Popular member of Newmarket Rugby Club dies aged 49

Ian Parsons, who has died
Ian Parsons, who has died

Tributes have been paid to a Kirtling man who died in hospital after collapsing during a nursery school sports day.

Ian Parsons, who was 49, was attending his four-year-old son Arthur’s pre-school sports day at the Ellesmere Centre in Stetchworth on Thursday when he was taken ill.

Medics from the East Anglian Air Ambulance travelled with him by road to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he died on Saturday.

A long-standing and popular member of Newmarket Rugby Club, Mr Parsons was a partner in Royston-based engineering company David Bedwell & Partners, where he designed electrical systems.

An active member of the Cambs, Beds and Herts 4x4 Off-Road Club, Mr Parsons had delivered meals in his Land Rover to people stranded in their homes during heavy snow.

His wife Hannah said that first and foremost her husband was an “amazing dad” to Arthur.

She said Ian suffered a heart attack 15 years ago and was later fitted with a pacemaker .

Rugby Club colleague and friend Gareth Godfrey described him as a generous man, who would be greatly missed by his many friends at the club and beyond.

Although he played for Newmarket’s first XV until about 2008, he was by then coming towards the end of his playing days, which began with a successful career as a schoolboy and junior player in Wales.

“He was a proud Welshman who would have loved to see his son, who he always called ‘boyo’, run out at the Millennium Stadium weari ng the red shirt of Wales,” said Mr Godfrey.

The funeral will be held at West Suffolk Crematorium at 3pm on July 7.

Family flowers only are requested but anyone who wishes can make a donation to the British Heart Foundation c/o Southgates Funeral Directors, Newmarket.