A former Belper Hockey Club player and Nottingham Trent University student has died after a tragic training ground accident.
Tom Wilson, 22, was hit on the head by a stick while training at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club in Essex on Tuesday evening and died in the Royal London Hospital on Wednesday.
As well as playing for Belper, Tom had also represented Beeston and Havering hockey clubs and had recently graduated in business and sport management from Nottingham Trent University.
Tom’s father, Graham, 63, told the Daily Mirror: “He was a perfect son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and had a wonderful sense of humour.
“And so charming, we couldn’t have wished for any better.
“It was a freak accident. We’ve heard of bad injuries in hockey. We’ve heard of concussion and things but rarely of fatalities.”
Social media has been awash with tributes to Tom in the days following his death, with the ‘hockey family’ being at the forefront of them.
GB womens hockey player, Georgie Twigg, wrote: “Truly devastating, our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this awful time #hockeyfamily.”
And Cornwall’s Ducky Hockey Club, wrote: “Very sad news from @OldLoughtsHC. Sending our best wishes from Cornwall. Will be holding a minutes silence at our games #hockeyfamily.”
There was even a twitter hashtag set up asking people to ‘put out their sticks’ for Tom that was reminiscent of the tributes paid to Australian cricketer, Philip Hughes, who died just over a year ago.
The sport’s national body, England Hockey, also paid tribute to Tom in a statement released on Thursday.
They said: “Incidents such as this one are almost unprecedented in hockey – our thoughts, and those of the club and wider hockey community are with Tom’s family and friends.”