THE family of a teenager who was tragically killed in 2012 experienced a rollercoaster day after witnessing the birth of a grandson and passing of a granddad in the space of a few hours.
The parents of Connor Saunders, who was punched and killed during a street argument in April 2012, experienced both delight and sadness on Wednesday.
Shaun Saunders, Connor’s dad, 51, is now a granddad after his daughter Courtney Saunders-Jones gave birth at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on Wednesday at 4.35am.
But just 11 hours later his wife’s granddad Ted, 96, passed away at home.
Mr Saunders said: “It’s been a right rollercoaster. He was ill for a long time and it got the better of him but he hung on until he was told the baby had been born. Then he slipped away later that day.”
The latest addition to the Brighton family is also called Ted. Mr Saunders said: “Granddad knew that Ted had arrived and that he was named after him and he had a smile on his face.
“It’s a new life. We are delighted to have Ted with us.”
Connor, who was 19 when he died, was a keen footballer and had been named youth team player of the season for Peacehaven and Telscombe Football Club. Speaking to The Argus yesterday, Mr Saunders also paid tribute to the work of his wife and daughter, who both run The Connor Saunders Foundation.
Yesterday the family went to London to receive awards at the House of Lords for their work with the foundation.
Mr and Mrs Saunders were joined by Courtney Lewis, the girlfriend of Connor at the time of his death, for the first British Citizen Awards ceremony.
Mr Saunders added: “There is never a dull moment with us. We now walk a different path. The foundation keeps us all going.”
The foundation works with special schools and children with disabilities to provide qualified football coaching.
For details visit connors5.com.