Musicians stage tribute to young Witney man Sam Kiff

Gig organiser Simon Davies, front, with James Harris, Will Keating and Ryden Stackhouse of Signal My Escape    Picture: OX65599 Antony Moore

Gig organiser Simon Davies, front, with James Harris, Will Keating and Ryden Stackhouse of Signal My Escape Picture: OX65599 Antony Moore Buy this photo

First published in News Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

MUSICIANS came together to celebrate a talented artist, friend and brother.

Sam Kiff died in December, aged 25, and on Sunday friends gathered at Fat Lil’s in Witney for an afternoon of music celebrating his life, and raising money for mental health charity Mind.

Witney Gazette:

Sam, from Witney, above, known affectionately as “The Eggman”, had a lifelong passion for drawing and painting and his coffin was decorated with his own artwork.

His younger brother, Ben, 23, who lives in Witney, said: “He was hugely into his art – painting, drawing, pastels, all of it.

“When he was about five years old his teacher said he was drawing at the level of a 13-year-old.

“At Oxford Brookes his tutor said he could have passed his course on his first lesson based on his drawing alone.”

Sam was found dead in his room on December 18, a month after he was diagnosed with the same degenerative eye condition as his father Graham.

Retinitis pigmentosa is currently an incurable condition which eventually leads to blindness.

His brother Ben Kiff said: “He was the happiest bloke you would ever meet. None of us knew the state he was in.”

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Sam’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, Witney, on January 10.

Performing at Eggfest on Sunday were a range of artists from metal bands to singer songwriters, including Signal My Escape, Twisted State of Mind and This Is Shark County.

His former housemate, Jamie Pagett, who also performed at the gig on Sunday, said: “It was probably the best time of my life living with Sam, he would do anything for anyone.

“He was more like a brother to me than a friend.”

Josh Taylor, 22, said: “He was the greatest brother, the greatest boyfriend and the greatest friend you could have.

“It was a shock to all of us.”

Friend Jason Winston, 25, who shared Sam’s birthday, November 24, said: “I feel proud and privileged to be able to say he was my friend.”

Gig organiser and friend Simon Davies said: “It has gone really well, we have raised about £700.”

Mr Davies performed his own song in memory of Sam, called Goodbye My Friend.

Mr Winston said about the song, which was also played at Sam’s funeral, “It was what we clung to after it happened, what we all listened to.”

An inquest into Sam’s death is due to be held next Tuesday.

  • The video of Mr Davies’ song, below.

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