Connor Charles Edward Saunders was born on Thursday 25th March 1993 at 3.04am weighing 9lb 6oz. Connor completed our family making us a 5! Connor was a contented baby full of lots of smiles and giggles. He started to walk at 9 months and kicked a football at 11 months and never stopped. He started pre-school making a special and unique friendship with Frankie (Cocozza) and Lee (James). Connor was a shy little boy but loved interacting with children and adults. He went onto infants at Rudyard Kipling as a star pupil often coming home with gold stars. At Junior school he became a member of the student council and every parents evening we not be able to get out of the doors as our heads were so big. There was not one teacher that could not say enough good about him. Connor's gold stars and certificates continued right through junior school. One teacher told us to sum Connor up - The boys aspire to be him and the girls want to be with him.

 

Connor started playing football at the tender age of 5 when his dad started a football team called Melford FC. He had grown up around football watching his Callum and Courtney play. He had a special love for Chelsea and aspired to be like John Terry. Then at 8 he was picked up by Brighton Hove Albion he had a 6 week trial but by week 2 they wanted to sign him, he had the sweetest left foot they had ever seen at that age. Connor didn't want to leave his friends at Melford so we never pushed him, our aim as parents was just to see him happy. He joined Whitehawk FC Youth at U10s were he was made the captain because of his leadership skills. He stayed there till he was under 16, in this period of time he won the league, league cups, played for the representative squad for Sussex, and every 6-a-side entered they would win. Connor went to Longhill Secondary School were his school football team won the cup and played at Withdene, he was also captain of this team too.

 

Connor then played for Peacehaven Under 18s where they had a very successful season, he stayed here going into first team football. Connor was a strong, talented centre half (always wearing the No.5) who never missed a header. Connor had a very promising football career ahead of him, he played Ryman League football last year at 18 for Crawley Down which for his age is a great achievement playing at that level. He played there for  a few months before returning to Peacehaven where his dad manged the team. Connor exceeded that level and was only going to go higher. Connor loves football with such a passion whether playing it or watching it. He was so dedicated and loved his Peacehaven. Connor loved all sports and enjoyed playing golf at East Brighton too.

 

Connor loved secondary school, the after school activities, he had lots of new friends girls and boys - that was our Connor he never judged anyone, he always gave people a chance. Connor went on lots of school trips including Manchester, Paris and skiing in Italy. This is also where he met the love of his 'his baby' Courtney (Lewis). When Connor left school he went to work for the family business. He did a modern day apprenticeship going to Highbury College and working on site to become a plasterer and damp proofer. Connor was hard working, conscientious and always brought a smile to the faces he worked with.

 

Connor loved family, he loved Birthdays and he loved Christmas. Connor made our family what it is he loved having an older brother and sister that looked after him like another mummy and daddy. Connor is many things to us he is always happy, with the biggest smile and the biggest brown eyes you are ever likely to see. He is the reason we get up everyday and live this life without him. He is our light at the end of a very dark tunnel and when it is our time to meet him again we will be with him for eternity. Connor was a loving uncle to his nephew Stanley, they idolised each other. Connor couldn't wait to take Stanley to the park to kick a football around - it breaks our heart that he was taken away before doing this. We believe that Connor is with Stanley when he is at the park and in his dreams playing ball with him. Stanley kisses Connor's photo every night before bed and loves looking up at Connor saying 'There he is'. They had such a special bond and always will have.

 

What made Connor so very special was the many qualities he had as a human being. He was kind, caring, compassionate, loyal, gentle, loving, non-judgemental, funny, generous, positive, honest, handsome so very handsome and was never afraid to laugh at himself. He would never get into arguments, never had a bad word to say about anyone he would just say they have got to live with it. We look back at his life and we can honestly say every single second he was pure joy to have and to be around.

 

On the 14th of April 2012 our worlds and hearts were broken into a trillion pieces and never to be the same again. Connor was out for a night out with his friends when he was hit in an unprovoked attack, after one punch Connor was taken from us. Connor's death us senseless. Connor didn't deserve what happened that dreadful night, he had his whole wonderful life ahead of him,  we urge all people to please STOP and THINK before you raise your hand to someone as your fists are lethally weapons!!!! Us, Connor's family, his girlfriend Courtney and his closest friends were by his bedside at the hospital. It was there that we were informed that at the age of 16 Con had signed up to be a Organ Donor, he never told us that that was Connor all over never wanted praise just did it, in result of that he saved 5 lives!! Connor has touched hundreds to do the same and sign the organ donor register so in theory Connor will save hundreds of lives. Live life to give life.

 

Connor had his whole life in front of him, a good fantastic life, he always saw the best in people. We as his family and friends must honour his ethics and beliefs. Connor's death can never be justified - violence can never be justified. Every action has a consequence and we as a nation need to be aware of this.

 

Connor made our world a better place.

 

Connor Saunders

Connor Saunders

Connor Saunders

 

Messages from Connor's Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Brother-in-law & Girlfriend:

 

"To my darling flocks, words cannot express the love I have for you, from the moment I held you in my arms I knew how very special my life was going to be with you in it. The love, compassion and caring I learnt from you made me a better person. I am so very proud of you and thank you for being you. Until we meet again stay with me I need you more then ever. See you in my dreams. Love Mama x"


"Our sweet son, i know I told you all your life that i loved you, i meant it from the bottom of my heart! Since you were cruelly taken from us i also tell you everyday how proud I am of you! You are a massive part of our family, and always will be. To be known as your dad makes me feel like bursting with pride, call in on me every day sweet boy, i need it!!"


" My brother, My best friend, My everything. I don't know how I am going to live without you 'My Hero' love your big bro Calz"


"Baby bro. The world became a better place when you were born. I was totally in awe of you every second of your life and I still am! So very proud of you. Love you more then you'll ever know, always have, always will. I am lost without you! Love your big sis"


"My brother-in-law, my little bro, my super star bud that would always leave me with a massive smile on my face, there could only be one as special as you! Can't believe what has happened and never will. Love & Miss you everyday. Ash aka John"


"Connor, I wake up everyday and know that my life will never be as good as it was when you were in the world. I miss you more as the days go on and I know that this is a pain I will feel for the rest of my life. You were the most amazing loving boyfriend. We are only apart to meet again, forever missing you and loving you. Always Your Courtney"


5 is Alive!