Opinion: Farewell to a good man who was one of us
I've just watched a beautiful, heart-breaking, movie. It opens in Paris on a bright, crisp autumn day. Two large groups are milling about, one wearing red, the other in blue and white stripes, exchanging good natured banter.
It's an important match in European rugby's major competition. The TV cameras and other media are poised for action. Then, totally unexpectedly, Sky TV's James Gemmell says: "We must bring you the saddest possible news."
He announces the red team's head coach has been found dead in his hotel room, aged 42. The game is put off.
As tributes start to flow in, the camera switches to the outside of the Stade Yves-du-Manoir where the Reds' fans have gathered in disbelief and grief. Pain is etched on the faces of grown men and women. They hug and cry. They sing 'The Fields Of Athenry'.
A morning that buzzed with excitement and hope has been turned on its head, the awful juxtaposition of life in its prime and sudden death.
What we don't see is the shock of the immediate family. We don't need to. We have all known such horror.
The next scenes document the following days, which are filled with tributes to this man, Anthony Foley, or as he was affectionately known 'Axel' after the Beverly Hills Cop movies.
The tributes were magnificent, not in a polished Hollywood style, but in their honesty, simplicity, openness and vulnerability. Our friends, those who mourn us, tell the real story of who we are.