If ever a boy was bursting with potential, it was Andy Armistead. It wasn't just his top of the range intelligence, but his superb performances in everything ± music, sport, mathematics ± almost everything he did. In his early teens, he sang in his town choir and played in the Manchester Youth Orchestra, as well as excelling at tennis and other sports. I remember him at 17, his pale grey eyes, long dark lashes and a mouth which curled easily into friendly smiles. Each time I visited him at his home, after hours of lively conversation he treated me to wonderful piano performances of Beethoven, con brio, ®ngers skimming surely over the keyboard. What a treat for me. He was dark-skinned and thick-set like his African father, though his brother and two sisters were slender, pale and white-blonde.