Rugby club’s touching tribute to ‘our boy’ who died on training field

Doncaster Knights Rugby Club and former Havant rugby player Ian Williams. Picture: Doncaster Knights Rugby Club/PA Wire

HAVANT Rugby Club members have been saddened by the death of a former player who went on to forge a championship career.

Championship rugby player Ian Williams collapsed whilst at training on Tuesday and died before he could be resuscitated.

The 27-year-old, who played for the Doncaster Knights, started his career at Havant Rugby Club.

Club chairman Jon Mangnall said: ‘It is all very sad and we here at the club will be celebrating all the good times Ian had when he played here as a youngster.

‘He’s not someone who has been in the club in the last couple of years but he’s one of our boys.

‘It’s said with anyone but it’s more sad when we know the people and the family that’s left behind.

‘He was someone who went on to great things.

‘We’re proud in that sense but sad for his family that what has happened has happened.’

The cause of Ian’s death is not yet known. H e joined the Doncaster Knights in the summer after playing for a short time at local rivals, Rotherham Titans.

In a statement Doncaster Knights said: ‘It is with great sadness that Doncaster RFC announces the passing of prop forward Ian Williams.

‘Ian collapsed at training at Castle Park this morning and, despite the best efforts of the emergency response team, could not be resuscitated.

‘We extend our deepest sympathies to Ian’s mother Pippa, father Phillip & and sister Helen and are working with a counselling team in the best interest of Ian’s teammates.’

Ian made six appearances during his first season at the Club.

Jon said: ‘His dad said he died with his boots on and mud on his face and that was the happiest way for him to go. ‘A number of his team mates who played at the same time as him still play and I know a lot of them will go up to South Wales for the funeral.’

More from Sport