Tributes have flooding in for a hockey player who died playing the game he loved.
Tim Bence was playing in goal for Oxford Hockey Clubs 7th team against British Airways Hockey Club 2s at QPR Football Club’s training ground at Harlington, London, when he collapsed on February 11.
Despite prompt medical assistance from team-mates, medical staff at the football club, and paramedics, Tim could not be revived. The game was immediately abandoned.
Oxford’s Club chairman Richard Oakes said: “We are still in shock as he was genuinely such a nice guy.
“Tim has been a keen and enthusiastic member of the club for many years playing in goal for both the men’s and mixed sections and he readily endeared himself to both team members and opponents alike.”
“He will be sorely missed by the club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Tributes have poured in on the club’s social media site from players, friends and former players.
Anand Gupta said: “Tim was an amazing man. Never met someone so good natured in such an innocent way. Was always happy, never sad. Always gave me a big bear hug before every game. Wish I could give him one now.”
Lucy Brady added: “The world has lost one of the most genuine and kind men. A man who touched the hearts of everyone he met with the biggest goalie padded hugs and the greatest words of encouragement.”
His mixed captain Harriet Bryant said: “Tim you filled our hockey goal and my heart with fun and laughter. As a friend and a team mate I will greatly miss you. Rest in peace xx.”
British Airways Hockey Club, who were the opponents at the time said they offered their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tim.
They said: “It is events like this which prove winning or losing is actually secondary to just enjoying the game and having a beer or two afterwards.”
The club is presently thinking how to honour Tim in the long-term.