William Roy Pemberton

William Roy Pemberton

Age: 23

Season ticket holder William Pemberton, fondly known as Roy, maintained a family tradition by regularly standing on the Kop with his father, uncle and sister Gillian. A gifted computer programmer, he studied Computer Sciences at the University of Leicester, from which a posthumous honour was awarded.

Roy's intelligence and sporting prowess were matched by his humility. He was a 'deep thinker', fighting for the causes he believed in. "Now we are left thinking about what Roy would have achieved," said his sister Shirley Riley.

Portrait by his sister Shirley Riley

Our Roy, formally known as William Roy Pemberton, was born on January 18, 1966.

He was the youngest sibling and extra special, as he was the only boy within an extended family to carry on the family name. My parents had previously lost a son, making Roy extremely precious and the apple of their eye.

Roy was a joy to watch grow up. As his two older sisters, Gillian and I, mothered him with all our love. One of the most prominent memories of our Roy is him walking around with his little plastic Bowie knife tucked into his pants thinking he was a pirate. It still makes us laugh to this day.

As a child and as an adult, Roy was very sociable and had a typical dry Scouse sense of humour. As the youngest, he often joked around with us.

On one occasion, Roy and I had a little fallout and to get his own back he brushed our poodle Brandy's teeth with my toothbrush. I had no idea that he had done this until my parents told me after his death, bringing such laughter and such sorrow.

We had a very happy upbringing as children and often went on day trips to the safari park, Chester Zoo and Blackpool. We also spent time away as a family in Perranporth, Cornwall and Devon, where some of our cousins lived.

During a couple of weeks there, we spent the majority of our time on the beach with our cousins and, at the first opportunity, Roy was in the sea with his surfboard. Our cousins reminisce about these times to this day; such joyous times.

Roy was also very close with the children in our neighbourhood. We were very lucky to live in a close where the majority of families had young children. It was as though we had another extended family on our doorstep.

There was an occasion when Roy and some of the other lads on the close built a go-kart out of a pram. It was hilarious watching them roam around in the pram go-kart using their feet as brakes.

Roy developed type 1 diabetes from a young age. From the age of eight, Roy was faced with having to inject insulin three times a day and forgo any childhood treats.

But he never once moaned and took it upon himself to make sure that he was in control of his wellbeing, extremely brave and accepting of the circumstances.

It goes without saying that Roy loved football and in particular, Liverpool Football Club. It all stemmed from our dad, who was an avid supporter and a Liverpool season ticket holder.

Our dad, uncle John, Gillian and Roy went to the Liverpool games together at least 20 to 30 times in a season. They loved every second of the game and the experience of standing on the Kop.

Roy followed in our dad's footsteps and obtained a boy's season ticket at the earliest opportunity and then the senior one.

Beyond watching football, Roy was a goalkeeper at school from the age of 12 to 16. He loved being in goal and we often went to see him play. Roy performed very well through this, but he was not particularly tall. We used to tease him about it, but then to our surprise he shot up to 6ft 3ins at the age of 16. It was surprising as neither of my parents were particularly tall.

Alongside being sporty, Roy was an extremely clever boy, whereby getting into grammar school was just the start of his achievements. He was very keen on Mathematics and was fluent in Latin, but his passion and talent lay within computers.

At the age of 14, Roy wrote and sold his first computer software program and continued to write and produce programs, which funded his time through university.

It was then only natural for Roy to go on to study Computer Sciences at the University of Leicester. We were all so very proud of him and it broke my parents' hearts when they received a posthumous award from the university in his name.

It brought home exactly what was taken from him and what he could have achieved with such intelligence. Our Roy was an all-rounder and extremely well-balanced. Though he was extremely intelligent, Roy was not at all boastful or nerdy.

He was very passionate about what he believed in and fought causes like anti-fox hunting. That being said, Roy was a deep thinker rather than an aggressor.

Now we are left thinking about Roy and what he would have achieved: a successful career, a family and many more dreams. We will never know, and we are getting older and he will not.

Our parents were left devastated and never truly got over his loss. They longed to spoil their boy but it was all taken from them. Gillian and I are only left with memories of our baby brother, but we love him and he will always live on.


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