Monday 30 January 2017 by Neil Tollfree

Man who was first to post heartfelt Facebook tribute to John Hurt still feeling pretty smug


John Hurt tribute on Facebook

A man who wrote a considered, thoughtful and heartfelt post about Sir John Hurt before any of his friends is feeling pretty good about himself this morning.

Simon Williams, a computer programmer who does ‘all sorts of creative stuff’ in his spare time, posted his tribute at 4am on Saturday morning, shortly after the actor’s death was announced.

“Yes, I was the first person out of my 142 Facebook friends and 4 followers to post anything about Sir John’s tragic death,” said Mr Williams

“Is it important that I was first? Perhaps not, but if hearing about his death from my tribute softened the blow for some people then, well, I’m just glad I could help.”

It’s not the first time that Mr Williams has been the first to post ‘RIP’ Facebook status updates in recent times.

“12 times over the last year. Roughly. I mean, not that I’m counting or anything. Eleanor said it was 11 because she posted about her admiration for George Michael’s charity work first, but she hadn’t noticed that I’d already put up a reappraisal of his Faith album. So 12.”

Mr Williams revealed some of his secrets for a speedy tribute to a much-loved celebrity.

“Well, I don’t get up in the middle of the night to check who’s died. I’m not a ghoul. But if I am awake I always have a quick check of the BBC news to see.

Preparation is also a key.

“I usually have some pre-prepared tributes, to make the process a little quicker.

“I’ve currently got Bruce Forsyth, Pope Benedict, Hugh Hefner all ready to go and I’m halfway through Hosni Mubarak right now.”

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