Shropshire

Matches held in Bridgnorth for Australia death couple

Jason Francis and Alice Robinson Image copyright Facebook
Image caption More than £21,000 has been raised to help the families of Jason Francis and Alice Robinson

A charity rugby tournament has been held to raise money for the families of a British couple who died within hours of each other in Australia.

Jason Francis, 29, was hit by a car near the Perth home he shared with partner Alice Robinson on 22 December.

Ms Robinson, who was said to have been "heartbroken", was later found dead.

Alun Stoll, chairman of Bridgnorth Rugby Club, Shropshire, said the matches were a way of "showing support" as a community.

"It's truly unimaginable what's happened," he said.

Vice chairman Ian George said former Market Drayton Town footballer Mr Francis was a keen sportsman with many friends.

"Everybody knew him in Bridgnorth, he didn't just do football - anything to do with a ball Jase was very good at," he said.

Image caption Bridgnorth Rugby Club said the matches were a way of "showing support"

Friends of Mr Francis from his time in the Royal Air Force and from playing cricket were among more than 70 people due to take part in Saturday's matches.

Mr Francis recently moved to Perth with Ms Robinson, who was from Much Wenlock, Shropshire.

More than 39,000 Australian dollars (£21,644) have also been donated to a Go Fund Me Page to help relatives with any costs for taking their bodies back to the UK.

Mr Francis died after being out with friends from Cottesloe Rugby Club.

Western Australia Police said a VW Jetta, driven by an 18-year-old man, hit a male pedestrian on Stanley Street in Scarborough.

The force said it was also investigating the death of a woman and preparing a report for the coroner.

Sam Diamond, president of Perth's Cottesloe Rugby Club, which Mr Francis joined at the beginning of the year, said of the couple: "They were two of the finest people you could meet."

He said the two families had been "overwhelmed" by the support from well wishers.

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