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Optimum News

18th Dec 15

Tribute to Carl Tilson - Tireless Charity Campaigner

Tribute to Carl Tilson - Tireless Charity Campaigner

A tribute to Carl Tilson, by Mike Jones, Optimum Procurement Group Managing Director.

It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of Optimum ambassador, and tireless charitable worker Carl Tilson.

As some of you will know, I first met Carl after being asked by Tudor Thomas, a life president at Manchester City FC, to help in staging a luncheon in February 2009 to celebrate Carl's 22nd birthday, and to raise funds for the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy charity.

DMD is the horrible debilitating disease that Carl suffered from, and for which he dedicated his young life to raising funds for the charity that seeks to find a cure that will hopefully rescue young men similarly affected in the future.

Towards the end of the luncheon we arranged for Carl to address the audience. Not a dry eye in the room later, Carl's incredibly moving talk helped to ensure that we raised £43,000 at the luncheon for the charity.

Crowned Mancunian of the Year in 2010 after he had personally raised around £100,000 for the Action Duchenne charity, Carl also carried the Olympic Torch in Manchester in 2012 ahead of the London Olympic Games after being nominated to do so because of his huge charity efforts.

Carl was the grandson of Fred Tilson Snr, who scored the winning goal for Manchester City in the 2-1 FA Cup final win over Portsmouth in 1934. Carl carried on his family’s love and support for the club.

An incredibly inspiring and driven young man, Carl was an exceptional leader and champion for the cause. The world is a sadder and poorer place for his loss.

With Christmas approaching, in Carl's passing I am reminded of Christmas Day 2009, and 10 months on from the luncheon.

I had seen Carl a couple or three times more in that 10 months, but not for some weeks by the time Christmas Day arrived.

The presents had been opened, the traditional lunchtime visit to the pub had been made, and the turkey had been eaten. For the first time in a few hours I checked my phone. There was just one message, and from Carl, wishing me and mine the very best, and excitedly telling me that he'd been allowed the rare treat of a piece of chocolate for Christmas.

For the second time that year, that brave young man's courage, generosity and selflessness brought tears to my eyes. Shame upon me I thought to have forgotten to wish Carl and his incredible family and other carers the best for Christmas, but bless him, despite the incredible difficulties he had to live with every day, he'd been bothered to think about me.

Carl, today, and of course this Christmas Day, I will be thinking of you. God bless, may you rest in peace my friend, your legacy will live and inspire us all forever.