An oil painting produced in memory of a Luton Town supporter who tragically died in his sleep has been bought at a charity auction for £1,000 and generously donated to the young man’s father.
Brett Beasey-Webb was just 21 when he died unexpectedly in July 2016. At the time artist Paul Town, a Bradford City fan, heard online about the tragic circumstances and painted a work of art depicting Hatters kits from different eras which he hoped could be sold to raise money in Brett’s name.
Hatters fan Alan Adair, who was initially sent the artwork, gave it to Luton Town who had it signed by several former players, framed and placed up for auction at the end of season sponsors dinner last week.
The winning bid by fellow supporter Kevin Lennon meant £1,000 was raised for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), which aims to increase awareness of SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome).
And after his successful bid, Kevin then handed over the special painting to Brett’s dad George Webb who had been considering bidding for the artwork himself.
George, 61, said: “I was blown away. It’s not the sort of thing you expect to happen and I was humbled. I was privileged to have such a wonderful son as Brett and privileged to support a club like Luton Town.
“It’s a really nice piece. It will be put up pride of place in the hall so anyone who comes around it’s the first thing they see.
“The artist saw on some website that a fan had passed away and being part of the football community he wanted to help. I’d like to meet up with him to thank him.”
Looking back at the tragedy, George recalled how that weekend he had enjoyed his 60th birthday party in his garden which Brett, who played for Crawley Green Football Club, and a number of his son’s friends had attended.
He said: “I thought ‘life doesn’t get any better than this’. Then he went to play football on the Sunday and came back and watched Robot Wars on the telly that night. He went to bed, but he didn’t wake up. I was devastated, he was such a great lad.
“There was no rhyme or reason, we’ve got no answers, his heart just stopped. We will never know why, there is no history in the family, it was just totally out of the blue.”
And he revealed that as his son had started earning a good wage, Brett had surprised him by buying the pair of them season tickets for the forthcoming season. Sadly Brett never got to use his, but his dad added: “He would have loved to have seen the new ground.”
Of his decision to bid for, and then moments later donate, the painting, Kevin, 48, said: “George was thinking of bidding, but thought it was a conflict and not to get involved. When I gave it to him, he said ‘you can’t do that’, and I said ‘George, it’s yours’. He has very humbled. I’m fortunate enough that I can do that and it raises money for people that are in that situation.”
He added: “I’ve known Brett from when he was very young, seen him grow up and been around his house a couple of days before he was found in his bed. George was devastated. Anyone who loses one of their children would be.
“He was starting to thrive and develop into a really nice young man. It hit everyone who knew Brett. He was a very likeable person. There was a service at the football club with an incredible turnout.”
Alan, 60, of Barton, explained he’d obtained the artwork from Paul Town after putting out an appeal on Facebook concerning a possible memorial night for Brett.
He said: “Nothing ever happened [with arranging a memorial night] so I felt guilty having this painting and I went to see the club.
“We decided to auction it and the money going to the charity. The club said they were sure the painting would be a success, they got players from different eras to sign it, and framed it.”
Alan attended last week’s function at Luton’s Auction House, and said: “Brett’s dad happened to be at the table next to me. He said he didn’t want to bid on it as he felt people would not want to bid against Brett’s dad.
“To raise £1,000 was fantastic, I thought £400-500, but it was such a good cause and tragic circumstances.
“I knew of George for years from going to football and the Cali-R. He said he was going to get in touch with the artist when we play Bradford City and wants to thank him personally.”