'…It was very, very sad because I loved him so much. I'd just been through cancer with Linda and here I was going through it all over again with a mate of 50 years. He wasn't my immediate family but he almost was. He'd always felt like my little brother.'
He takes a breath, focuses on a point in the distance, mutters ‘What a lovely boy’ then carries on.
'The last time I met him, he was very sick and I held his hand for four hours. As I was doing it I was thinking “I've never held his hand before, ever. This is not what two Liverpool fellas do, no matter how well you know each other.” I kept thinking, “he's going to smack me here.” But he didn't. He just stroked my hand with his thumb and I thought “Ah, this is OK, this is life. It's tough but it's lovely. That's how it is.” I knew George before I knew any of the others and I loved that man. I'm so proud to have known him. Still, as sad as it was, you take the great bit, which was that last time you saw him, and that's what you remember. That and all the other lovely memories.'