Remembering Aylesbury player who tragically died

JP Stevens (inset) and his family Philip (dad),wife Victoria Lipscomb-Stevens, daughters Phoebe and Chloe and mum Penny Stevens at the first memorial tournament three years ago
JP Stevens (inset) and his family Philip (dad),wife Victoria Lipscomb-Stevens, daughters Phoebe and Chloe and mum Penny Stevens at the first memorial tournament three years ago

On November 27 2010, JP Stevens was playing hockey for Aylesbury when he was taken ill on the pitch and tragically died.

Now three years on the club and JP’s family are preparing for the third annual Memorial Day Inter Club Tournament in his honour on Bank Holiday Monday.

It was a story that rocked sport locally and left a family grieving a dedicated father and husband.

JP suffered from a condition commonly known as ‘sudden death syndrome’ (SDS) which is an umbrella term used for the many different causes of cardiac arrest in young people.

But the club and his family are determined to use his tragic passing as means to raise vital funds and awareness, particularly for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Youn (CRY).

An Aylesbury Hockey Club spokesman said: “JP was a father of two and a loving husband to his wife Victoria, and this is why the event will comprise of a mixed gender adult inter-club tournament and a session for the juniors, so it will be a fully integrated family event.

“RAF Halton, for the third year running have kindly offered the hire of their facilities at a reduced rate and there will be beer and a barbecue on the day so that we can maximise the proceeds raised for CRY.

“Even if you’re not part of the club, please come down, buy a burger and a drink and help share in what promises to be a fantastic bank holiday family event.”

The third annual JP Stevens Memorial Day Tournament takes place between 10am and 5pm on Monday at RAF Halton.

In the wake of JP’s death after collapsing during a match against a British Airways XI back in 2010, there was an outpouring of emotion and tributes to the popular player.

Leading the club’s tributes at the time was close friend and teammate Dave Skinner, who said: “He was probably one of the nicest people I have ever met.

“He was always very positive and wanted to help out – we have all been deprived of a great friend.”

The whole of the Southern Hockey League held an emotional minutes silence when fixtures resumed following his death.

JP was 41 when he died and was known for his fighting spirit on the pitch.

Skinner added: “My lasting memory of him will be playing, running and desperately trying to score a goal.

“He was very determined and positive about the way he played.”