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One year on: Hornchurch hockey player Tom Wilson remembered in Chigwell

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 December 2016

Pippa and Lisa Wilson by the tree planted in memory of Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians (pic Melissa Page)

Pippa and Lisa Wilson by the tree planted in memory of Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians (pic Melissa Page)

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Family, friends and well-wishers gathered at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club to remember the late Tom Wilson on Sunday, one year on from his tragic death.

The late Tom Wilson (right) in action against GB captain Barry Middleton (pic Peter Savage)The late Tom Wilson (right) in action against GB captain Barry Middleton (pic Peter Savage)

The former Coopers Coborn pupil died, aged 22, following a freak training ground accident at the club in Luxborough Lane, Chigwell.

Lisa and Pippa Wilson, Tom’s mother and sister, planted a willow tree in his memory at the side of the main pitch at Old Loughtonians, accompanied by the London 2012 Games Makers choir.

And Lisa, of Hornchurch, spoke of how her son’s decision to donate his organs had been a comfort, saying: “Tom’s accident, unprecedented in hockey, was tragic but from that end there was a beginning.

“Tom signed up to be an organ donor and it made us so proud. The gift of life is what we want to promote through this event. In unthinkable circumstances, it gives great comfort to those left behind.”

Olympic gold medalists Shona McCallin and Susannah Townsend flank Lisa and Pippa Wilson, with GB men's captain Barry Middleton also in attendance at the Tom Wilson Memorial Tournament at Old Loughts (pic Lee Power)Olympic gold medalists Shona McCallin and Susannah Townsend flank Lisa and Pippa Wilson, with GB men's captain Barry Middleton also in attendance at the Tom Wilson Memorial Tournament at Old Loughts (pic Lee Power)

Mrs Wilson paid tribute to Tom’s team-mates, who performed CPR on him immediately after the accident, and explained how they had helped to save the lives of others.

“They preserved vital organs, that played a crucial part in allowing Tom to donate, and there is now a gorgeous little three-year-old girl, who was days away from losing her life, now running around with so much energy because of Tom’s liver lobes.

“Tom’s heart went to a gentleman and his lungs to a 21-year-old and other tissues and organs were also donated.”

Teams from Old Loughtonians, Havering, Nottingham Trent University and Lambert Smith Hampton competed in the first Tom Wilson Memorial Tournament to help increase awareness of organ donation.

A memorial plaque to the late Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians (pic Melissa Page)A memorial plaque to the late Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians (pic Melissa Page)

A raffle and silent auction, including shirts and sticks signed by Great Britain internationals, raised more than £2,000.

That pushed the total fundraised for a memorial fund charitable trust being set up in Tom’s name past the £20,000 mark.

Olympic hockey gold medallists Susannah Townsend and Shona McCallin were also present, along with GB men’s captain Barry Middleton and international team-mate Harry Martin, a former Old Loughtonians player.

Mrs Wilson asked others in attendance to consider signing up to the register, adding: “People out there are waiting for organs. Have conversations at home, what would you do?

“It’s given us great comfort and we want the charity to raise awareness of organ donation.”

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