Speech 8

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, now before I begin I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all those who I haven’t yet had the chance to meet. My name is Scott and it’s my very great pleasure and privilege to be Sean’s best man for today’s celebrations.


Over the next few minutes I’ll be taking you on the rollercoaster ride that has been Sean’s life to date, and there are some amazing stories; like the time he was playing A ball with David Cameron in Mexico and his dog ate the Prime Minister’s guinea pig and he had to sell my passport to repair his own nose…actually I’ve known Sean 30 years…I might have muddled a few things up there…


But anyway, I met Sean way back in the day at school before the internet and social media had stolen our children’s lives and when real boys like Sean never wore coats. Actually we all wore coats except Sean who was keeping it real by just wearing a jumper. Obviously not just a jumper but you know what I mean. Anyway, my first memory of Sean was of this godlike sportsman who, in his arena, had the skill of Boris Becker and the presence of Ivan Lendl. There was nothing this kid couldn’t do with a tennis ball. Ladies and gentlemen you are looking at the crème de la crème of the Oxfordfordshire A ball scene, which for the uninitiated is chucking a tennis ball against a fence. Anyway, when it came to throwing a tennis ball against a fence, he was in a league of his own, and I knew that he had to be my friend.


Growing up on the dusty plains of rural Oxfordshire, Sean began fantasizing about life as a cowboy; not so much poncho on and surveying the barren landscape for marauding bandits, but more like jumper on, avoiding the bandits in their Mark 1 escorts as he walked between Faringdon and Great Coxwell. Now, fantasies are all harmless stuff until you start to act them out in real life. Unfortunately for me, Sean decided to wait until we were in our early twenties after watching yet another spaghetti western, before making his dream come true. So, there we were in Mexico and I have to say it was a very pleasant holiday…until the last day. I only realized that my passport was missing as we were at the airport about to leave the country. There followed an embassy interrogation, last minute dash for a new passport, running out of money, a terrifying night in a park and a walk to the airport. All of which Sean could have easily avoided if he’d got on the plane the day before when we were supposed to, but he stuck by me. I’ve never lost my passport since and I’ve never forgotten his support. Sean, however, has persisted with his cowboy dream and recently went pony trekking in Argentina.


So, our teenage friendship was mainly based on a shared love of not wearing coats, tennis and walking long distances to have a good time. But, that was never going to be enough for Sean. Burning deep within his sole was a dream, what he wanted more than anything, more than being a cowboy, professional tennis player or A ball star…was to be an office manager in the NHS. He’s not dreaming any more ladies and gentlemen.

By studying hard he went to Brasenose College Oxford, where allegedly he once stood in the lunch queue with David Cameron, and where he was astonished to discover they didn’t play any A ball. However, Sean really stood out amongst his contemporaries, mainly due to having zero ambition and a huge dislike of work. After graduating he then set about an adult life of trying to avoid it at all costs, instead simply replacing it with travel. Receiving yet another sunny postcard from Sean as the rain hammered down in the UK could sometimes be a little hard to take!


But like so many before him Sean eventually put his travelling days behind him and returned to the UK, all for a deep and abiding love. They moved in together and shared many happy times, often just walking along content in each other’s company. They weren’t the most conventional of couples but this was a very different time in Britain, and as his name was Billy, was semi violent and liked to go to the toilet in public, the relationship was doomed from the start. To this day Sean still bears the scar on his nose where Billy bit him, but our thoughts should really be with the poor guinea pig who lasted for a full minute during in his one and only meeting with Billy.


To absent friends!


Of course dating a Staffordshire Bull Terrier was only a phase and soon Sean was leading an altogether more normal existence, but as the great William Shakespeare once wrote ‘the course of truelove never did run smooth’. It’s always tricky that first stage of the relationship as you go about discovering whether it’s going to work or not. However, for Sean and Lucinda it was a lot trickier, as soon after he met her and became smitten, he had the romantic task of making her redundant. Sean was taking the old addage “if you love them set them free” to ridiculous conclusions, which resulted in Lucinda losing her job.


Anyway, Sean a kept in touch with the excuse of checking her progress and through a mutual love of tennis they began spending a lot of time together – six years to be exact. Six years where they both pretended they were enjoying a shared love of tennis and holidays, but were still good friends. However, anyone could see that Sean was absolutely head over heels and eventually, they became a couple. Anyway, I think welcoming their beautiful baby daughter Isabel into the world would have been pretty hard to explain based on a platonic mutual love of racquet sports and travelling.


Lucinda, I think everyone will agree that you look absolutely stunning today, Sean is indeed a lucky boy. I am thrilled that my friend has found such a special person to share his life with and I can see that you, and Isabel, make him the happiest man in the world.


Sean, we’ve known each other for such a long time and been through such a lot together that it’s hard to know where to begin. All I can say is that I couldn’t have wished for a better bloke to share those years with and I hope that there’s going to be plenty more of them to come. Thanks for being a great friend and thanks for letting me copy your homework.

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


Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom.

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