A MUCH-LOVED well-known sportsman has died suddenly aged just 29.

Selby Rugby Union's First XV Captain Tom Edwards died suddenly in the early hours of Thursday (November 17).

Tom was much-loved across all ages within the club.

Mark Pearson Selby’s Director of Rugby described Tom in four words: “tough, courageous, considerate and caring”.

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He said that at Selby RUFC everyone loved Tom and that he was a very popular young man who always had time for everyone else.  As Selby Club Captain, he would be as comfortable sitting chatting with some of the older members as he was putting an arm around the new younger players to give words of encouragement when they made their 1st XV debut. He was a leader and much loved team mate.

The Northern Echo: Tom Edwards in action for Selby RUFCTom Edwards in action for Selby RUFC (Image: Selby RUFC)

Club president, Doug Skelton, said: "Tom was a warrior and a gentleman and someone who was everyone’s friend. We will all miss him.

"Selby is a family rugby club and the club was all the richer for Tom and the Edwards family being part of it.

"Tom’s father said that Tom’s passing has left massive hole in their lives. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Selby RUFC are with the families of Tom and his fiancée in their time of great loss.

"As you will appreciate, this is a time of great distress to the families of Tom and his fiancée and we are sure your thoughts and prayers are with them in their time of great loss.

"The families of both Tom and his fiancée have asked for their privacy to be respected at this very difficult time.

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Following the tragic news, all senior adult club fixtures which were scheduled to be played on Saturday (November 19), were cancelled as a mark of respect.

Prior to joining Selby RUFC Tom played for Wetherby RUFC.

The Northern Echo: Tom Edwards at Wetherby RUFCTom Edwards at Wetherby RUFC (Image: Wetherby RUFC)

Jonathan Hirst, chairman of Wetherby RUFC, said: "Tom was extremely popular and well-loved at Wetherby.

"He was a brilliant rugby player, a fantastic teammate and will be sorely missed. Tom came through the junior section at Wetherby before playing over 150 games for our first XV, captaining the side on several occasions.

"Tom was a figurehead of the all-conquering team of 2014/15 and achieved back to back promotions from Yorkshire 4 to Yorkshire 2, winning the Yorkshire silver trophy with Wetherby in 2015. Tom’s favourite saying before every game will never be forgotten: “Let’s start getting fizzy now boys!”"

The Northern Echo: Tom Edwards playing for Wetherby RUFCTom Edwards playing for Wetherby RUFC (Image: Wetherby RUFC)