When i got the phone call from Wilson at work that Joe had passed away i couldn’t really believe it, which im sure was the same reaction to everyone that got a call on Wednesday.In fact it didn’t even sink in until i had to make one of those phone calls myself,one of 4 i made that day.Holly as always was as bright as day when she answered only to leave the call in tears.Thats when the reality sunk in that we wouldn’t be seeing our friend Joe again. On the walk home i passed Westburn park and remembered the days i would come up against the rock in defense that was Mr Joe Park.For somebody that wasn’t the most athletic or football minded of guys he was a pain in my arse every time i came up against him! He would play a simple pass and do the sensible thing.He stuck to his strengths and did nothing more.I don’t think faster players or somebody with a bit of skill had that much trouble against him but i always seemed to have problems.As i would run my arse into the ground and lunge into tackles only to knacker or injure myself,Joe would do what he had to yet still come out trumps.I think Joe’s attitude on the football park was a reflection on what he was like off it. Joe had a sense of humour like no other person iv’e met.He didn’t need to rip the piss or belittle someone in order to get a laugh.He would get by on his slow,dry,roll of the tounge wit that i only wish i had.Joe’s layed back attitude and easy going nature made him instantly like-able by everyone he came across.I think you’d of needed to try very hard in order to make an enemy out of Joe.He simply was a down to earth,nice guy who was loved by all his friends.I will never forget the past three years we spent at Leeds festival.If he wasn’t there the weekend wouldn’t of been half as memorable.in all honesty he hardly even moved from his chair the whole time! He just sat getting slowly more pished as the nights went on and we would wind him up.Eventually he would get so riled by constant jibs ( mostly me and Wilson if you can believe that!) that he would jump up and give chase.I honestly believe if he ever got a hold of us he would swing for us.But this made it all the more funnier that sunburnt lobster Joe, crashing into tents with his army top and blonde wig,would give chase shouting abuse in a funny and original way that only Joe could.Im laughing typing this as words can’t really explain the funny off beat antics that involved Joe at Leeds the times he came.He was just somebody that nobody minded being around and a pleasure to share banter with.Leeds will be a lot less cooler without him thats for sure.
I also remember Holly’s party where Wilson,Joe and myself had to share a tent soaked in inches of rain together.I remember how disgusted he was when me and Wilson got semi -naked and hugged into him for warmth just to get a rise really.Every time we did get that rise we would say in a Geordie big brother accent “Joe is getting angry” or “Joe has come to the diary room”.It obviously was one of those “had to be there” situations but that night at holly’s was one of the funniest.Joe was never on the back foot for long as he always had some carcy,witty put down for me and Wilson to swallow and it was scary how he would hit the nail on the head at times.Just a genuenly funny but harmless guy that was respected by all his friends.I remember the next day the three of us took a massive hike to the nearest shop(Holly stays in the middle of nowhere and is miles from anything!)so we could get bacon rolls. It was a beautiful day and it took us a fair while but it was honestly the best day of our summer.Its been labeled “nature boys day out”.I had my camera with me that day and we took a shit load of photos in which iv’e never uploaded as it broke soon after.I think now is the time to finally get it fixed so i can upload the pictures from an ace weekend with Joe.Word of warning though – it may contain partial nudity! ha!
My thoughts go out to Joe’s family and Stanley who has lost his best friend.As i said on your page,i only live ten minutes away and vice versa.Anytime.
Joe you will be missed by everyone who you knew.You were a great,great guy and friend to us all and didn’t deserve to die so young.My only regret is that i didn’t spend more time with you as the times you were out you made it a memorable night without even breaking a sweat.Take it easy my friend.You definatley made sunburns and blonde wigs in fashion.