Liam's Story

Liam grew up in Terrington with his older sister Natalie and older brother Jamie and as they did, attended the village school - Liam's dedication to art was apparent from an early age. It was during his time at Terrington School where he was first recognised as a talented artist during a trip to Ryedale Folk Museum. Liam’s early talent for art had been identified by a resident artist and he had acknowledged and praised Liam for his ‘fascinating and unique approach’. An early sign of what was to come perhaps.

It was during his time at Malton Secondary School that Liam's love for music and art grew. He was often found in Mr Reed’s art room and regularly attended Rock school at Brooklyn Youth Centre. It was during this period of Liam's life where he taught himself not only the keyboard and guitar but also the church organ (!) He could often be heard practicing in the garden shed in the family garden…

 

After handing in his season ticket for detention, Liam left Malton School after 5 years to attend York College. It was whilst studying Art and Music at York College that Liam formed band Nocebo, along with some fellow students. As well as playing gigs, writing songs, socialising and waiting for his dad to pick him up, no matter how busy Liam was, he always found time to draw and play his guitar.

 

A highlight of Liam's time at York College and an often talked about event was his trip to Barcelona with his fellow students and tutors. Liam often reminisced about Barcelona cathedral and the galleries he had visited whilst there.

 

Despite his age, Liam had a love for a wide range of music. His first musical love was in fact opera – he attempted at a very young age, maybe 5 or 6, to sing happy birthday to himself. Although his family particularly enjoyed his rendition, it was unfortunately never to be repeated. As he grew up he still enjoyed a range of different musical styles – including his favourite band Muse as well as Primus, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. He also enjoyed listening to classical music such as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Second Waltz. Liam insisted on advising others of the benefits of listening to such ‘masterpieces’. Another of his favourites of was ‘I Love You All’ by Frank. He could often be heard singing this to his friends.

 

Liam's love of art and music finally lead him to the city of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University where he studied Graphic Design and Illustration, a course he thoroughly enjoyed.

Liam was a caring, loveable young man with a heart of gold and had a charismatic personality that had a wonderful effect on those he met.

So to the list of words people have used to describe Liam:

Inspirational  hilarious  flamboyant  interesting  thoughtful  clever motivated  charming  impressive  curious  exceptional  special  talented  brilliant  funny  bright  amazing  inquisitive exciting  quirky  weirdo  irritating  loveable  kind  genuine  unique crazy  mesmerising  caring  amazing  wonderful  legend  a one off  lovely  joyful  energetic  inappropriate  free spirited  fabulous  warm  courteous  creative  charismatic

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Chris Brown, a lecturer at LJMU school of Art and Design, said he had burst into tears after hearing of the student’s death. He described Liam as a graphic designer with an exceptional talent who would have gone on to be brilliant.

Paying tribute to the graphic design and illustration student, Mr Brown said there was no doubt he would have gone on to achieve a First Class degree and said the university would now be looking at how best to remember him.

The lecturer, who has worked at Liverpool John Moores University for 19 years and was Liam’s group leader, said: “As soon as I was given this group there were people like Liam that I recognised because of their personalities."

“Liam was really the core of the group. He was so funny, so bright. It’s very strange, as a tutor you try not to have favourites, but unfortunately just because of certain personalities you can’t help it and he had such a big personality. 

“He was amazingly inquisitive, that made him so special."

 

“I would say he would have been a first class student, his work was exceptional. He knew so much and he wanted to learn, that was so exciting.

“I learnt so much from him about music, that reciprocal relationship between staff and students happens very rarely. I burst into tears when i heard, I was so shocked.”

Mr Brown said:

 

“A colleague said Liam was one of those students that comes along rarely, that you know is going to be brilliant, and that potential brilliance has been cut short."

“Although he was in my group he made his presence felt throughout the whole year. He was very special and the tributes from his fellow students show how he was core to it all.

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Dan Kelly, from Speke, was among those who got to know the 20-year-old illustrator after they enrolled on the same design course at LJMU last year.

The 30-year-old, who now lives just outside the city centre, said: “We spent every day in uni together, he was a really close friend, even though we only met last September. We were both going to specialise in illustration next year.

“He was the joker of the group, he always put a smile on your face. He came out with all this weird and wacky stuff, crazy ideas that had everyone laughing.

“His illustration work was ridiculously good, that’s one of the tragic things. He was a talented musician too and could play piano and guitar, he was always recording music.

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Another course-mate, Josh Terry, from Toxteth, spoke of his friend’s talent for illustration.

The 30-year-old said: “From an artist’s perspective he looked at things other people didn’t look at.

“He was always challenging their perception. Half the class wanted to do logos, or brand design, contemporary stuff.

“Liam didn’t, he wanted to do art and illustrations that would last and tell a story, it could be a story others wouldn’t normally pay attention to. It was that part of his character that really shone out.”