Tree tribute for sporty Russell

Friends and family of Russell Brown with the oak tree
Friends and family of Russell Brown with the oak tree

FAMILY and friends of a sports enthusiast, who “lived life to the full” have planted a tree in his memory.

Russell Brown, of Windsor Road, St Leonards died last May after his Yamaha bike collided with a van on The Ridge West while on the way to work in London.

Russell Brown

Russell Brown

He loved being outdoors and played many sports so his family and friends thought it would be fitting to plant an oak tree as a tribute to him.

Around a dozen relatives and friends got together for a moving ceremony on Thursday before placing the English oak in a plot in Alexandra Park near the bottom of Vale Road. Some of Mr Brown’s ashes were also scattered.

His mum, Mary Scarborough, of Upper Park Road, said: “Russell loved being outdoors. We thought planting a tree in his memory would be a good idea and we will be placing a memorial plaque by it in the near future. The tree will last for hundreds of years.

“It was a lovely little ceremony and we all had a lunch at my house afterwards. It was a bit emotional as well, as we are all still very upset over his death.”

Mr Brown, who was 35 when he died, had been due to scale Mont Blanc in France a week after the accident.

Some of his ashes are scattered there as well as over Brighton Pier, as he was born in Brighton.

His mum said: “Russell lived life to the full and achieved so much. He enjoyed everything about sports, from rock climbing to scuba diving, trampolining and snow boarding.”

Mr Brown intended to climb in the Pyrenees in Spain as part of a motorcycle tour last August. He moved to Hastings in the late 1970s from Brighton and attended St Paul’s School before going to William Parker Sports College.

In 1999 he trained at Circus Space in London learning skills including trapeze, stilt walking and acrobatics. He performed at the Millennium Dome throughout 2000, including opening the millennium celebrations in front of the Queen.

His mum said: “So many people wrote nice letters to me following his death who knew Russell in one way or another. There were over 100 letters, many without addresses so I’d like to thank everyone who wrote.”