Bosses at a Wearside rugby club have spoken of their sadness after a player from a rival club died after collapsing during a game.
Terry Parsons, 48, was playing for Newton Aycliffe RUFC at Houghton Rugby Club on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the best efforts of fellow players and the emergency services, including the Great North Air Ambulance, he could not be saved despite being airlifted to Sunderland Royal Hospital from the Dairy Lane club.
A statement on Houghton Rugby Club’s Facebook page read: “During a friendly home match against Newton Aycliffe 2nds one of their players collapsed and sadly passed away.
“Houghton RUFC would like to express their condolences to the family and friends of Terry at this heartbreaking time.
“Houghton thank the emergency services, air ambulance and individuals from both clubs for the valiant efforts.
“The entire Rugby Community will unite at a time like this. Houghton open their hearts and doors to NARUFC and the family.
“Flowers were laid today at pitch side and will remain.”
A statement on Newton Aycliffe RUFC’s website read: “It is with great sorrow that we have to announce the death of Terry Parsons at Houghton on September 24.
Newton Aycliffe RUFC is deeply saddened to confirm that Terry Parsons died this weekend.
“Terry collapsed during Newton Aycliffe Newtonians’ match against Houghton RFC 2nds on Saturday.
“He was quickly treated on the field by a paramedic and the emergency services. Unfortunately he was unable to be revived.
“The club would like to express its deepest sympathies to Terry’s family, friends and team mates at this very difficult time for everyone.
“We would also like to thank those who were on hand for their support and assistance on Saturday.
“Aycliffe’s Paul Ryans and Houghton’s Gareth Hockey tried to revive Terry before the emergency services arrived. Darryl Pettit, Aiden Ryans and Stuart McLean provided great assistance to Terry’s family both on Saturday and Sunday during a terrible time.
“Newton Aycliffe Rugby Club will be forever grateful for Houghton Rugby Club’s support and respect in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
“We have lost a very popular member of Newton Aycliffe Rugby Club who will be forever missed.”