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Youngsters scrum down in memory of club’s stalwart
A RUGBY coach who died after a wasp sting will be remembered in a memorial match for youngsters this weekend.
Will Lay, 43, died after he suffered an allergic reaction to the sting in August.
The landscape gardener had been a coach at Oxford Rugby Football Club for three years and on Sunday the club will host a tournament for eight Oxfordshire under-13 teams and the winner will be awarded the inaugural Will Lay Cup.
His widow Milly Lay, 43, said the cup was a fitting way to remember him: “He was so passionate about his rugby. He got so much from teaching the young lads.
“His big love was rugby and he hoped his son would go on to be a professional rugby player.”
Mr Lay’s 12-year-old son Matthew is in the Oxford RFC’s under-13s team and is expected to play at scrum-half in the tournament.
He left two other children – Ollie, 14, and Tilly, nine.
Mrs Lay, from Fyfield, will be handing out leaflets about the charity Anaphylaxis Campaign at the event and the club will also be collecting donations.
She said: “It should not happen in this day and age that someone dies from a wasp sting or any other allergy.
“More money needs to be put in to research.”
She said Mr Lay had suffered a “severe reaction” to a bee sting two years ago, adding: “We were always aware that any subsequent sting could be more severe.”
Mr Lay was part of the coaching team that led the under-13s team to 2nd place in the County Festival Cup earlier this year.
Fellow under-13s coach Steve Jones, from West Oxford, said: “(The cup) is in memory of a great guy who loved teaching rugby. He was passionate about rugby as a team sport.
“He was a great bloke to coach with. He was softly spoken and he had the respect of the boys.
“I am hoping this will become an annual event and a reminder of what Will gave to the sport.”
Mr Jones added: “The bar will be open after the event for those who wish to raise a glass in Will’s memory.”
The first game is at 10am at the club in North Hinksey Village and the final is at 1.30pm.
Mr Lay, who played rugby for Abingdon and Grove clubs, was stung while getting tools out of his garage. He was in a coma for four days before he passed away at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
- For information about the charity visit anaphylaxis.org.uk Anaphylaxis
- Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It is relatively uncommon, but can affect people of all ages
- People with other allergic conditions, such as asthma or the allergic skin condition atopic eczema, are most at risk of developing anaphylaxis
- It is estimated that about 20 to 30 deaths due to anaphylaxis occur in the UK each year. But with quick and proper treatment, most people make a full recovery
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