THERE wasn’t a spare seat in the stands as hundreds of people turned out at a charity rugby match in memory of a young player killed in a tragic accident.
The University of Portsmouth rugby team clashed with Solent Barbarians – a team made up of players from clubs across the area – at United Services Rugby Football Club, at Burnaby Road, Portsmouth last night.
The event was organised in tribute to the university team’s latescrum half, Jack Segust, who died after crashing his golf buggy during a round back home in Hereford last month.
The 21-year-old engineering student’s teammates and friends turned out in force to their pay respects – many wearing purple shirts with his name and number on the back.
The event, sponsored by Portsmouth-based marketing agency Market Makers, was held to raise thousands of pounds for Schools for Africa, Help for Heroes and West Midlands Ambulance Service, which airlifted Jack to hospital following the crash.
Organiser Tom Hankey, 22, of Southsea, a former teammate of Jack’s, said: ‘His death has left a big hole in the club. We’re a tight-knit group of lads and the initial response was obviously disbelief.
‘It was horrible, it was something we’d never experienced before.
‘But I was pleased with the response – 40 of us went up to Hereford for his funeral.
‘It’s great to see so many people here tonight, it’s a real tribute to just how much of a legend Jack was.’
Friend Lucy Stockton, 22, of Southsea, who plays for the university’s women’s rugby team, said: ‘Jack was a lovely guy.
‘He was always up for a bit of banter and quite mischievous. He was always up for a laugh and always had time for his mates. We all miss him so much.’
After a fierce contest, the university team ran out 32-14 winners.
Youngster ‘lived for sport’
JACK Segust was a passionate sportsman who came to study a degree in Portsmouth two years ago.
He lived in Southsea and had made a name for himself in the University of Portsmouth’s rugby side .
He went back home to Hereford for the summer break after completing his second year of a civil engineering course and was playing golf with his brother and a friend when tragedy struck last month.
The 21-year-old rolled their golf buggy down an embankment and was flown to hospital with head injuries which he did not recover from.
His parents Sue and Phil Segust paid tribute to their son.
In a statement after his death, they said: ‘The life and soul of the party, Jack will be sadly missed by all his friends and family.’