My old friend Sam Izzard passed away last week. He was one of three leaders of the British Magical Society Junior Section, which I attended until my mid-teens, and I have fond memories of him. Ever so kind, and always full of life, he was clearly dedicated to magic – and the junior section in particular. Sam would regularly bring in his own props for us all to experiment with, and had an endless supply of tips and advice. He always wanted to see the new trick you’d been practising, and was never less than enthusiastic about the results.
He always looked like your archetypal magician – I forget quite why this was, but I remember that magic somehow suited him perfectly. Plus his stage name, I’m pretty sure, was Izzard the Wizard. Everyone knew him, too – other local magicians would always smile if I mentioned Sam.
Mostly I think I’ll remember his voice, and his infectious laugh as he and the other leaders competed to tell the silliest joke. Sam was always laughing.
He was the last of the three leaders, and I hadn’t seen him since a funeral seven years ago (wow). I wish I’d got back in touch. His granddaughter kindly let me know the news by leaving a comment on a post I wrote at the time. Sam, Mat and Peter made a big difference in my life, and I’m sad they’re gone. My condolences to Sam’s family.