The mother of a talented cricketer from Kennington who was shot dead in Trinidad has told the News of her determination to continue her son’s legacy and help support other youngsters chose the right path in life.
Adrian St John, who grew up minutes from Oval Cricket ground, died on April 10, 2016 after being shot in Trinidad while on holiday. He was just 22. Although a 24-year-old was arrested and charged, no one has been tried for his murder.
While in Trinidad, Adrian was developing his game and coaching skills, playing the sport he had taken up aged four with encouragement from his father.
His talents saw the former St Thomas the Apostle student become captain of the Chris Gayle Cricket Academy and play for Alleyn’s in Dulwich 85 times between 2009 and 2014.
Although he had a degree in history and philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire, worked in sales and had taken a carpentry course, cricket was his true passion and where he saw his future.
His bereft mother, Sharon, says it was only after his death that she found just how well-respected he was both by his peers, but also by younger men who looked up to him as a role model.
“I found out his impact after he passed,” she says. “He was looked up to, he was an encourager, he had morals, and a lot of people said he was a team player, and a social butterfly.”
Sharon hopes by raising funds to support a local school in Southwark, and encouraging people to donate outgrown or unused but good quality sport equipment for children in Trinidad, she can create a legacy for Adrian that crosses borders – and prevent more families being left devastated by knife and gun crime.
“Every day I think about when Adrian was little and all the sacrifices and hard work to make sure he made the right choices,” she explains.
“I am now looking back and trying to see how I can help primary aged children to learn to stay on the right path as they journey through life, especially if they meet at a crossroad in life.”
As the St John family approach the third anniversary of Adrian’s death, Sharon says the emotional fall out and impact on her family is as hard as ever, describing it as ‘walking a tightrope’ of grief for her, Adrian’s father and his siblings.
Her Go Fund Me page, under the banner of the Adrian St John Foundation, has raised £1,200 with a target of £4,500.00.
“I’m starting small and hope to get mentors into schools in Southwark speaking about life skills, the importance of hard work, saving money, preparing for the future and buy flagyl er,” she says.
Sharon says her faith is driving the project forward, and belief that it is what Adrian would have wanted.
A few months before he was killed, Adrian got a tattoo ‘To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required’ from Luke 12 verse 48. I wondered why out of all the scriptures in the bible, why that one?” Sharon muses.
“However I was pleased, as to me it was a reminder that in whatever capacity you can, you must always give your best, and this relates to all people, no matter your race, colour or religion.
“ As people we have to do better or more when we can without complaining and that goes for children as well, let’s be the best that we can be, let’s teach the babies. Let’s teach them that pure love cancels out hate.”
To donate, go to: www.gofundme.com/adrian-st-john-foundation1