With James’ passing we have lost professionally one of the few genuine Orthopaedic innovators and educators of our time, as well as the most loyal of friends. James dedicated his life to the science and clinical application of cartilage repair and his achievements are too many to list. His main love was cell therapy and consequently he instigated and was the chief investigator in the ACTIVE trial, the largest trial of ACI in the world. His evidence formed a major part of the recent NICE review and I know James took great pleasure in its final approval last year. However, James being James, had already moved on to the next generation of treatment and a new trial, ASCOT (ACI vd MSC’s). It is sad that he will not witness its implementation but thousands of patients will benefit greatly due his efforts and this will be a fitting legacy.
For an Orthopaedic academic James embodied a uniquely rare combination of traits being the most compassionate of clinicians and supporter of colleagues as well as an intellectually rigorous academic. James’ vision was extraordinary, there were no insurmountable barriers only unique solutions. He travelled the world visiting surgeons and scientists in order to further his almost encyclopaedic knowledge. This led to many adventures and many friends.
James’ humanity and dignity made him impossible not to admire and like in equal measure and will make him impossible not to miss.
Martyn Snow February 2018