BIG hearted people in Twyford have rallied round to honour one of the village’s most popular characters.
James Foley, who died earlier this month, was described as “a very special person” who “always had time for others.”
Now locals have raised over £4,500 to give James a unique send off and to help his favourite charities.
Paul Williams, landlord at The Duke of Wellington, where James was a regular, said he was “overwhelmed” at people’s response.
“Sadly James hadn’t worked for a while and was struggling financially with that and so all of us as his friends, family and acquaintances have come together to support him one last time and show all of our support to Liam, his son,” he explained.
“James was a very special guy who had his own share of problems, losing his wife, Celia in 2011, and his son, Mason two years later just aged 18.
“Despite his own problems, James always had a smile on his face which was infectious. You couldn’t help but feel better after a few minutes in his company.
“Over £4,000 was raised in just one week which shows how much people loved James. It also shows the strong community spirit in Twyford.”
A special fundraising concert was held last Thursday and featured one of James’ favourite bands, The Skangsters, who performed for free.
There was no entrance fee but all donations on the night will be added to the total raised. The Duke of Wellington also supplied the catering free of charge for James’s wake.
Mr Williams added: “We have raised enough to give James a proper send off. Any extra will be handed over to Liam who works as a barman here at the Duke who will donate it to a charity of his choice that his Dad would have wanted.
“We hope many people will come to pay their respects to a truly great man who will be sorely missed by everyone.”
Messages of sympathy have poured onto the fundraising page:
Dharma Abrahart wrote: “Hi Paul thanks for doing this. James was a special person and you could not help to grin when he was grinning and laugh we he laughed.”
Deeana Belle-Woods said: “Sleep well my old friend, I’ll treasure our memories of us putting the world to rights in the Hygeia car park.”
Caroline Lewis added: “Thanks James for all the laughs over the years. You will be sorely missed by so many people.”
Kevin Brown said: “James was one of us. It’s a Twyford thing.”
Details of James’ funeral will be uploaded to The Duke’s website and Facebook.