Sunday 8 March 2009.
We had heard late the previous night, rumours that Michael was leaving on Sunday. Going on past experiences, Michael usually leaves early in the morning, so unlike previous days when we usually got to the hotel around mid day, on the Sunday, we decided to get there early.
As usual, when Michael was in London, my flat ended up being a fan hostel. On this day, Elusive Moonwalker and another fan were staying with me. Myself and Elusive decided to get to the hotel at about 8 am.
When we arrive we see no fans but there is a car parked at the back of the hotel. We recognise PAPS in the car and decide to just stand to the side, where we can see the hotel door and the car. After about 10 minutes, one of the PAPS gets out of the car and comes over to us. He tells us that he was told by hotel employees that Michael is definitely leaving around 10 am. We chat for a while and then he goes back to his car.
We take a walk around the hotel, and decide to take a chance and call our friends, as we are the only fans there. By now it is nearly 9 am so we start ringing and texting fans we know who can get to the hotel within the hour.
Around 9.30 am we see movement, the cars are driven from the underground car park and parked beside the hotel door.
By this stage more fans start arriving as word spreads that Michael is leaving.
Up till now we have just been standing around casually, but when the cars are parked and more fans arrive, we all pick our spot at the barriers. I decide to stand at the end of the barrier, next to the wall, directly infront of the car. The other fans spread out along the barriers. Somehow the paps ended up being beside me.
Its now 10 am, and there are about 20 fans at the barriers.
At about 10.15am, we can feel something in the air, OMG, here we go.
First the driver comes out and puts some hand luggage bags in the boot of the car and opens the the back passenger door so that it is touching the hotel pillar.
By now everyone is screaming and shouting.
Suddenly Michael comes out of the hotel, and sees us all screaming and waving. He is smiling and waving and starts to come around the car over to the barrier but then he sees the PAPS and stops. Instead he steps up onto the car and waves and blows kisses to us before getting into the car.
Hotel security come over and move the barriers to let the cars out. As they are doing this Michael winds down the car window and starts waving at us. We all go over to the car and many fans are able to give Michael gifts and letters and to wish him well. As I was at the other end of the barrier I end up at the back of the group around the car. I see Michael smiling, blowing kisses and taking the gifts and letters and I hear the fans wishing him a safe journey and saying see you in July.
The car slowly moves out of the hotel carpark and into the main road. The traffic lights are red so the fans are still around the car, talking to Michael n the middle of the road. I stay back, just watching everything, waving. The lights change and then the driver speeds up and drives off. About 5 fans immediately jump into a taxi and follow the car.
Any other time, when Michael is out and about, I have no problem following him in a taxi. When he leaves it is always the one time that I dont. For me, I just have to a cut off point, something which means closure for that particular trip. Michael leaves me, I don’t leave Michael.
That was the last time I saw him. My last memory of him is waving and smiling as he left the hotel to return to California to prepare for the London concerts.
We didn’t know it at the time, but we were the last fans to see him in London, and the photos we took are the last photos of him in London.
This is the last photo of Michael in London