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he sent for John and informed him that he was 20 years out of
date with his methods of coaching.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
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