A COMMUNITY has been left reeling after a Wotton footballer died on the pitch during a match.

Kingswood AFC footballer Mike Rodman was playing for the reserves against rivals Charfield in the Stroud League on Saturday afternoon.

The 37-year-old, known as ‘Raj’, collapsed just ten minutes into the game at the Kingswood playing field.

Despite being given CPR on the pitch until paramedics arrived to take over, Mr Rodman could not be resuscitated and he was pronounced dead an hour later.

Mr Rodman leaves behind his girlfriend Lauren and their five-month-old daughter Eva.

Around 60 bystanders were on the sidelines at one of the team's biggest fixtures.

Club chairman Rob Bateman said: "We had to stand and watch and we were just hoping and praying."

Great Western Ambulance received the emergency call at 2.07pm saying that a man was unconscious with a suspected heart attack.

A rapid response unit and co-responders from Wotton-under-Edge fire station were sent, as well as a critical care team.

A spokesman said: "CPR was given by a bystander while we were en route and we took over on arrival.

"Unfortunately we were unable to revive him."

Mr Rodman, who lived in Wotton-under-Edge, had played for the Kingswood AFC for over ten years. He had also taken over the management of the reserve side this season.

Over 100 people attended a memorial for Mr Rodman at the Gloucestershire football ground on Sunday morning, leaving flowers and notes.

Tributes flooded social networking site Twitter.

Scott Harvey posted: "This tragedy has touched everyone who knew Raj and has left family, friends, a community and local football totally devastated."

Lee Goose wrote: "I can’t get the images of today out of my head, still can’t believe it! Thoughts are with family and friends."

Another tweet read: "Hours have passed, but still cannot believe what I witnessed earlier. Football community stronger than ever."

Mr Rodman's employers at engineering firm Renishaw said his death was truly tragic.

Renishaw spokesman Chris Pockett said: "It was with enormous shock and sadness that we received the news about Mike’s tragic death at the weekend.

"He worked as a materials controller at our assembly facility in Woodchester, near Stroud and was very popular with his colleagues, as he was in the wider community.

"The mood on Monday morning at Woodchester was very sombre and many of his closest colleagues have been deeply affected by his death."

Mr Bateman said the club had cancelled its fixtures for the upcoming weekend.

He said: "We can't come to terms with it.

"Surely the players won't want to put their boots on for a while."