His Laugh. The laugh was my favourite aspect of Barrington, one that will stay with me always. It was hearty and joyful- especially when he came to the Future Fitness Gym boxing area, where I took private boxing lessons back in 1997.
I remember him as a kind, genuine and generous man. He was a very tall and imposing individual. However, he had an equanimous and tranquil aura about him. This made him approachable and an individual whom I genuinely respected.
I always saw him at local boxing and MMA tournaments and he always spoke kindly to me. This was a rare quality and set him apart in a city which was known for violence back in the late 90s. It was a city with no shortage of individuals who wore their nasty reputations with pride used it as social currency/capital and abused the goodwill of people through intimidation. In contrast, he helped communities by being a positive role model, by being the agent of change that was sorely required for all strata of society to live in harmony and make the city a better place.
These are the memories I will take away from the passing of an individual who gave his time to the community and was a positive role model to the next generation. An individual who I modelled and aimed to be like in my composure, attitude and single-minded focus in attaining my goals for my Post University life.
His impact on this young lad from Durham, who had to deal with the culture shock of moving to the midlands was invaluable. His joie de vivre seeped into all areas of my life. Post-Graduation, I went on to the world of work with a focus to always be better, hold high protected values at all times, be genuine with others and work to make life better for the community I worked for and the stakeholders I worked with and for.
I became a management consultant very rapidly and worked with the companies I had dreamt of working for. His Ethical approach to life and ‘Amor Fati’ stoic attitude led me to not only excel in my professional life but also to use my spare time to help communities in a meaningful way. For example, I worked with the Coventry Mediation and Community Support (MACS) Team, pro bono, to help children who were at risk of being disaffected from education.
I was overseas when I got a message that he had passed away due to a heart attack. I initially did not process it and thought the individual was playing a distasteful prank on me. Then I searched the web and his passing was in every newspaper in the country. The BBC had written about his passing. It demonstrated how much he had achieved in his life. The news of his passing had gone around the world in texts, calls and all available media. He was a humble individual who never revealed or bragged about his significant achievements.
One of the main reasons I felt compelled to write this article is to show the side of a man who made a difference. Areas the newspapers did not cover. Instead, they focussed on his past, his appearance on the tv show with Danny Dyer, the links to football when he was younger. The coverage, in my eyes, reduced him to a one-dimensional caricature. They failed to take the time to show how magnanimous, kind and inspiring he was. Maybe it is symptomatic of the society and culture we live in — sensational headlines tend to get more clicks which equals more £££’s. I consider it bad form and unethical when journalists and publishers use a tragedy, spice it up, omit important facts about a good mans life, just to generate maximum revenue. It demonstrates how low their protected values really are.
The second reason I wrote this tribute to Barrington is a personal one: to help me process the loss and more importantly to give the tribute he deserves to his wife and extended family.
Rest in Peace Mr Patterson. Your memories will never be forgotten! Those will remain with us forever.