A family’s grief

A month after the death of Warren Hay, his parents talk exclusively to The Hunts Post about life without their beautiful son . NATALIE BOWYER reports MAXINE and John Hay visit the grave of their 16-year-old son every day. For them, the death of Warren –

A month after the death of Warren Hay, his parents talk exclusively to The Hunts Post about life without their 'beautiful son'. NATALIE BOWYER reports

MAXINE and John Hay visit the grave of their 16-year-old son every day. For them, the death of Warren - or Wazza as he liked to be called - still remains unreal,something that seems to be happening to another family, in another town.

John gets through each day by imagining his son is staying with friends.

"For me it still hasn't sunk in, and I try to imagine Warren is staying with friends and that is what helps get me through the day," he said.

"To know that he won't be bursting through the door with a big smile on his face is absolutely heart-breaking."

Warren died last month after being hit by a car on the A141 in Huntingdon. The St Peter's School pupil had been walking with friends to watch Huntingdon Rowdies FC play at Jubilee Park.

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Since his death Maxine and John have received hundreds of letters and cards. They said the support is helping them through their difficult time.

Maxine, who is a civil servant at RAF Brampton, said: "It has been the support of family, friends and the community that has been helping us. The support has been overwhelming."

John, 45, added: "The unbelievable courage his friends have shown has really helped us."

Although the couple have found it too difficult to read the letters, they say that knowing people are there for them makes all the difference.

"For the past month we have been on a wave of emotion and it is only really now that things are hitting us and we have begun to grieve," Maxine said.

It is going to be a long process. Their home has been stripped of recent photos of Warren - it is just too upsetting for John and Maxine to see them.

"It was such a waste of life," said John. "He was the biggest character in our family and he has left such a big gap. I have lost not only my son but my best friend."

Warren, who was described as football-mad, played for Alconbury FC under 16s and had just been accepted on to the senior team. He was also a huge Chelsea fan.

Such was his dedication to the sport that he had completed a referee course with his father.

After his GCSEs he hoped to go to Peterborough Regional College to study PE.

As well as having a love for sport, he was also said to have a passion for life.

"He just loved life," his dad said. "He would always break up arguments. Once, when Maxine and I were having a cross word, Warren walked past the living room door completely naked because he knew we would stop, look at him and laugh.

"Other times he would walk around the house with his shorts pulled up high just to make us laugh. He always wanted to make other people happy."

He added: "He was never afraid to say 'dad, I love you', and that made me really proud.

"I was never Warren's hero. It was always the other way round. He hated me calling him my beautiful boy, but I will continue to call him that."

Warren was born in Tooting, south London on March 14, 1991, and moved with Maxine, John and his twin sister Rebecca to Robin Terrace, Alconbury, in 1996.

"Warren always enjoyed life but it wasn't until we moved to Huntingdonshire that Wazza was born. He really came into his own and flourished," said John.

Although doctors had expected Rebecca to be born first, Warren made a surprise visit 10 minutes earlier than his sister after climbing over her.

Maxine said: "It was typical Warren, always wanting to make a dramatic entrance."

On the day of the accident, John was working in London, and Maxine had taken Rebecca to see McFly in concert.

"We were in London when we got the phone call," said Maxine. "It was one of Warren's friends who said Warren had been hit by a car but his eyes were open and he had a broken leg. It did not sound too serious so we asked my mum and dad to go and see Warren. But when they got to Hinchingbrooke Hospital they were told he had been taken to Addenbrooke's with a head injury. We knew then that things were more serious and we rushed to the hospital."

When they arrived they found their son attached to various tubes.

"He just looked asleep and there was not a mark on him," said John.

Maxine added: "The doctors told us they were fighting to keep him alive and that it was only his physical strength that was keeping him alive."

Warren fought for five days before dying on Sunday May 13. It was just hours after Maxine's 40th birthday.

John said: "I stayed with him. I watched my son come into this world and I watched him leave."

The family has decided that Warren's eyes will be used to give sight to other people. Maxine said: "He couldn't do anything without trying to make something else's life better and this is what he would have wanted."

With Warren gone, the family is now trying to find the courage to get through each day. Maxine said: "It will be a double-edged sword that we will see his friends grow up without Warren. He was our beautiful son who always made us proud and this tragedy should not have happened."

Following Warren's death more than 6,500 people have signed a petition demanding a crossing of the A141 in Huntingdon.

INFORMATION: To support the Warren Hay Safety Action Group phone John Dunleavy on 01480 350507 or Rolief Leonce on 078807 24007, or to sign the online petition visit www.huntspost.co.uk