Staff at Oxford United are in a state of shock following the news of groundsman David Wedge's death - at the age of 45.

Wedge, who had been off work ill for a week and a half, died on Saturday at his home in Sandhills, Headington.

The cause of death is not known, and a post mortem is set to be held.

A big Oxford United fan, as well as the man entrusted to prepare the Kassam Stadium's state-of-the-art pitch for home matches, Wedge had been the club's main groundsman for four years.

He took over after the previous head groundsman, Mick Moore, left to take up a position at St John's College, Oxford.

Wedge was Moore's assistant for 17 years - 15 of them at the Manor Ground and the first 18 months at the Kassam Stadium - before taking over from him.

United general manager Mick Brown said: "Everyone at the club has been absolutely stunned by the news.

"David had been off ill for a week and a half with a swollen leg and pressure blisters on his foot which meant he had difficulty in walking.

"But I had spoken to him only last week and he appeared fine.

"His mum and dad, Peter and Joyce, are absolutely devastated. The family are massive United supporters.

"David came to us straight from school at 15 so he had been working at the club for 30 years."

Moore, speaking from Spain where he is on holiday, said he was "absolutely devastated" by the news of Wedge's death.

"I was shell-shocked when Ken Ridley phoned to tell me," he said. "Wedgey had worked for Les Bateman before me and I inherited him. He was my assistant from start to finish, for 17 years.

"He was quiet and introverted, shy really, but he was an Oxford United supporter through and through and he would take a defeat quite badly, getting in a rage sometimes.

"But he had a terrific sense of humour and come out with great one-liners."

Oxford United plan to hold a minute's silence in his memory at their Blue Square Premier home match against Forest Green Rovers this Saturday.

Nick Baldwin, the groundsman at United's training ground at Milton, has stepped in to help out on the pitch at the Kassam Stadium this week.