Rugby world mourns tragic death of player

Jason Laman
Jason Laman

Tributes from around the world have poured in after a rugby player died while lining up to take a kick.

Jason Laman, 42, of Wheatley Rugby Club, had just set up a try with a ‘trademark dummy’ to help put his side ahead in their South West Division Bucks and Oxon Championship match against Crowthorne (Broadmoor Staff) last Saturday.

However, just moments later as the fly-half lined up the conversion he collapsed.

Wheatley Rugby Club chairman Peter Ramsdale said: “Immediately the referee and one of the coaches went to see him and put him in the recovery position. Everyone realised it was serious.”

Mr Laman, a self-employed builder, was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The family man had played for Wheatley since 1991 and had even helped build their clubhouse.

Mr Ramsdale added: “He was the embodiment of the club. He died doing what he loved best.

“He was a fit lad at training every week unlike most of the over 40s.

“It’s not something that happens often, it’s a real shame that it happened to him.

“And 42 is such an incredibly young age to be passing away.

“We are trying to pick ourselves up.”

Social networking site Twitter was full of tributes to Mr Laman who is survived by his wife Rayner, children Chloe, Abbie and Aaron and stepchildren Leanne Blisset, Cleo Hadfield and Jake Hadfield.

Rugby stars such as Mike Tindall and Matt Giteau ‘retweeted’ a tribute saying: “Thoughts with family, friends&team m8s of #WheatleyRFC player Jason Laman who died on the field yest’day #rugbyfamily.”

Mr Ramsdale added: “Tributes have been coming from all over the place.

“He was definitely the most popular player at the club. The younger players looked up to him.”

Mr Ramsdale said Wheatley’s second team match this Saturday would be used as a fundraising game for the fly-half with an evening also being held at the club house. A funeral date for Mr Laman is yet to be confirmed.