TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of a 21-year-old cricketer – the third tragedy to befall the same club in a matter of months.
Charlie Veale passed away after suffering a stroke only days after celebrating the birthday of a fellow player from Lullington Park Cricket Club.
He was rushed to hospital after falling ill in Sheffield earlier in the week, but despite showing signs of recovery he died in the early hours of yesterday.
Back in April Keith Poynton, father of one-time Lullington and now Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom, was killed in a car crash near Drakelow, while the fiancée of one of the club’s players died just before Christmas.
Dave Fern, chairman of Lullington Park CC, spoke to the Mail about the ‘devastation’ reverberating around the club.
He said: “Our club is devastated.
“He played cricket all his life in the Park and was a top kid.
“The whole club is devastated.
“Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family.
“We’re just trying to come to terms with it.
“The club has had three tragedies now - the loss of a fiancee of one of the players just before Christmas, Keith Poynton and now Charlie.
“These are devastating times.”
The news of Mr Veale’s death was announced by the club on social network site Twitter and people from across the cricketing world responded with tributes.
Rolleston Cricket Club Tweeted: “All of our thoughts go out to Charlie’s family, friends and everybody that knew him.”
Burton Cricket Club said: “Our thoughts go to everybody associated with Lullington and Charlie.”
As a result of the tragedy, the club decided to cancel four scheduled league matches set to take place today. Mr Fern added: “We thank both the Derbyshire Premier League and County League for their understanding at this difficult time.”
The club’s pavilion, based in Edingale Lane, will be open from 2pm today for people wanting to meet up and commemorate the life of Mr Veale, who resided in Sheffield during term time but lived in Clifton Campville.