Connor Charles Edward Saunders was born on Thursday 25th March 1993 at 3.04am weighing 9lb 6oz.
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. These friendships and bonds continued throughout his life.
He went onto infants and quickly became a star pupil, often coming home with gold stars. At junior school, he became a member of the student council and we spent every parents evening with huge, beaming smiles as all the teachers heaped praise on our boy. This praise we would hear all through his schooling years but we never got tired of hearing it.
Football was one of Connor’s passions and throughout his life he played for Melford FC, Whitehawk FC Youth, Longhill, Withdene and Peacehaven Under 18s. He was a highly skilled player but was totally passionate about the game – playing or watching it.
The other passion of Connor’s was family; he truly loved birthdays and especially Christmas where the whole family would be together. He loved our unit of 5 and he truly completed our family, making it what it is today.
What made Connor was special was the many qualities he had as a human. He was kind, caring, compassionate, loyal, gentle, loving, non-judgemental, funny, generous, positive, honest, handsome and was never afraid to laugh at himself.
We looked back at his life and can honestly say that every single second he was around; he was a joy to be with.
Until 14 April 2012 when it felt all the lights were turned off in our world.
Connor was out for a night with his friends when he was hit in an unprovoked attack and with just one punch, Connor was taken from us. In that one senseless attack, our worlds and hearts were smashed into a trillion pieces.
We spend every day as a family, trying to piece our lives and hearts back together and one way we have done this is by starting the foundation in Connor’s name.
When he left our house, he had his whole life ahead of him – full of opportunities and possibilities, with his disposition seeing the best in everyone and everything. We have taken the lead from Connor in this respect, ensuring that his legacy continues to keep caring for people and keep his legacy, spirit and character alive in the way we do our work – raising awareness on the impacts of violence and promoting peace, using hands to help rather than hurt.
Connor made the world a better place just by being in it.
The work of his Foundation ensures that his light burns bright and his work continues to this day.