Felix, by his friend Milo Frank
I first met Felix when we were just 4 years old in the reception year of Lynams where we both found ourselves in the infamous all-boys class. Through Lynams and Summertown Stars, our local football team which we played in, Felix and I became close friends. On to the Dragon school where Felix and I retained that friendship and grew even closer. The Dragon holds a lot of memories and always will do and I wish I could share them all, from Felix and I being in the class of 5CO together all the way to the A-block party. And then after the Dragon where we went our separate ways, he to Eton and I to Magdalen, yet despite this we still kept just as close.
Felix was friends with so many. Whenever a holiday or exeat came round I was sure to see him at one of the many social events; from dressing up in suits to awkwardly trying to pick up girls at the Feathers ball to various people’s house parties. But I think the most memorable night with Felix was not at some party but in his own house hiding in terror from Dan and Justin. As I’m sure a few of you know, the game of ‘Ghost’ was a particular favourite in the Byam Shaw household. Every year on Felix’s birthday until it became ‘uncool’, Dan, his friends and Justin would chase about 20 kids round the house when it was pitch-black, generally just scaring us silly. They would wear bed-sheets, make homemade flamethrowers, and tamper with the lighting, all terrifying the life out of our 12 year-old selves. A particular favourite from those nights was Felix running around screaming at the top of his voice and falling down the stairs.
Another memorable night was one Halloween when we were a little unprepared in terms of trick or treating attire. Felix, Michael and I were at Michael’s house. I had a kind of zombie outfit, Michael a vampire outfit and Felix had nothing. So he decided to improvise in the way only Felix would which basically meant putting on a dressing gown, wrapping a towel round his head and wearing Michael’s dad’s slippers! Lo and behold, we got some pretty strange looks from passers-by with one friendly neighbour simply questioning why Felix was in a dressing gown. To which he replied “Urgh, I’m not sure, I guess I’m a tramp”. Safe to say we ended the night with plenty of chocolate and laughing at Felix’s attempts to shy away when we saw people on the street that we knew.
Felix, life without you just hasn’t been the same; your unconditional optimism and happiness towards everything you did and to everyone around you is sorely missed. I used to find it funny how much you cared about animals, for example planting secret cameras to catch foxes on tape or reading a book about bird-watching, until I realised that no one else did it. By this I mean the effort that you put into helping others that was simply unmatched by anyone I knew our age. You were such a kind, funny and sporty friend and the memories I cherish of you will be memories I cherish for my entire life. From playing cricket on a water slide in my back garden to discovering girls together at the Dragon, I will never forget you and the times we shared together.
Felix, by his friend Joss King
I first met Felix at a football party when we were seven. We had been playing for ten minutes or so when I realised that everybody was flocking to the touchline to be with someone who’d just arrived. I walked towards the crowd. Amongst them I caught my first glimpse of a little chubby Felix, the centre of attention. I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about at first, but over the next seven years it became obvious.
Felix and I both loved our sport and I think I have played more competitive matches with him than without him. One brilliant moment was last year playing football against Hampton. With his very first touch, he sent a magnificent 30-yard volley flying into the top corner. The whole team erupted with cheers and a broad smile spread across Felix’s face. Everyone knows that Felix had a winning smile, but the one that will always stay with me is a literally winning smile – after he scored us the goal that won the Summerfields U8s tournament.
When people think of my relationship with Felix, many don’t look much further than our relationship on the pitch. However, there is much more. Since I was first introduced to him on that touchline, he became my best friend. He was the most popular person I knew, and so many people I know called him their best friend, too.
He was a brilliant companion on every occasion and the easiest person to be with. He spent lots of time with my family, and having him over always made the day great fun. He somehow managed to radiate happiness wherever he went. When he was on holiday with us in Devon, my sister and her friend loved to speak to him. He took the time to get on well with them, when so many others wouldn’t have bothered. For someone so looked-up-to, he was incredibly modest and generous. His enthusiasm and general presence made everyone around him in a better mood.
We shared many funny times and many in-jokes. A fortnight never went by without one or other of us shouting ‘gotta pee’ at the top of our voice and sending the other into hysterics. And Felix was a great practical joker, as the friend who found a piece of dissected lamb’s heart in his pocket after a science lesson would readily agree.
Apart from the laughter, there was a deeper side to our friendship. Whenever Felix was sleeping in my room, we would talk for hours and hours. He was one of the first people I was prepared to tell secrets, and the first of my friends whom I could completely trust. I felt he would understand whatever I had to say, and would be completely supportive of me.
Nobody will be able to fill the gap Felix has left in the world. But at the same time he made an everlasting impression upon me, and I am inspired by his memory. Thank you, Felix, for the great times we shared, for giving me confidence, and for being the friend I’ll never forget.
Felix, by his friend Seb White
I first met Felix a year ago when we found ourselves in the same house at Eton. There were ten of us new boys and needless to say we were all a little bit wary of each other to begin with.Standing here now, it is difficult to sum up precisely what it was about Felix that made us such good friends, or to pinpoint all the different aspects of his character that made him such a special person to be with. But my first memory of him was how open and friendly he was when we first met.
It was our shared passion for football that first broke the ice and really got us talking. Felix’s love of football and his enthusiasm were infectious and he regularly managed to convince boys from different years in the house, to play together, which was a great way to get to know each other better. Felix was not only a keen and gifted sportsman but also a natural leader both on and off the pitch.
In our house Felix’s room was more often than not the social hub of the corridor as well as being the all-important venue for watching premier league football on his laptop. Games which were often accompanied by heated football-related discussions …. especially when his beloved Liverpool lost. This was a reflection of how much we all enjoyed his company rather than the state in which he kept his room, which was never anything other than littered with clothes.
When I think about Felix now, I most often think of him running up the stairs in the house two at a time after a game wearing his Liverpool tracksuit top with a big smile, exhausted but happy.
There were many things about Felix that made him such unique and a special friend, not only to me, but to everyone who knew him. He was generous and easy-going by nature, and also remarkably modest which made him instantly approachable. I never heard him once boast about all his impressive sporting achievements. Whatever he set his mind to he did with an enthusiasm that meant that those around him were inspired.
He was almost always upbeat and it was impossible to be in anything other than in a good mood when you were with him. He was a lot of fun to be with! With a great sense of humour and a rare ability to really make other people laugh. One of the funniest things that springs to mind is sitting with him, on a Saturday evening, as he impersonated an Indian pizza delivery man over the phone and managed to convince Freddie Ingles to run down to the Burning Bush expecting a medium margarita.
School has a funny way of bringing boys together in the face of adversity and one of my last memories of Felix came just before the summer. As a result of some graffiti that Felix, Freddie Inglis and I had drawn on Dave Ramsay’s poster board one dreary afternoon, which our housemaster thought was in very poor taste, we had the opportunity to spend more time together than we might have otherwise have done on the eve of our exams. Instead of revising in our rooms we were obliged to spend the afternoon transporting musical instruments of all shapes and sizes around the music schools as a punishment. Although still irritated by the situation, Felix was never one to stay downcast for long and I will always remember the laughter we shared as we trudged our way through this tedious chore … Felix still smiling under the weight of an enormous tuba.
Felix is tragically no longer with us and I know that I speak for everyone in our house and especially for everyone in our year, when I say that we really miss him. There isn't a day when he isn’t in our thoughts and I often find myself wondering what he would have said or done in particular situations. The house is not the same without him.
I count myself extremely lucky to have known him. Andi will forever treasure all the wonderful times we spent together.