Ryan Lawford | 1986 - 2013

An inspiration to many...


I only knew Ryan up to the point when he was a little boy preparing for his first school days, but I remember him very well. He was a lovely bright lad, and clearly, he grew up to be a fine young man. Judging by all the tributes and wonderful photographs, he enjoyed a rewarding life and was loved and admired so much by all those who knew him. It was upsetting to hear such very sad news. I can only extend my deepest and sincerest condolences to all Ryan's family and friends, but especially to Julie and Martin, a lovely couple of whom I have very fond memories, and to Jo, Val, and Simon – my love and thoughts are with you all.

Jamie Arscott

hello ryan just thought i would write to on hear as i no your looking down on us all and smiling over us.i miss you mate.i miss are phonecalls we often used to have.its not the same here without you.we all miss you so much.just wish we could rewind time and have you back with us.till we meet again.will forever miss you and think of you.rest in peace my mate.love jamie xx

Auntie Jo

We miss you more and more with each passing day. Life is really hard without you. There's not a moment in the day that i dont think about you. If only i could turn back time....My beautiful Nephew Ryan xxxxxxxx

stanley wilson

It's been a few months now since Ryan checked out and many times each day I see or think of something that reminds of him and I reflect on all the many good things he did, the funny things he said, the love and support he gave us. Our lives and our home are filled with the memories of him and the things he made, did or said. I try to think of all the positives, that his life was amazing, just shorter than it should have been. As time passes the shock, the intensity and tears are less but I don't think of him any less frequently and I'm reconciled to it being this way for rest of my life. It's better that we had him in our lives for shorter than not at all I tell myself as I try to keep my own life on track. His funeral was the most extraordinary and powerful event. What a man.

Justin Dean

I met Ryan before Christmas when he asked us to produce a video to help promote his career in Rallycross, A bright, inspired young man with so many great ideas for what he wanted to do, his passing is indeed a great shame. Our thoughts go to his family and close friends at this sad time.

Arthur Mather

I only ever met Ryan to speak to once and that was at Lydden. Our driver James and Ryan had a touch off the start, wheel to wheel. Ryan's car was sidelined for that race. Back in the paddock, his car on a tow truck I asked him how he was and how was the car. With a big smile, he said ok fine thanks for asking. I thought then was a pleasant young man. Today when we went to the cathedral I was not surprised to see hundreds of people. I only hope the site of so many people gives his parents great comfort that their son was so well liked and respected. God bless, rest in peace.

Kirsty Brodie

I never had the privilege of knowing Ryan but do remember him around the BTCC paddock.....but deep down it feels as if I should have known him but never got the chance for paths to cross to build a friendship! Judging by other people's comments I never got to know a lovely, caring & funny guy!! Ryan, my little message to you :- Even though you are now gone & taken away so soon from your friends & family, I hope that wherever you are now, you are at peace now & that you're riding high in the skies above with those other car racing legends. RIP Ryan..... x

Terry Thorpe

My first mnemories of Ryan were as the freshfaced apprentice at G-Tech under the guidance of his mentor Will Gollop. During the following years he became a friend and someone that I wanted to help with his racing career. His passion for motorsport and especially Rallycross was something that all who knew him will have been touched by. During our regular meetings when trying to assist his sponsorship for his racing programmes his drive and determiniation would show through in abundance. Yet his manner was always polite and gentle, someone with a maturity beyond his years, and very thorough in his professional life both as a technician and a driver. On our racing trips away he would always retire early to the room whilst I would over indulge with any drinking buddy available, including his father Martin. Ryan you have left a void that will never be filled, I truly hope that you have found peace, we who have known you will all have fond memories of a life lived well but far too short!

Sarah Jordan-Hardy

The best things I remember about Ryan are from when he used to stay at our house between race weekends. He straight away fitted in, it was never an effort having him there and he was happy to sit and watch Motorsport on tv every single night with my dad and brother! We used to have a Dominos pizza for dinner on a Wednesday before a race weekend and as soon as Ryan sat down to eat his our two cats would be all over him, climbing on his shoulders and jumping up onto the pizza box.... Ryan never got angry or annoyed with them and used to feed them bits of pizza when my dad wasn't looking....! I remember thinking how sweet he was with them and it struck me how much of a gentle and kind guy he was. I used to really enjoy chatting with him in the evenings, he loved to talk about his family and his work and it was so touching to see how passionate he was about both. My mum used to rave about what a model house guest he was, making his bed perfectly everyday and always saying please and thank you! He was such an important part of our team and nobody will ever replace him: he was a hardworking, honest, laid back, genuinely lovely person to be around and I always felt so proud of him and the other guys for being such a close and tight knit team. I feel very honoured to have known such an amazingly lovely person and I know that he will be missed so so much by all of us.

Adam Hardy

I've known Ryan (or Bryan as he became known) for over 5 years and he shared some of my happiest memories with me, from winning our first race in BTCC together and our first Championship, to being a guest at my wedding. I always saw Ryan as one of the most meticulous mechanics I've worked with, his attention to detail was always impressive in everything he did whether it be building components on the race or the cleanliness of his Astra road car! Whenever I had a lift with him I never new where to put my feet! His car was always spotless and certainly was different to most mechanics cars I've seen! He always took such pride in his work and it was to no surprise that between him and Jack (the two mechanics on Andy's BTCC car) our car last year was 100% mechanically reliable, quite an achievement and something we were all proud of. Bryan was always reliable in every sense. Often he would have to travel the furthest of anyone to reach a circuit but he was never late, even when he had to start his journey from Kent at 5am! He never complained or ever had attitude in the whole time I knew him, in fact the only time I ever saw him angry happened to be my funniest memory of him. Following his big shunt in a Suzaki Swift in Rallycross where he rolled several times, he was interviewed on Motors TV and gave one of the most brilliant interviews I have seen! In his broad Kentish accent he began to describe the whole race in detail getting angrier and angrier with the guy who rolled him eventually having to turn away from the camera due to rage! For some reason all the lads at work and I found this hillerous as we had never seen him loose his temper and although it was a pretty serious shunt we all found it very amusing and were still laughing about "Bry's interview" less than a month ago. Ryan's love for Rallycross was remarkable. I've never met anyone so passionate about a single discipline of sport. When I first met Ryan he was quite shy and we would sometimes struggle with conversation, but as soon as we got on to Rallycross you couldn't shut him up! It's not often someone gets to meet their idol let alone work with them and become friends with them but Ryan did. He would always talk about Will and how he wanted to build a Supercar and have Will run it for him and I always said how much I'd love to come and help with that. I'm gutted we won't ever get to do that. All of the success I've personally had in Touring Cars has been with the same core group guys, Mike, Andy, Jack, Craig and Ryan. Ryan is simply irreplaceable, we are all going to miss him so much and it just won't be the same without him.

Paris Kelly

Been visiting Rally Cross to watch Ryan with family for multiple years now, roughly since I was 9, and I always seemed to look up to Ryan. In my eyes he was my role model and will always be. He was a inspiration to many, he won't be forgotten and will be remembered for all good he achieved. Rest in peace Ryan you'll never be forgotten.

Andrew Jordan

What a guy !! I first met Ryan in 2006 when I was working with Will Gollops Gtech team in the British Rallycross Championship. Will, Ryan, John Parsons and myself had a blast over the next few years and were very successful together. These years hold some of my fondest memories in racing. One memory stands out.... We were doing an event at Blyton rallycross track and I crashed Wills rallycross car quite badly. (I'll never forget Wills, Johns and Ryan's face's when they saw the car) the next round of the series was at Knockhill in Scotland only a couple of weeks later. I packed my bags and headed from Birmigham to go and stay at Will and Linda's house to help them repair the car or as it turned out just get in the way !!!! Will and Ryan were very patient in the workshop when my lack of skills with tools became apparent. The car was finished intime and was looking immaculate (as always) Ryan used to always love to "back to black" the dash board. Will hated this as he thought the dust stuck to it. Ryan and myself used to always have a giggle about it. John, Ryan and myself headed off in the truck for the huge journey upto Scotland. The night before the race we stayed in the truck, and stayed up to the early hours of the morning talking but mainly listening to Johns funny stories and lessons on life. We went on to win the event the next day and many more followed from both us as a team and Ryan driving himself. He was very quick and brave, sometimes too brave !! Ryan then came to work with me in the BTCC in 2008 and fitted straight in as part of the team. With Ryan, Jack and Big Adam on my car we had a very strong bond and got into a great routine. The car was always reliable as was Ryan work. All there hard work finally paid off with us winning the Championship in 2012 and I can honestly say I will never forget the look on there faces as we celebrated at the end of the race and later that night for that matter. Over the 7 years I knew Ryan we had some great times working together but also as friends. My thoughts are with Martin, Julie and the rest of Ryan's family and friends. I will miss Ryan hugely, but each time I think of him I will smile and remember the great times I was lucky enough to share with him.

trevor n maud kelly

cant believe your gone, lovely lad , british rally cross at lydden this year is not going to be the same without you there, sadly missed ,thoughts are with your family sleep tight mate, never forget you.

Mat Gollop

Quite simply one of the nicest guys you could have met. Ryan always took a genuine interest in your life and was a pleasure to talk to. It is a great loss that he's gone and my thoughts are with his family.

Wendy Dungey (Wonfor)

I worked with Ryan at Chaucer Technology School, I was one of his Learning Support Assistants, he was kind, calm and tried really hard at school, he talked about cars and racing. Ryan was a pleasure to work with, I was so pleased to watch him grow and succeed in what he loved, it makes me feel proud that I was able to support him in his schooling. My thoughts go to his family x

Stuart Wood

Gone but never forgotten.not just an inspiration to many but an inspiration to everybody.the many times of coming down to lydden to watch you race.and even bringing my son Lewis with me to cheer you on.We loved seeing you race and then standing in the pits with u and your mum and dad watching you and your team rushing around to get your car fixed ready for your next race. 100% dedicated through and through! I'm goin to miss you cuz! All my love Stuart and Lewis Xx

Sophie Page

Ryan, you will never be forgotten, such an lovely, kind young man. No-one can believe you're gone, such a sad loss to everyone that knew you. Genuinely one of the nicest people you could ever meet, and this has left a huge gap in everyone's life's. A talented young driver and a genuine friend to many. It's hard to believe we will never see you again, but you will always be in our thoughts and many people will keep the precious memories they had. You will be deeply missed by so many people! Sleep tight Ry, R.I.P.

Jamie Arscott

i knew ryan from the age of 6 years old when i meet him at primary school (blean primary school).i knew at that moment that i had my best friend right in front of my eyes.we grow up together through the primary school years always done stuff together.like playing football over the park with your dad and making him go in goal and peppering him with shots lol.then we went are seperate ways to secondarys schools but always kept in concact and see eachother when we could.we knew once we left school that we couldnt always see eachother as we both went of to work and you lived in blean and i lived in sittingbourne.but that never stop us from ringing each other and having a good old chat and gossip like a couple of old women lol.you always was and forever wil be my best mate.im going to miss you so much.i will always remember you i promise i wont ever forget you.hope you have taken your rallycross skills up to heaven and are having a few laps up there. r.i.p mate.love from jamie xxxxxx

John Parsons

Ryan I first met Ryan over 10 years ago whilst working for Will at G Tech Motorsport.. And although I did not realise it at the time I was later asked by Will to take him in the lorry as part of the Rallycross team, and at the time I was thinking " will he need babysitting like most young lads today" . How wrong I was ! . He showed his maturity for his age and was a delight to be with as We travelled all around the country & occasionally around Europe, firstly working with Will then later with Andrew Jordan in his early career in Rallycross & then into BTCC. During this time he became a great friend at work and away, The great pleasure I had working with Ryan, was what ever you asked him to do, you knew he would do with no fuss and so much enthusiasm. Ryan was always so polite and there was never a cross word. Ryan learnt the job very quickly and improved on it. I will always remember our journeys away, Ryan would turn up with large bags sweets, crisps,fizzy drinks and off we would go. we had so many great times and me & Gayna will sadly miss the visits and the phone calls. My thoughts are, and will always be with Martin & Julie, I feel very privileged to have had the pleasure of being Ryan's friend and he will be very sadly missed and never forgotten. R.I.P. Ryan

Darren Martin

I first met Ryan back in 2006 when I started working at Canterbury Saab where Ryan helped out in between everything else he did. We instantly hit it off as friends as we both shared a love for all things Motorsport and racing related. Many an evening over the years were spent chatting be it on the phone or round my house. Ryan was such a kind, thoughtful guy. When he worked with pirtek racing in the BTCC he always made the effort to get myself and my wife Hannah into the garages so we could see what was going on as he knew how much we enjoyed BTCC. and he would always make sure we got to see all that was going on. We always used to go and watch Ryan race at lydden hill and support him. You could tell he had a natural talent to be behind the wheel and compete. He had become a very good friend over the years. I will really miss my weekly phone calls from him. I have found myself keep expecting the phone to ring and it be him. It's so sad, I have lost a true friend. I will never forget you mate and you will always be in our thoughts. RIP

Will Gollop

My friend Ryan. I met Ryan for the first time when he was 15 years old and he came up to us at G Tech Motorsport for his work experience fortnight. I was immediately impressed by his wonderfully warm personality and his keenness to learn all about motorsport engineering. When he left school he came to work with us (Mick, Iain and I) full time, Ryan was a real pleasure to work with, always keen and happy to learn but also hard working even when doing the most mundane of jobs. Later he came with us to rallycross races and soon became a great team member still retaining that attitude of being a pleasure to be with. He worked on our stock hatch car a lot and helped the driver get the best out of it at races. Soon after this he asked if he could drive the car himself, and I thought perhaps he wasn’t quite ready for it but he soon proved me wrong by driving the wheels off the car (literally sometimes) and getting some brilliant results in his first season. After that Ryan engineered his own cars and continued to be at the top of his class. As well as working hard in the lighting business with Sophie and Stan he managed to fit in working as an engineer in British Touring Cars at week ends with the Jordan team . In the last year or so I worked with Ryan again this time with roles reversed, he taught me lighting assembly, still with that warm personality and that easy going manner. I will miss him forever.

Stanley Wilson

Ryan was our first employee. He worked with us since 2010. Motorsport might have been his main passion, but his flexibility, hard graft and diligence shaped the future of our lighting business. In the early days it was a major struggle getting everything off the ground and Ryan got us through this and out the other side, to where we are now. All our recruitment since Ryan started has been – in essence – the search to find more people like him. Ryan was a successful and popular bloke outside work and a truly amazing person to work with in it, so calm but such a grafter and always time for a joke. He will live on here forever, many of the big and small things we take for granted at work today, how we work, the stuff we build and how we build them is - and will always remain - Ryan’s contribution.