Hockey players across the country “put their sticks out” in memory of Tom Wilson

PUBLISHED: 13:36 14 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:36 14 December 2015

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)

Hockey clubs across the country stood silent and “put their sticks out” in memory of Tom Wilson, this weekend.

The 22-year-old hockey player from Hornchurch died last week after a “freak accident” during a training session at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club in Luxborough Lane, Chigwell.

More than 70 clubs have since sent their condolences and players across the country observed a minute’s silence before matches.

Hockey teams tweeted tributes to both Tom and 24-year-old Buckingham Hockey Club player Abby Webb, who lost her battle with cancer, using the hashtag #sticksoutforabbyandtom.

The tribute, which resembled the hashtag #putoutyourbats used following the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes in November 2014, saw players post pictures of their hockey sticks.

England Hockey also posted a tribute to its website: “We have been deeply saddened to learn that Tom Wilson, a member of Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, passed away on Wednesday after a tragic training accident.

“Tom was a key member of the Old Loughtonians Men’s 1st XI team, had come up through the club junior sides and was a very popular young man who was a much admired role model for younger players at the club.

“Incidents such as this one are almost unprecedented in hockey – our thoughts, and those of the club and wider hockey community are with Tom’s family and friends.”

Among those paying tribute via social media were Team GB players Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh.

Helen tweeted: “Sincere condolences to Graham & family, our thoughts & prayers are with you at this sad time #hockeyfamily.”

Kate tweeted: “The hockey family have lost two amazing young people this week. Our thoughts & prayers are with family & friends. May they rest in peace.”

Tom’s father Graham, told those gathered to pay tribute to Tom at the Old Loughtonian’s Hockey Club on Saturday that Helen and Kate had contacted him to say they would play with Tom in their hearts at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

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