The River Thames outside DLD College London

Memorial service for Martin Amis 1949-2023

13th June 24

Martin Amis, British Novelist

Yesterday afternoon under a stormy sky, a mix of rain and brilliant sunshine, together with the Principal, Irfan Latif, who had been invited personally by Isabel Fonseca, I attended the memorial service for DLD College Alumni, Martin Amis, in St Martin in the Fields, London. The church was packed with the great and the good of the literary world. Ian McEwan gave the first address followed by Bill Nighy and Zadie Smith. But despite the big literary beasts with their polished delivery and wit, the most moving tribute for me came from Louis Amis who confided that his father ‘loved football’  that  he was a glory hunter who shamelessly switched allegiance from Spurs to Arsenal, between Manchester United and Manchester City and finally Chelsea as their fortunes waxed and waned in the League.

How sad he would be I thought to miss the Euro contest about to begin on 24th June. It was moving and humbling to hear recordings of Amis’ voice from interviews throughout his life, commenting on prose and language and poetry. It was extraordinary to hear readings from his novels beautifully rendered by Nighy, but undoubtedly with all the tears (and one man in the row ahead was unashamedly weeping) the most moving note was also the most personal, Martin Amis loved Football. I didn’t know that.

Cathy David, Director of Studies/ Humanities/ English