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Family, friends and teammates pay tribute to Hornchurch hockey player Tom Wilson

PUBLISHED: 13:12 14 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:12 14 December 2015

Tributes to Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, Roding Sports Centre, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, England on 12/12/2015

Tributes to Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, Roding Sports Centre, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, England on 12/12/2015

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The family of a talented hockey player who died following a tragic accident last week, have described him as "the perfect son".

Tributes to Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, Roding Sports Centre, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, England on 12/12/2015Tributes to Tom Wilson at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, Roding Sports Centre, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, England on 12/12/2015

Family, friends and teammates paid tribute to Tom Wilson laying flowers at the spot of the accident, on Saturday.

The 22-year-old, from Hornchurch, was training with the Old Loughtonians Hockey Club in Luxborough Lane, Chigwell when he received a blow to the head. He was rushed to hospital by air ambulance but died the following day.

Those who knew Tom, including members of Havering and Romford Hockey Clubs and former classmates from The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, gathered at the Old Loughtonians’ club to pay their respects.

His mother Lisa Wilson attended the event with husband Graham, daughter Pippa and Tom’s girlfriend, Daisy.

The late Tom Wilson (right), playing for Old Loughts last season and holding off Great Britain captain Barry Middleton, of Holcombe (pic: Peter Savage)The late Tom Wilson (right), playing for Old Loughts last season and holding off Great Britain captain Barry Middleton, of Holcombe (pic: Peter Savage)

She described Tom as “the perfect son” and thanked his teammates who gave CPR on the pitch.

She said: “Two boys did the most harrowing thing, they did CPR and that memory will be harrowing for the rest of their lives but because they did that they saved Tom’s heart.”

Tom had signed a donor card while studying at university and his organs, including his heart, were given to more than 20 people.

Urging others to consider signing up as donors, Lisa said: “After they said those awful words ‘time of death’ we found out that at university Tom had signed a donor card and it took a real dilemma away from us. We wondered if it was something we should be doing but he made the decision for us.”

Graham, hockey correspondent for The Express newspaper, told those gathered he was proud of his son.

He said: “He loved the people he played with, he loved the hockey family, he loved everything that went into the team.”

He continued: “I remember watching television with him when [Australian cricketer] Phil Hughes died and he said to me ‘dad what will be will be and nothing you can do will change that’.”

Tom first played hockey at Havering Hockey Club. He was games captain while at Coopers’ school and continued playing while at Nottingham Trent University.

He had returned to London as a junior surveyor with Lambert Smith Hampton in Oxford Street.

President of the Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, Richard Higgins, told Tom’s family: “I’m so sorry for the accident. I cannot begin to understand that event.

“Tom was a lovely boy, everybody loved him at the club.

“You were so proud of Tom and rightly so. Everybody at the club loved him, we will always think about him, forever.”

Pete Wighan, chairman of Havering Hockey Club, said the two clubs would be irrevocably linked by the “unfortunate and very sad accident”.

He added: “Words are going to fail us on a day like this.

“On behalf of Havering Hockey Club we grieve with you, we will always walk with you, you will never, ever, be alone.

“As one man once said ‘Tom, you can safely say, is a man of all seasons’.”

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