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Rugby player with ‘cheeky smile’ collapsed and died during memorial match

Father-of-one Alex Evans, 31, collapsed and died after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Cwmllynfell Rugby Football Club in a memorial match this weekend

Alex Evans, 31, suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Cwmllynfell Rugby Football Club in a memorial match against Crynant

Emotional tributes have been paid to a rugby player who “would do anything for anyone” who died after collapsing during a memorial match.

Flanker Alex Evans, 31, suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Cwmllynfell Rugby Football Club in a memorial match against Crynant in Neath Port Talbot at around 3.30pm on Saturday.

Alex, a father-of-one, was treated on the field by first responders and then paramedics but was later pronounced dead, Wales Online reports.

Paying tribute to the popular player, club secretary Gareth Evans said: “Alex always had a cheeky smile and would do anything for anyone. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He had been with us since the club restarted four years ago.”

He added: “The club will be there for the family and we will do everything we can to help them. There are just no words.”



Alex was a popular player at the rugby club
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Image:

WALES NEWS SERVICE)




A number of clubs and players, as well as the Welsh Rugby Union and World Rugby, have taken to social media to pay tribute to Alex.

Cwmllynfell RFC tweeted: “There are words and there are no words to describe today. We have lost a brother on the field and it is hurting so much…the whole club and community are shocked and saddened. Fly high brother… fly high.”

Club captain Chris Balfe praised those who went to help Alex and offered condolences to his family.

Writing on Facebook, he said: “To play as part of a team is more than a sport, it’s to be part of a family.

“When you get the honour to pull on your club jersey with your mates it’s something that money can’t buy.

“We went out today as a team of mates and we came off the field losing a brother.



Alex ‘wore his heart on his sleeve’
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Image:

WALES NEWS SERVICE)






Alex was treated on the field by first responders and then paramedics but was later pronounced dead
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Image:

WALES NEWS SERVICE)




“We lost one of the boys who epitomised what Cwm was about. A fiercely loyal person who give it all on the field and in life.

“To me Alex sums up what plying rugby is about a man who played for the badge and his mates, week in week out.

“I think If we could all live our lives with the joy and positivity that Alex lived his, this world would be much happier and better place.”

South Wales Police said they were called to Cwmllynfell’s Parc-y-Bryn ground following reports of a 31-year-old man in cardiac arrest.

A spokeswoman said: “Officers responded to the incident along with the Welsh Ambulance Service.

“There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. Next of kin have been informed and HM Coroner has been advised.”



Alex collapsed while playing at Cwmllynfell’s Parc-y-Bryn ground
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Image:

WALES NEWS SERVICE)




Geraint John, Welsh Rugby Union community director, said: “So, so sad. Deepest sympathy and thoughts are with everyone at Cwmllynfell RFC, his family and friends. Sincere condolences from myself and everyone at WRU Community and Welsh Rugby Union.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Rugby Union added: “Deepest condolences to the family, friends, teammates and all at the club.”

A tweet from Scarlets Rugby said: “Deepest condolences from everyone at the Scarlets.”

World Rugby wrote: “Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and teammates and to everyone associated with Cwmllynfell RFC.”

A GoFundMe page to help the player’s family has been set up.



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