FOND tributes are pouring in to much-loved Harry Slattery who has passed away at the age of 20.
A gifted tennis player, Harry, from Nailsworth, also loved music and performed on several occasions in the area with his band The Watts, with whom he played bass.
He is being remembered for his kind nature, infectious smile and for the joy he brought to the lives of all who knew him.
In a statement, Keiran Montagu, whose company the Montagu Academy runs the tennis programme out of St Peter’s High School in Gloucester, where Harry used to play, said: “Harry came to us at the age of 10 and we were immediately struck by his natural ability with a racket.
“He was incredibly likeable and became popular with his peers and coaches very quickly.
“He was a very important part of the tennis set up we created and contributed significantly not only to the results we achieved but also to the atmosphere of the place.
“Harry was cheeky chap with an angelic smile.
“Sadly, Harry didn’t continue with his tennis beyond the age of 13/14, as at this stage he had to deal with a life situation which never seemed fair – the loss of his wonderful mum.”
However, Harry did rejoin the academy and attended regularly over the past year.
“He rediscovered his love for tennis and not only was he hitting a good ball but he was also moving well, which he used to struggle with,” said Keiran.
“He wanted to play whenever he could, and he did with the Peters family, Mario, Kai and Rafi, who obliged at least a couple of times a week – and in the words of Mario, ‘it was something I looked forward to, as it was time with Harry’.
“I think most people who knew him would have felt the same.”
Commenting on Facebook, others who knew Harry through the academy, said ‘the world has lost a beautiful young soul’ while another post described him as ‘one of the most good natured people I’ve ever known’.
Childhood friend Kai Peters said: “Having spent the first 13 years of my life pretty much inseparable from you, whenever I think of my childhood I think of the amazing memories we have. You helped me become a better person is so many ways.
“I feel so lucky that we became close again in the last year.”
Harry, who attended St Peter’s, grew up in Nailsworth but was living in Stroud when he passed away on October 20.
A few years ago Harry and his band The Watts played regularly in the Stroud area and also performed at the Guildhall in Gloucester.
Influenced by the likes of The Who and he Small Faces, they wrote their own material and gathered a good following.
Charlie Knight, who played guitar and sang, posted a tribute saying: “Harry’s cheeky smile and contagious laugh gave me and so many people joy throughout his short life. Endless love.”
An inquest has been opened and adjourned.