Tributes to a brave, inspiring young man

227/01/10     Ashley Murray
227/01/10 Ashley Murray

Friends and family of a young man who “lived life to the full” after surviving a brutal knife attack have spoken of their devastation at his death.

Ashley Murray was killed late on Saturday night when his silver Porsche left the road towards Leeds and crashed into a tree on the A61.

Ashley Murray, second from left, with three of his best friends.

Ashley Murray, second from left, with three of his best friends.

Mr Murray, 27, was the victim of a knife attack in Harrogate when he was just 13, two of his best friends turning on him and stabbing him repeadedly before leaving him for dead.

The terrified teenager had lain huddled in a bin bag at Birk Crag for two days before he was found by a passing dog walker.

Paying tribute to him yesterday, his family said they wanted to remember him for the way he had lived his life in the 13 years since his horrific ordeal.

“He was a lovely, happy, young man. He just lived life to the full,” they said to the Harrogate Advertiser.

One of his best friends, Chris Fisk, said Mr Murray was an inspiration to everyone, whose positivity had an effect on everyone he met.

“He was strong, resilient and always lived life like it was his last day,” he said.

“He taught me that life was a leap of faith and to might fall... you might fly.

“I’ll miss him, and will make sure his memory lives on.”

Colleagues at CCI Distribution, where Mr Murray worked in IT sales, said he was a “fine young man”, who went out of his way to help others.

“This, coupled with his engaging personality and sheer zest for life, explains why he was universally popular and well-loved,” said sales director Mark Sowden.

“Ash’s passing has hit everyone extremely hard - we know that a unique personality has been taken from us.”

The former Rossett School student was just 13 when he was attacked at Birk Crag by his two friends, Daniel Gill, then 14, and 15-year-old Robert Fuller.

They were sentenced to six years’ detention for his attempted murder on January 17, 1999.

Mr Murray died at the scene of the crash on Almsford Bank at 11pm on Saturday night.

A police spokesman, appealing for witnesses, said his silver Porsche Boxster was overtaking a blue Citroen Picasso at the time.

Friends gathered at Muckles bar in Harrogate last night to release 27 lanterns sky lanterns in his memory.

A celebration of his life is to be held at Stonefall Cemetary next Wednesday at 12.20pm.

“He lived his life to the full, he was a very happy and wonderful young man,” said his family.

“We ask everyone not to come formally, but dressed in pink. Any shade of pink, it doesn’t matter, but it’s to celebrate him.”