Thurston Rugby Club player, 25, dies during match

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The Thurston Rugby Club second team. Josh Gilbert is pictured on the back row, fourth from left.Image source, Thurston Rugby Club
Image caption,
Josh Gilbert (fourth from left on back row) was known as Bear by his teammates

A 25-year-old rugby player has collapsed and died during a match.

Emergency services were called to Hadleigh Rugby Club in Hadleigh, Suffolk, at about 15:25 BST on Saturday after Josh Gilbert fell to the ground.

Attempts to resuscitate the Thurston Rugby Club player were unsuccessful.

Thurston chairman Matt Ansell said the club was in a state of shock and Mr Gilbert - who was known as Bear - was a "larger than life character".

He said: "He was really well liked and respected, he will be deeply missed."

Image caption,
Ambulance crews attempted to resuscitate Mr Gilbert who collapsed 20 minutes into the game

Mr Gilbert collapsed 20 minutes into the game between the second teams for the two sides.

"It was obvious pretty quickly something significant was wrong," said Mr Ansell.

The East of England Ambulance Service and East Anglian Air Ambulance attended the scene.

Mr Gilbert had played rugby since he was "old enough to pick up a ball".

He had played as a prop for Thurston for three years and also played cricket for his home village Walsham le Willows, near Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Gilbert had also been the chair of the Bury St Edmunds Young Farmers Club for the past two years.

Other Suffolk rugby clubs have expressed their condolences, including Woodbridge, Stowmarket and Haverhill.

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