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Stortford rugby club servant John Follows dies after cardiac arrest





Bishops Stortford rugby club vice president John Follows
Bishops Stortford rugby club vice president John Follows

Tributes have been paid to respected Bishop's Stortford rugby club stalwart John Follows after his tragic death aged 53.

Bishops Stortford rugby club vice president John Follows
Bishops Stortford rugby club vice president John Follows

John, a vice president of the National League 1 club, died on Wednesday October 31 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The flag outside the clubhouse in Silver Leys was lowered to half mast in his honour.

John was popular at the club and refereed hundreds of youth and mini games. He was a former minis coach and some of the players he coached now play in the first team.

Nick Cox, the club’s youth section chairman, said: “John set a standard in terms of approach and attitude to volunteering and his memory will live long into the club’s history throughout all the sections he helped.

Bishops Stortford rugby club vice president John Follows
Bishops Stortford rugby club vice president John Follows

“Nothing was ever a problem for John and he was always ready to help out without a grumble.”

Lee Bowden, youth matchday co-ordinator, said: “John will be sorely missed.

“He was kind, considerate and amiable, and always willing to help out and volunteer at any time to make sure all the youth fixtures went ahead.”

John was made a vice president in 2016. His citation said “possibly the longest standing and most enthusiastic of our club/youth referees – officiating most Sundays during the season and at youth festivals”.

He leaves wife Heather and children Katie and James. They moved to the Stortford area over 20 years ago.

Heather said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from friends. We would like to thank everyone.

“John enjoyed so many happy times at the rugby club and they have all been so kind.”

She also paid tribute to all the “wonderful” NHS staff involved in her husband’s care at Basildon University Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

And Heather wanted to thank the “incredible” paramedics and air ambulance crew who tried so hard to save his life.

John, a keen Arsenal fan, was a member of the Honourable Artillery Company.

A minute’s silence is due to be held later this month at all the club’s youth matches.

Funeral arrangements will be posted on the rugby club’s website when they have been confirmed.



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