The start of the 2013 Cornish Shark's season has been the most bittersweet of my life - whilst the Shark's won their opener against Farnham Knights by the narrowest of margins, sadly the sport and all those in it have lost a wonderful Coach, an American Football legend, a great man and a man I am honoured to call my friend - Coach Bob Shaw.
After the game on Saturday I travelled to Alconbury early on Sunday morning in the hope of spending a few precious hours with my friend before he passed, but that was not to be. He slipped away early Sunday morning to a better place, without the terrible pain anymore. I cannot be selfish and wish he were still here, as he was suffering - I, like so many who were lucky enough to know him, will simply remember every brilliant time I spent with him. He was a big man in every sense of the word and he made me laugh and I just loved spending time with him on and off the football field.
We had some brilliant times coaching Allstar games in the US over the years with another dear friend Dick Suess. We were founder members of the "salad dodgers" society, the "Lost World" fan club and spent our free time doing other daft things that I can look back on and still giggle about. We coached some brilliant guys at the Met Police team for six years and it was brilliant to see so many of them at the Bob "The Dog" Shaw Classic - a game established to honour the man and which will become an annual event. The game was played by two of Bob's previous teams Cambridgeshire Cats and the Peterborough Saxons and the players, staff and all who were involved in organizing the day did a fantastic job, with the Cats taking the win, which is what Bob would have wanted.
So everyone in the sport is slightly poorer for losing him but richer for having known him and we dedicate our 2013 season to Rob "Bob the Dog" Shaw - Offensive Line Coach, husband, father, son, grandad and friend. We will play football, enjoy our football and if we win some games, that would be great too - but most of all Bob was about fun, and that's what we're going to do. Our love and thoughts are with Bob's family now.
Look forward to seeing you at the games during the season!
Head Coach Brian Smallworth