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MELKSHAM Rugby Football Club is mourning the loss of one their players, Paul McQuillan, after he died suddenly following a match in Marlborough last month.
41-year-old, Paul McQuillan, was playing for the Melksham 2nd team at an away game in Marlborough on Saturday 25th November. Paul leaves behind his wife Michelle and two children.
Club secretary Andy Cadwallader announced, “It is with great sadness the club has to announce the passing of Paul McQuillan.
‘Paul passed away after the 2nd team game against Alfred Nomads which took place in Marlborough.
‘All of our thoughts are with Michelle and all of his family at this difficult time.
‘Paul was a great man to play alongside and a true asset to the club and the game. His sense of fun and warm smile will be sorely missed by all of us.”
It is believed that Paul was found collapsed in the changing rooms by his team-mates after he left the pitch before the end of the match after complaining that he felt cold and tired.
His team-mates tried to resuscitate him before the Wiltshire Air Ambulance arrived.
Paul was a former police officer who joined the police force in March 2008. He worked in a number of uniform roles, predominantly as community beat manager in Chippenham, before leaving last summer.
Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police, Mike Veale said, “My thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences are with Michelle and their children at what must be a truly horrific time.
“Paul was a keen and talented rugby player and it is bittersweet that his passing was in the pursuit of one of his life’s passions.
“As a rugby man myself I know that it is a sport that shares a lot of traits with policing. It requires tenacity, skill and teamwork. It is underpinned by honour, respect for your fellow human beings and unbreakable camaraderie.
“It’s therefore fitting that Paul was described by his beloved Melksham RFC as a ‘true gent’ and ‘an asset to the club and the game’. This speaks volumes about Paul and is a true testament to his character.”
After leaving the police force, Paul went on to work for Network Rail in Swindon as a signalling design engineer.
A book of condolence can be found at the rugby club at Oakfields for anyone who knew Paul and would like to pay their respects.