On Friday 31 May the world became a much poorer place. At the age of just 44, Andrew was taken from us, succumbing to the affects of a brain tumour.
To me, Andrew was the most perfect example of a human being there could ever be. He had no bad traits. he was a kind, passionate, caring and sincere man. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, and not once in his life had he raised his fist in anger.
Andrew was very well known through out South Wales. For many years he was part of a very successful Duo that toured the pubs and clubs entertaining the masses. From a very early age that's all Andrew wanted to do. Simply entertain. Cine camera footage of him doing Benny Hill impressions at the age of 6 or 7 still make me smile.
Andrew was always trying to impersonate people. Benny Hill, Bjorn Borg, Morten Harket and Morrissey featured among many, many others. He had a talent for it, although, his ace card was that of his tribute to The King himself, Elvis Presley.
I once attended a family party where the DJ played "All Shook Up" by Elvis. The place rocked, and only after the track had finished did the DJ announce that it was in fact Andrew. He was that convincing, that you could close your eyes and believe that The King himself was performing for you.
Andrew, though a perfectionist, was not a competitive person. News of the quality of his ETA spread and he was pressured into entering a competition to find "Best Welsh Elvis". He owned the High Tide in Porthcawl that night. There were fanatics there that attend Elvis conventions all over the World, and Andrew knocked them dead.
Shortly following that on 16th August 2007, Andrew set the WORLD RECORD for the the number of tribute performances in one day. he performed 30 times across London starting on ITV's GMTV in the morning and finishing off on BBC's The one Show later that evening.
Link to BBC News Here
Link to GMTV appearance Here
Link to One Show Here
There are hours of footage of Andrew on You Tube. Just type in name into the search engine and enjoy. I don't have the stomach to watch them presently.
I read an interview that he gave once. One of the questions was "How would you describe yourself in one word?" Andrew's answer was simply "Underestimated." How wrong could he have been? The only person that ever underestimated Andrew Woodward, was Andrew Woodward himself. Putting aside the respect people had for him in the entertainment world, I don't think Andrew ever really appreciated how good a person he was, and how well though of and loved he was as a human being.
There are many adjectives that could have been used to describe Andrew, but for me the overriding one is simply Fun.
Andrew adored children, always had time for them no matter what, and they adored him. Look at Andrew's wedding album and there are pictures of him taking time out and playing with his little niece - on his wedding day. Back track a few years and you would have found him running around and around my mam's bungalow being chased by a hoard of nephews and nieces. They in turn adored Andrew because of his sense of fun.
The terms "Legend" and "Taken too young" and "Gone too soon" and "Only the good die young" are banded about all too easily these days. Not in this case. Andrew was one of life's gooduns. His family will never accept that he was taken from them so young, but will learn to live with it. In time they may take comfort from the many on line tributes being written from people, some close and some not so close.
Andrew's untimely passing leaves a massive hole in the lives of all those people who were privileged enough to know him.
Safe journey cous. xxxxxx