HENLEY Hawks have announced the sudden death of forward Dave Hyde.

The second row collapsed after yesterday's National League 2 South opener against Old Albanian and died in hospital overnight.

Hyde, a former Witney player, leaves behind a young family.

Henley chairman Chris Nixon said: "It is with immense sadness that I have to inform you of the tragic loss of Dave Hyde, who collapsed after our game with Old Albanian yesterday.

"He passed away late last night in hospital.

"Our thoughts go out to his wife Katherine, his young son, close family and all his friends within our club.

"Dave was a gentle giant, strong family man, great friend to many and a much loved and highly respected member of our club. He will be so greatly missed."

Dozens of people have left tributes on social media since the news was announced this morning.

National League 1 side Chinnor wrote: "We are so sorry to hear this, such devastating news.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family, friends and all at the club. RIP Dave."

Andy Dalgleish added: "Deepest condolences to the family of David.

"A man I didn’t know but a Hawk and therefore a brother.

"If ever there was a time for a club and community to pull tight, show strength of character and unwavering support, it is now."

Gary Evans wrote: "So very saddened to hear this.

"Jackie and I are grief stricken and our thoughts are with Katherine and his family.

"Deepest condolences to all at the club and everyone that knew Dave, a true gent, loving father and great player.

"You will be deeply missed by all Dave. RIP."

Henley lost the game 25-19 in front of a crowd of 300.