Village mourns loss of talent musician

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

TEENAGE fire victim Rob Giles was a musical star in the making whose life was tragically cut short just as his career was about to lift off.

One of his friends said today: "He never got to see his dreams come true.

TEENAGE fire victim Rob Giles was a musical star in the making whose life was tragically cut short just as his career was about to lift off.

One of his friends said today: "He never got to see his dreams come true."

This was one of the moving tributes paid to the 18-year-old by friends who still live in his home village of Coddenham, near Needham Market.

The lead guitarist of Boot 50 died with his friend William Stokes, 19, in a house fire in Felixstowe in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The three other members of the band were today coming to terms with the loss of one of their most colourful members of the four-strong line-up.

"He was superb," said drummer Jonathan Robinson.

"When he first joined he was quite nervous, but when he went on stage he would really come out of his shell. "We were beginning to write songs together. It was all he ever wanted."

Mr Robinson, 21, who recently moved to Clacton from Coddenham, said the band members were beginning to find their independence at the same time as they moved out of their home village where they had formed.

Rob had only left home two weeks ago, and their shared new-found freedom was starting to pay dividends as more and more record labels began to show interest, added Mr Robinson.

"We were getting to the point of being signed," he said. "We were doing loads of gigs and only the day before Rob died we had played the Free Festival in Colchester on Bank Holiday Monday."

Mr Robinson's girlfriend, Charmain Stubbins, 20, added: "Rob was a real character, he certainly made me laugh. He was a real showman on stage when he played his guitar. He always got the crowd going."

Boot 50's most recent claim to stardom was the release of football anthem single, 'These Were The Days' which the band had written to honour the success of Ipswich Town Football Club.

The track was in tune with the title of the band's name, which is understood to have come from the fact that there are 50 boots in a football team.

Others in the village echoed the tragic loss of the talented teenager.

"It is such a terrible shame to see Rob go, because he was about to make it into the big time. He never got to see his dreams come true," said close friend Elliott Brydon, 18.

"I went to see him play a couple of times. His career was really taking off. He was playing gigs all over the place, in Chelmsford and even as far as London."

Mr Brydon said that Boot 50 had recorded a track in honour of Ipswich Town Football Club. He added that Rob was not a sportsman but that he "lived for his music".

When Mr Brydon, a tree surgeon, spoke to The Evening Star, he was setting off to channel his grief into carving a memorial chair out of ash in memory of his friend.

Another pal, Edward Bull, 21, who also lives in the village, said: "I often went to support him at gigs. The band was getting particularly successful."

The close community of Coddenham as a whole was reeling from the news of the death of the talented youngster.

Alan Smith, landlord of the village pub, The Dukes Head, said: "Everyone is just very upset about it. He was a very nice, unassuming lad."

Rob left Coddenham just two weeks ago when his mother, Margaret, set off to start a new life teaching in Tanzania.

She is understood to be making the sad journey back to England today.

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