Tributes paid to Devizes disabled sailor

This Is Wiltshire: Andrew Farrow, who was sponsored by Walter Rose & Son butchers in Devizes Andrew Farrow, who was sponsored by Walter Rose & Son butchers in Devizes

Tributes have been paid to paralysed sailor Andrew Farrow from Devizes who has died.

Father of two Mr Farrow, 48, died at home on July 7.

Mr Farrow suffered a spinal cord injury after he fell out of a tree eight years ago.

He became a sailor and thanks to a grant from the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust (SSIT) he bought a boat and last year competed against some of the world’s top sailors at the International 2.4 metre class World Championship in Poole.

A statement on SSIT’s website says: “Andrew was a wonderfully gifted man who we came to know as a beneficiary of our grant programme.

"SSIT helped fund the purchase of his boat and Andrew did so much to spread awareness of our grants to others.

"It was a real pleasure working with him and following his journey through sailing.

“He wrote a beautiful and, at times, painfully raw blog about sailing and the difficulties faced by those with a spinal cord injury. It was clear that sailing was everything to him: “Sailing is joy,” he said, “It’s changed my life.”

He was sponsored by Walter Rose & Son butchers in Devizes and butcher Jack Cook said: “It was gutting to hear that Andrew had passed away. He was a great, all round guy and will be sorely missed.

"He was a very honest and caring guy and very loyal to us. He became a friend and we met up for a beer.

“Sailing was a sport he took up and within six months he qualified for the World Championships. I went to Poole where he was competing in the World Championship and spent time on a boat watching him, it was good fun.”

Mr Farrow, who formerly owned and ran The Toy Tree in Old Swan Yard, told the Gazette last year: "Sailing is one of the few sports that disabled people can take part in alongside able-bodied people. It’s opened up a whole new world for me.”

Mr Farrow’s funeral service is tomorrow at Salisbury Crematorium at 4pm.

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