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Hundreds turn out for player
10:30am Friday 25th January 2013 in News
Team-mates and friends of Jason Laman applaud as his coffin is carried by fellow players into the funeral service at Oxford Crematorium
A ROUND of applause, three cheers and a rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
That was the fitting send-off for a rugby-mad father who died on the pitch earlier this month playing the sport he loved.
Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to Wheatley Rugby Club player Jason Laman, 42.
He died after falling to the ground on January 5 as he was preparing to take a conversion.
Players tried to revive him before paramedics arrived but the father-of-three was pronounced dead at hospital.
His funeral took place at Oxford Crematorium yesterday.
The coffin was draped in a club flag and as it was carried into St John’s Chapel team-mates started a round of applause and three cheers.
So many people were present a loudspeaker was placed outside the chapel for those who could not get in to listen to the service.
People were asked not to wear black at the service and came in a variety of colours, many in Wheatley rugby shirts.
Tributes were paid to Mr Laman, a self-employed builder, by dad Clive, daughter Abbie and the chairman of Wheatley Rugby Club Peter Ramsdale.
Mr Ramsdale said: “He was a top man and his secret was that he was a fantastic sportsman.
“He was the most popular member of the club.”
Highlighting that he had won the club member of the year award two years running, Mr Ramsdale also read aloud some of the tributes made on Facebook.
He added: “They said he was a club legend with his trademark dummies.
“I wish I was more like him on and off the pitch.
“A true one-off, he will be deeply missed.”
Dad Clive Laman spoke of a son with a sense of humour, who joked that he had no A-Levels, but three spirit levels.
He said that he played not just rugby, but also football and golf and doted on his children.
Mr Laman is survived by his wife Rayner, children Chloe, 22, Abbie, 19, and Aaron, 20, and stepchildren Leanne Blisset, 30, Cleo Hadfield, 22 and Jake Hadfield, 21.
He lived in Holton and Wheatley all his life and played for the rugby club for two decades.
Wheatley were playing Crowthorne at their ground at Holton Playing Fields when Mr Laman ran from halfway to help set up a try. Club captain James Pollard ran on to the pitch to hand Mr Laman a kicking tee for the conversion when he collapsed.
People joined in singing England rugby anthem Swing Low Sweet Chariot at the end of the service.
The Rev Ann Day added: “Let us remember him as a loving person who brought light into our life.”
A collection was made in memory of Mr Laman for charity Help for Heroes. Mourners went to Wheatley Rugby Club after the service.
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