Tributes paid to Wotton footballer and father Mike 'Raj' Rodman who died on pitch from heart attack

Gazette Series: Flowers and a football shirt have been left for Mike 'Raj' Rodman at Kingswood AFC Flowers and a football shirt have been left for Mike 'Raj' Rodman at Kingswood AFC

HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to the Wotton footballer who tragically died during a match.

Mike ‘Raj’ Rodman collapsed while playing for the Kingswood AFC reserve team against Charfield on Saturday afternoon.

Despite sustained CPR, the 37-year-old was unable to be resuscitated.

Over 100 people attended a memorial for Mr Rodman at the Kingswood football ground on Sunday morning.

Flowers and messages have been left at the site where Mr Rodman passed away.

In a nod to his beloved team, a Liverpool FC shirt was left, adorned with the words: "RIP Raj. You’ll never walk alone."
 

Touching tributes were left by his friends and family, including his partner, with whom he has a five-month-odl daughter, Eva.

Partner Lauren Workman said: "Mike, I still can't believe you have gone; still feels like a nightmare and I'll wake up in a minute.

"Then I look at Eva and she's there smiling and I know I have to stay strong for her."

Close friend Tim Hodgson said: "The testament of a man is how many friends are prepared to call you their best friend. I am one of many.

"You were a source of comfort and friendship which will never be forgotten - will stick with you forever - your 'gift' Eva and your beautiful partner in life Lauren will be safe young man, of this you can be sure."

Another close friend Neil Cook left the following tribute with the Gazette on behalf of himself and his family.

"Raj, I didn't have the pleasure of knowing you for as long as others, but will always treasure the time we did get to spend together.

"Don’t worry about your girls, I will make sure they are looked after, we all will!

"You will always be in our thoughts, memories and our hearts."

People took to Twitter and Facebook to share their love and memories of their friend and teammate.

James Blackwell, secretary at Kingswood AFC, said: "Still can't believe it. A sad, sad day and you will be missed by all."

Cameron Tarr posted: "Great guy and top defender! Made me feel welcome from my first moment and helped me to develop as a GK whilst with the club."

Gavin Thorpe said: "RIP to an old school friend that died today. Life can be cruel. Love the one you’re with."

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

The Gloucestershire County Football League issued the following tribute: "Mike was a regular in the first team for three years after the Club gained promotion to the Gloucestershire County Football League and had been one of the stalwarts of the team for a number of years prior to that promotion."

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