a good team behind him and making sure that team is always looked after.
Andrew was EMEA managing director at Datto Inc.
Datto provides business continuity solutions to secure the essential business data for thousands of companies around the world.
He loved his team at Datto. He always talked so highly about them. I know they thought the same, because early last year Andrew wanted me to go into Datto to do a motivational team talk.
After the talk had finished I asked his team “how is it working with Andrew?” The response “It’s amazing! He’s a lovely guy and a joy to work with”.
Outside of work we would occasionally go out socially, mainly for dinner. A favourite of ours was Miller & Carter steak house. There were normally five of us (Megan, Tansy, Gary, Andrew and myself).
On Thursday 15th March 2018, I wrote on Andrew’s Facebook wall the memory of when we sang one of Andrew’s favourite songs ‘You Can Call Me Al’ from the top of our voices. We should of got kicked out in all fairness, but the Miller & Carter staff seemed to find it funny. It was one of our many great nights.
I’ll never forget the time we ended up in a club in Reading. After a couple of drinks Andrew thought it would be wise to try and hold me above his head. This ended in an epic fail as I landed on my back. It was like a scene from Dirty Dancing that went wrong.
Andrew picked me up, laughing and gave me a huge hug. I told him “we must work on getting your shoulders stronger”.
We also had what we called ‘Christmas jumper nights’. Andrew couldn’t always attend those gatherings, but when he did there was much joy and laughter.
There were nights when Andrew would finish work and come over to mine for dinner and a catch up.
I remember one Friday evening Andrew came over and stayed the night because he had a few too many G&T’s.
The following morning I took Andrew for breakfast at this really nice cafe called Yolk.
I’m mentioning this because Saturday after I had finished work I decided to go to Yolk for a late lunch. As I was no more than three or four minutes away from the cafe Andrew’s song ‘You Can Call Me Al’ came on the radio.
As tears started to run down my face, Kate looked at me with a huge smile on her face and said “he’s here with you”.
I know most people will say it’s a coincidence, but it really did make me feel as if Andrew was with me.
This past week I have talked with Andrew’s mother, Iris. Iris has let me know of all the messages she has received from all around the world.
Andrew was one of the most humble people I had ever met.
I’m not sure he would of ever thought that a boy from Portsoy, Scotland could touch the hearts of so many people from all around the world.
Well buddy, you did. Everyone loves you… Everyone misses you.
As this tribute to Andrew comes to an end I would like to reiterate what I have said on my social media accounts.
Andrew was one of the worlds kindest and hard working people. He always believed in his ability and in his success always treated people as equals.
I believe the world is a far worse place without Andrew, but at I least I was lucky enough to of had him in my life.
I’m sure I speak for everyone that knew Andrew when I say, I will never forget you and you will forever be in my heart.
Rest in peace my friend.
05/05/83 – 13/03/18