Tuesday 16 July 2019

Legacy of the late Billy Anderson lives on


The late Billy Anderson
The late Billy Anderson

The bright and bubbly personality of the late Billy Anderson (37) has been remembered fondly in Gorey as well as in wider circles, from those in the Irish comedy scene, to sports people who follow American football both here and in the United States.

Born in South Carolina, USA, Billy was raised by Ellen and Gary, Billy and Jo Ann and loved his siblings Katie, Ryan, Reagan and Scotty.

Billy studied at Georgia State University and there he first found his love for comedy and developed a further interest in American football.

Bringing the sport to Gorey with him, his team mates at the Wexford Eagles felt that Billy's enthusiasm was infectious from his first day to his last.

He had a heart and a smile as big as each other and for anyone new joining the team, Billy was the first to make them feel welcome, known as everyone's favourite cheerleader.

Many opposing teams and players who met him briefly, never forgot him as Billy always tried to make football fun, he didn't care about age or ability.

If you wanted to play the game, that was good enough for Billy and he made sure you were included, being the first for the pat on the back.

Billy was known for being kind and helpful, and he particularly loved bringing his young son to training and games, which made him very proud.

Everyone at the Wexford Eagles has a story to tell about Billy, and humour was always a big part of that.

Billy even had a 'Wexford Eagles roast' stand up routine, which is still talked about to this day.

The Irish American Football Association will dedicate a trophy to honour Billy this year, The Billy Anderson Trophy, for the Most Valuable Player.

Billy moved to Ireland when he got married to his son’s mother Rachel, and they travelled around moving from Cork to Dublin, until eventually Billy came to Gorey about five years ago.

Following a separation, Billy met his partner Janette for the first time at a comedy gig just under two years ago. Janette has two children, Kate and Fraser.

Janette describes herself as Billy's soul-mate, and said that they brought out the best in each other.

She explained that making people feel happy and safe was the most important thing for Billy.

Billy worked as an addiction counsellor and coached with the Wexford Eagles, doing comedy whenever he could find the time.

He was a light that apparently shone brightly into the life of every person he met, as he simply loved life.

Heart felt messages and tributes have flooded in since his untimely passing, calling him a gentleman.

He was always bursting with positivity, without having a bad word to say about anyone, he was a person that smiled no matter what was happening in his life and made you laugh no matter what was happening in yours.

What gave Billy purpose was looking after others, and he always gave a lot of himself, as much as he could.

He also loved going to the gym, being particularly well known at the Ashdown.

He had a way of making people feel comfortable around him, particularly through humour.

As a father figure, the children were close to him as he was always fun, patient and kind.

As a counsellor, Billy showed his ability to care and several people said at his funeral that he had saved their lives.

He often continued with after care, holding an evening group for recovering addicts once a week in Dublin.

Billy believed that he was on earth to serve a purpose and make the most of his life, and he always did as much as he possibly could with the time he had.

Billy is survived by his son, his partner, his parents, siblings, extended family and friends. May he rest in peace.



Gorey Guardian