Speech 13

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, now before I begin I would just like to introduce myself to all those that I haven’t yet had the chance to meet. My name is Pete and as Gav’s older brother it is my very great pleasure and privilege to be able to say a few words today. Over the next few minutes I’ll be taking you on the rollercoaster ride that has been Gav’s life to date, from attacking shoplifters, to attacking my friends to the time a badger attacked his car. None of that is made up apart from the badger bit which Gav says is real but which obviously made up!


Now, I had a great childhood, there I was watching a bit of TV, eating Lego and dropping food down myself, having the time of my life. One day all that was to change when my parents brought home this enormous, noisy baby and told me he was my brother Gav. It turns out they were right – and from that moment my life has never been the same.


What nobody except me seemed to realize was, that this gigantic thing in a nappy which made the noise of about ten jumbo jets, couldn’t possibly be related to our family. We were all of a more regular height and liked to be a bit more reserved but I decided to say nothing and just waited for the day when the hospital called and said they had found the real Gav behind a radiator…I’m still waiting.


Eventually he became settled in our family and just started to grow even bigger. Now as Gav grew older he came to two conclusions about his height. The first one was that he had absolutely no other option in life but to become a goal keeper and the second one was, the more of him there seemed to be, obviously the more fantastic he became in his own mind. To celebrate and acknowledge his greatness Gav would like to put as many photos of himself up around my bedroom as possible. This was obviously a huge cry for help at the time as it must have dawned on him too that he was in the wrong family.


But he didn’t despair and really threw himself into sport, and when I say threw himself I really do mean it in every sense – usually directly at an opponent’s soft bits, resulting in their removal from the pitch on a stretcher.


Anyone thinking that’s normal for a goalkeeper should bear in mind that by this point he’d already become bored with using his sizeable frame to stop goals and instead had moved out into defence to stop whole players. The pinnacle of Gav’s physical approach was the time the air ambulance had to come and retrieve one of his victims. However, sport didn’t just lead him to get feisty with humans, oh no. To ‘celebrate’ Manchester UTD’s Champion’s League win in 1999, Gav famously tackled a table, I’m afraid to say the table didn’t make it. But maybe Gav’s most triumphant sporting success was when, after a few refreshing lagers and in full England kit, he picked up and carried a shoplifter back into Mothercare – like Bath’s very own superhero.


He’s also had his fare share of bumps and scrapes along the way and all of them carry a common thread – mainly the fact that he’s not that bright. Having an accident isn’t that unusual it’s what happens afterwards that can make all the difference. And so it was when Gav accidentally fell onto a trowel my dad was holding in the garden, cut his head, found himself in A&E and when asked what had happened by the nurses, replied that his dad had told him to say nothing. His attempt to be removed from our family by the authorities had failed.


He then went on to break his wrists – twice and also bones in his feet and quite a few years later he found himself having accidents with more things, mainly cars and bikes, and never his fault. On one famous occasion Gav’s car was the victim not of poor driving but ‘the magic badger’. This stripy pest allegedly managed to run out in front of his car, destroy the front end, travel under the car and then somehow destroy the rear. The badger was never found and our thoughts are with his family.


Gav knew that being quite good at hurting fellow sportsmen, wildlife and tables was never going to give him much of a living so he set about finding his way in the world of employment. Luckily for him having an older brother who was the manager of a Pizza Hut restaurant meant that he had immediate access to work. Unfortunately for us both that’s where the luck ended. Having a six foot four bloke, with short temper, dressed up in the Pizza Pooch dog outfit, it was only a matter of time before things came to head. I’d like to think that those kids who thought they’d get the better of the Pizza Pooch in the park that day will never ever forget the trauma of being explicitly threatened by a giant dog.


But Gav was destined for bigger things, took on an apprenticeship at Rolls Royce and has never looked back. His career, whatever it is, has gone from strength to strength. Nobody is too sure what he does at work but he did make a great success of things during his spell over in Germany so I can only think it’s got something to do with dressing up as an animal again.


Apart from his love of sport, jet engines and Germans, Gav is never happier than when he’s overseas and this love of travelling has happily led him to find the love of his life, his wife Ellie. Ellie, may I say you look absolutely beautiful and I know that my brother is a very lucky guy to have found such a great girl to share his life with. Now there is nothing new about an organized bar crawl in Kos resulting in a love affair, however, they usually last around 4 hours or so and are followed by dehydration and nausea. But thanks to the Smirnoff Ice rounds and Gav’s technically gifted dancing, a romance was born and so we find ourselves here today.


Gav, there hasn’t been a single minute of the last 30 years that I haven’t been very glad and exceptionally proud that you’re my little brother. You’re a fun, friendly and very popular guy who is making a great life for himself thanks to a lot of hard work and natural ability. And I know many people here have benefitted from your kindness, generosity and support. As I said at the beginning the day you arrived my life changed forever – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.


All that remains is for me to wish you both a long and happy life together and all the luck in the world.


Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom!

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