Memorial service for 'gifted' young rugby player

Toby Hearne, wearing rugby kit and holding a trophy
Image caption Toby Hearne was described as gifted and affectionate by his family

A memorial service is taking place later in honour of a young rugby player who died three days before Christmas.

Toby Hearne, whose family described as gifted and affectionate, was struck by a car whilst walking home from a party in Stanton St Quentin near Chippenham.

The service will take place at St Paul's Church, Malmesbury Road.

Team rector at the church, Simon Tyndall, who will be conducting the public event, said local people were saddened by what happened.

The 17-year-old played for Chippenham RFC's under-18 side. The team held a minute's silence ahead of their traditional Boxing Day match.

A family statement shortly after his death described Toby as a great sportsman and a gifted child in all areas of his life.

"Toby had a really wide circle of friends who had an inexplicable magnetism which attracted everyone to him," the tribute said.

"He's left a void in all our lives and in many more who knew him.

"To sum Toby up in his own words on a tweet, 'Take everything as it comes. Sometimes things go my way and sometimes they don't. Love music, love sport, love life'."

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