Brian (Nick) Mello
1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers

Words spoken by John O Grady

Brian Mello

1st Battalion
The Lancashire Fusiliers

Dear Anne and members of Brian's family, I can only relate to the time Brian spent with the Lancashire Fusiliers.

It was a time when the battalion had returned from Cyprus on completion of an operational tour of duty and its next posting was to Western Germany, Osnabruck for the period 1960 - 1964.

The Lancashire Fusiliers were a very gifted sports unit and simply because of our recruitment area of Manchester, Liverpool, St. Helens, Wigan etc, we recruited some excellent sportsmen with the likes of Brian, Pete Banton, Mickey Jordan to say the least.

We were commended by LT-Col James Wilson who later became General Sir James Wilson KBE MC. His love was football, and he wrote for the Sunday Times each weekend. He decided one afternoon to watch the Battalion football squad training which was being taken by Corporal John Beany. Once training was completed, he sent for John and informed him that he was 20 years out of date with his methods of coaching. He sent him home to Everton to work with Harry Catterick for two or three weeks. We never lost another game after that, and Brian was part of that great team. Hi basketball skills were another of Brian's attributes along with his boxing abilities. I can never remember him being hit by an opponent;he was so laid back he fell off his spring. He took it all in his stride, it was even arranged that whilst he was in jail, he would be released for football training if an important game was coming up.

Brian was also the man to go to should there be a case of bullying going on. Nicky, not being a man of many words, would fix the bully with a stare and just said "leave it out" and that would be the end of that.

One of my fondest memories of Nicky was one morning, at about 6.30 we were washing and shaving, and Brian happened to mention that he was sure that he had seen a camel in his room. As we had had a heavy night in the bar, I told him to forget it. Then Jimmy Connors came in a bit worse for wear and mentioned having thought he saw a camel in his room too. Ladies and Gentlemen, it was true, Digger Fub from Salford had gone into town and gone to the circus and decided to bring a camel back to camp and hide it in the MT sheds under a camouflage net.

Later in life Brian met Anne at the local cricket club and that was the beginning of a long and loving relationship after his discharge from the Army. Nicky played a large part in the organisation of the Liverpool branch of the Fusiliers and managed to maintain contact with a large number of the lads who he served with in Germany. He an avid Liverpool supported and me a Manchester City man, I walked a very thin line on many occasions. What was our annual boxing day get together is now a thing of the past, through nobody's fault but age, the good things pass us by.

Anne, ladies, and gentlemen, I would like to say that Brian Mello will never be forgotten and will always be in the thoughts of the many Fusiliers and good friends left behind.

Our love to you and the family at this difficult time.

Thank You.