In our December 2014 auction we were instructed to sell two fine vintage bottles of wine, a Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Lafite Rothschild, both of 1996 vintage and rated 100 out of 100 by world-renowned wine sommelier Robert Parker.
Our clients Mr and Mrs Young had purchased the bottles as an investment following the premature death of their son William, and the proceeds were to go to his son, also named William, who was about to start university studying Bio-Medical Sciences.
At the time, I spoke at some length with Mrs Young and her husband, also called William, about the tragic circumstances of their son’s death. Born the same year as me, 1970, and at the same St Mary’s Hospital, William Young had first attended Brunel School before moving up to Mayfield senior school. He had been an avid Pompey fan, attending many games with his father, but aged only 26, and having himself become a father only three months prior, William died from a blood clot in his brain caused by a rare condition called Protein S Deficiency.
In his honour, William’s friends have played a memorial cricket match on the anniversary for the past 18 years.
A few weeks ago Mrs Young popped into the saleroom and asked if I remembered her and the bottles of wine we’d sold for her grandson.
I recalled the conversation I’d had with her and her husband about their son William and William Jnr, who’d been about to start college.
I was very saddened to learn her husband William, had passed away early in 2015 from an undetected blood clot caused by the same Protein S Deficiency that had claimed the life of their son. This was shocking news, but Mrs Young was pleased to tell me her grandson William had since been tested and confirmed free of this rare deadly inherited condition.
With the recent release of the seventh instalment of the hugely successful Star Wars films – The Force Awakens – Mrs Young had decided it was time to sell her late son William’s treasured collection of Star Wars toys.
Like most children of our generation, I am a massive fan of the films and had only recently watched the new film with my son Scott while visiting him in LA over Christmas. Aged just seven when the first film was released in 1977, Star Wars was the first film I watched at the cinema unaccompanied and, having introduced Scott to the film franchise when he was just five, I sat in the cinema with my now 21 year-old son reflecting on how the years had passed and felt a little emotional.
Mrs Young remembered how William would save up to buy the figures and various iconic spacecraft, only playing with them for a short while before packing them away.
She hasn’t seen the new film, as she would find this too emotional, but young William Jnr has watched it – thinking it every bit as good as the first film his father forced his grandma to take him to five times back in 1977.