Brian Newman - nicest man on the planet
I hope this afternoon was as delightful as the man in whose honour it was held. And I'd like to add many more "well dones" to the many Ian Butler and co deserve.
Couldn't make it today. And, not being a forum watcher, I missed out on the chance to contribute a tribute tin the programme. So, here's a few (hundred) words on the nicest man on the planet:
I never knew Brian 'Fossil' Newman without white hair. Although he must have been my age now when I first met him. As "manager" of a Ks Supporters Team in 1992, he was already famous Ittalian coach Giovanni Trappattoni's stunt double (and some Ireland fans might think Brian would have produced more entertaining Ireland teams).
The white hair made "fossil" an obvious sobriquet. It may have had multiple origins. But a few of us first used it at a 1994 stand-up comedy show. I can't remember if Harry Hill or Dominic Holland (Tom's Dad) said the word on stage. But when they did, ex- supporters club chairman Gary Spickett turned the room's attention to the whitest-haired man in the young audience. And the name stuck.
I went to many comedy shows with him. He was a huge and hugely knowledgeable fan of comedy new, old and older. And the comics he approached after shows recognised this, as the nicest man on the planet engaged them in proper conversation about the art. We were regulars at the Crack Comedy Club at Kingston's Grey Horse pub. And I was only known as "Brian's mate." Which is one of the nicest things anybody's ever said to me.
Drinking with Brian needed careful pacing. At his quaffing "best.," he'd down the first half of a pint in "normal" time. But the second half couldn't have disappeared any quicker if he'd thrown it at me. Which he probably had occasion to do many times but, as the nicest man on the planet, never did.
Of course, I am nowhere near well-travelled enough to be entirely sure that Brian WAS the nicest man on the planet. There may be a Tanzanian non-league football and comedy fan with similar qualities. But I have my doubts.
Yes. Nicest man on the planet, Brian Newman. He will never not be missed.
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