Tributes paid to rugby club stalwart who died after collapsing on pitch
A RUGBY club stalwart collapsed and died just moments after setting up a try on Saturday.
Tributes were last night being paid to 42-year-old Jason Laman by devastated friends at Wheatley Rugby Club, who had watched as he fell to the ground while preparing to take a conversion.
Players tried to revive him before paramedics arrived but the father-of-three was pronounced dead at hospital.
Mr Laman had lived in Holton and Wheatley all his life and played for the club for two decades.
First VX captain James Pollard said: “He was always there helping out his local team.
“He never asked for anything in return and the club has lost one of its best members. He trained every week and helped new players settle in and gave them pointers.
“Jason was everyone’s best mate. We have had comments from around the world about him. He will be greatly missed.”
Wheatley were playing Crowthorne at their ground at Holton Playing Fields.
Mr Laman, who was Wheatley’s Clubman of the Year, had run from halfway to help set up the try.
Mr Pollard, who was not playing, ran on to the pitch to hand Mr Laman a kicking tee for the conversion when the self-employed builder collapsed.
Players from both teams attempted to resuscitate him and put him in the recovery position before he was taken to hospital. The match was abandoned.
Mr Laman’s eldest daughter Chloe said last night: “The rugby club was like his second family.
“For him to have died there... I could not think of a better way for him to go. He lived and breathed rugby.”
She added: “He was my hero. He taught me everything I need to know for life.
“He was an inspiration to a lot of people.
“We would like to say thanks to everyone at the rugby club, the paramedics and the hospital for what they did to try to save him.”
Wheatley Rugby Club chairman Peter Ramsdale added: “Jason was the most popular man at the rugby club.
“He was a fantastic club man and he was always cheery. It is an incredible loss both for the family and for the club.”
A spokesman for the ambulance service said they were called at about 3.30pm and took Mr Laman to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Club president Paul Willmott said: “I taught him PE when he went to Wheatley Park School and he was a very popular person and very keen on rugby. He will be very sorely missed.”
Mr Laman had organised a number of charity matches, including one for Help for Heroes in memory of another Wheatley rugby player, Dale Gostick, a marine who died in Afghanistan in 2008.
Mr Laman is survived by his wife Rayner, children Chloe, 22, Abbie, 19, and Aaron, 20, and stepchildren Leanne Blisset, 30, Cleo Hadfield, 22 and Jake Hadfield, 21.
Chloe said he had lived in Holton and Wheatley his entire life and doted on his parents Clive and Margaret.