Floral Arsenal badge tribute

Article by Jodie Nesling: He was the football-mad granddad who lovingly took his granddaughters to Arsenal matches, instilling their passion for the north London side.

So when Robert Pearman died at the age of 83, nothing but a top-notch floral Gunners' badge would do.

But Lucy and Rebecca Hudd were devastated when the floral tribute they received turned up on the hearse looking "tacky" and "nothing like the original".

Mother-of-one Lucy arranged for the Arsenal badge to be created by her favourite florist, Always Flowers, at The Pantiles in Queen's Park, Billericay.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Lucy"]Our family have used them loads of times and never had a problem so we didn't imagine this would happen. We were absolutely horrified when we saw the tribute on the hearse. It was the first time we'd seen it – it looks absolutely nothing like the Arsenal badge. There was a tacky banner, far too much blue and it's just awful. The cannon is orange.[/quote]

The day after the funeral on December 17, Ms Hudd says she confronted the shop owner, who offered her a £10 discount from the original £120 price tag.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Ms Hudd"]The woman kept saying 'I know it's upsetting and this is a terrible time' but all I wanted was for her to admit they had done a terrible job.[/quote]

The same week, elder sister Rebecca says she stormed into the shop to demand a full refund and an apology. The angry mother of three then left the tribute at the florist in disgust.

When approached for comment, the owner of Always Flowers, who refused to give her name, said:

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by owner of Always Flowers"]We gave them exactly what they wanted – we went through it in detail with the family and they said they were happy.[/quote]

She claims the reason the Arsenal badge looked different was because they asked for natural flowers instead of sprayed.

The owner confirmed another member of staff had met the family initially and had taken the details of the order.

She also said the girls' father, Peter Hudd, accepted a refund of £40 and took back the tribute, which she believed to be an end to the matter.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Lucy"]It was never about the money. If she had apologised for the awful job, we would have let it go. The £40 my dad accepted because we knew we would not get anywhere with them. The money has been donated to Alzheimer's UK[/quote]

Articles and image by Jodie Nesling, Billericay Gazette

More local news