|Died||23 December 2016 (aged about 48)|
|Education||Boston Grammar School (1979-1986)|
Roger Mason was educated at Boston Grammar School (1979-86).
by Adam Mullen
I was immensely saddened to hear of the passing away of Roger Mason. I spent most of my Boston Grammar School years in the company of Roger. We'd meet at the junction of Sleaford Road and South Parade with Graham Kemp to cycle the two and a half miles to school and then meet up at the end of the school day to 'race' home. At the end of the 'race' home Rog would turn left and I'd turn right off Sleaford road before we would meet up an hour or so later to kick a football on Roseberry Avenue playing fields or at Roger's house.
Mr and Mrs Mason and Roger's sister Miche must have had the patience of saints with our games of indoor football with one of those full size sponge balls, using the living room door frames and radiators as goals. Many a toe was bruised kicking those door jambs!
'Race' is an apt word for Roger as he was hugely competitive and very good at any sport he chose to partake in. We spent every Saturday morning representing BGS at football from the U12's through to Mr Dunn and Mr Wainwright's 1st Eleven. If I remember correctly as 4th year boys four of us broke into the 1st Eleven but Roger was the first to achieve this. Rog had a natural ability to play exciting creative football and had that magic which saw the ball 'stick' to his feet. Whilst not being the biggest of players, in a 50-50 challenge Rog would always come away with the ball. He had 'that touch' and was at the centre of our teams' creativity, leading the way to victory in the Pitcher Cup final in 1983.
Saturdays were for representing BGS football teams and Sundays were spent 'racing' in cross-country fixtures under the guidance of Mr Anderson. We regularly won the South Holland championships and went on to represent the school at the first 'Milk in Action All England Schools Cross Country' finals in Redditch. After competing in races on a Sunday morning we'd cycle back home to then meet up in the afternoon and kick a ball on Roseberry Ave playing fields. Then there was circuit training, athletics, table-tennis and snooker on Rog's mini table but football was his biggest passion and he excelled in it, standing out as our year's best player. We shared adventures to the Lake District and cycling holidays, with the likes of BGS old boys Graham Kemp, Shane Wakefield and Mark Hopkins, and Roger joined us on many a family trip to the City Ground. Roger standing with us in the Forest end in matches against his beloved Liverpool. He was one of the first of us school boys to have a car, driving us around to football fixtures in his little burgundy Mini.
I left Boston for higher education but upon returning we linked up again playing for the Carpenters Arms Sunday league football team. In my late twenties I left town, later got married had children and regrettably lost contact with my childhood friend, like many of us so often do. Yet when I'd return to Boston to visit my parents I'd always ask them if they'd bumped into Roger and if they knew what he was up to. Little did we know of Roger's recent illness but that 'asking after' Roger was because of that special camaraderie I shared, like so many others, with Roger.
Even though he excelled frequently he never boasted or revelled in his sporting successes. Roger lived for his sports; highly competitive, Rog enjoyed winning and did so in the right way. We may move from place to place and experience many changing tides in our lives but its friendships that we remember and I'm glad to have shared my childhood school years and twenties with our friend Roger. A quote from the film 'Standby me' comes to mind "I never had friends like the ones I had when I was twelve… does anyone?"
Rest in Peace my friend Rog.