I have never met you but I feel like I know you.
Those few snapshots of you that circulate the internet paint a sparse picture but knowing your wonderful mother Sylvia and her friend and fellow campaign person, Kate, adds few more colours to the palatte. in some ways I wish I didn’t feel like I knew you because that would have meant that your cowerdly and pointless murder would never have happened and you would have been part of the sea of faces we see at gigs in the North West, just another music lover who liked to dress up, another gentle soul in a brutal world.
Many times I have tried to imagine the fear you must have felt that night but admired your bravery as you looked after your boyfriend Robert, who had been knocked out by the gang before they killed you. I can’t imagine what you must have felt but it always makes me feel sad and angry. And even now I can feel the welling of tears.
At Louder Than War we are very proud to be involved with your wonderful mother Sylvia and her work trying to make something positive from your pointless murder with the S.O.P.H.I.E campaign. A campaign which she runs along with her amazing friend Kate.
They always say that you should never take on the mothers as they will always win and I love the way you have not seeked revenge apart from justice for the murderers. The campaign preaches understanding, whilst trying to get some sort of protection for the people who dress slightly differently.
The announcement that the Greater Manchester Police have accepted that crimes against Goth, punk, emo or whatever you want to call it kids is to be a classed a hate crime is a victory for the mothers and a victory for everybody, no matter how they dress.
It’s hard to believe we still live in a world where a bit of hair dye can result in a murder but we do and maybe from now on that extra protection can make a difference.
On Louder Than War we celebrate anyone like Sophie, anyone who dares to be different and we still feel sad about her death.
We never met you, Sophie, but we have met thousands of kids like you, we are, infact, the same sort of people, we have got the bruises to prove it from pointless attacks over the years but we never met the type of cowards who would kick a girl to death because she had different hair.
There have been countless deserved tributes to you Sophie and you seemed like an amazing girl. We have always been proud to have Sylvia at our Goldblade gigs doing her speech when we can and we are proud to be part of her campaign selling the S.O.P.H.I.E. wristband and spreading the word from the early days of the campaign.
Sophie, most people will know you as the ‘goth girl’ who was murdered by a gang of bullies and your name has become synonymous with trying to end these hate crimes which is a fitting epitaph for anyone’s life- no matter how short.
In my other world as a member of Goldblade, we are involved in the S.O.P.H.I.E. campaign, selling the wristbands and being honoured to have your wonderful mother on stage at our gigs talking about you and her own campaign to stamp out prejudice and violence. It’s not a world Sylvia can ever expected to have been involved in but she is doing a great job and is warmly loved by everyone on the various music scenes that this has affected.
We wish we had met you Sophie, the more we hear about you, the cooler you sound, a really wonderful person- awake, political, vegetarian, a pacifist, you had left school with A levels and was thinking about what to do with your future when it was taken so brutally away.
We hope that this latest victory by your mother is just another stepping stone in the campaign to make the world a better place and we truly believe that it is.