A FAMILY struck by a double tragedy earlier this year has spoken of the fantastic support shown by Sudbury Rugby Club after being given a £5,000 donation on Saturday.
Josh Rix, 23, a popular player at the club, collapsed and died suddenly in Perth in Western Australia in January after flying out to visit his mother Julie, who had suffered a stroke while visiting her daughter. She died after suffering a second stroke.
The club handed over a cheque to Josh’s family at its first lunch of the season, which will go into a trust fund for his one-year-old son, Alfie.
Josh’s dad, Nick, who lives in Hadleigh, said: “It is unbelievable –there are such fantastic people at the club and everybody has been amazing with their generosity, kindness, support and love for Josh. We will never, ever forget what they have done.”
The club’s donation consisted of proceeds from several events and individual contributions, including £1,300 from a club lunch and raffle in March, nearly £1,500 from ticket sales and a raffle in April and more than £570 from two collection bottles at the club bar for spare change.
“We miss Josh terribly,” said Mr Rix. “I think it is even harder now as the reality has kicked in.
“It is tough going to the club now as I still expect to see him run out. We are coping day to day and just pulling together.”
Jackie Mather, Sudbury Rugby Club secretary, said a lot of hard work had gone into the fundraising events, which reflected people’s respect for Josh.
“It was something we all wanted to do, as we wanted to help little Alfie as he grows up,” she said.
“Josh is missed and we do all talk about him. The team has missed him too, he was so powerful and we’ve struggled without him – they are big shoes to fill.”
Mrs Mather said that money was still being raised through the sale of special shirts from the club’s tour to Belgium, which have ‘Rix 3’ on the back.
Josh’s brother Elliott said: “We want to say a big thankyou from all the Rix family for all the club’s support and financial help for Alfie’s trust fund.”