I first met Euan Lloyd in London in 2002. I was researching his timeless war movie The Wild Geese and had arranged an interview at his home.
We must have talked for five hours. Our conversation ranged over his entire career but the meat of it focused on the gestation, production and legacy of The Wild Geese. Euan was the kindest of men, and someone who was extremely precise in his detail. What’s more, he had a memory like a steel trap. He could recall conversations from decades before with pinpoint accuracy.
My piece on the movie was a two-parter that ran in Impact magazine. Euan generously provided an array of behind-the-scenes images and even a script (“for your eyes only”, he wrote on it). Over time I talked to many of the cast and crew including Hardy Kruger, Roger Moore, Ian Yule, Winston Ntshona, John Kani, Paul Spurrier, Joan Armatrading, John Glen, stuntmen Clive Curtis, Jazzer Jeyes and George Leech, and director Andrew V. McLaglen.
I knew I had amassed enough material to write a book – but who would read it? I wrote to Euan and said as much. His response was typical: if the time came for me to write it, I had his permission to do so, and to use whatever stills I wanted. What a gift.
Over the last few years we kept in touch via email. Our most recent communication was about Stanley Baker – Euan had worked with him on Carl Foreman’s production of The Guns of Navarone. As always, Euan was helpful and inspiring.
Now he’s gone, and on the same terrible weekend that has claimed Robin (The Wicker Man) Hardy, Michael (The Deer Hunter) Cimino and TV comedian Caroline Aherne.
I will miss him. But I relish the times we spent together and the stories he told me. What a treasure trove I possess. I know I’m lucky to have it. Thanks, Euan.