BA Hockey Club joined the rest of the sport in mourning following the tragic passing of Oxford opponent Tim Bence during Saturday’s game.
The visiting goalkeeper collapsed on the pitch in the match staged at QPR’s training ground and despite immediate action by his team mates and prompt medical assistance from doctor’s, including staff connected to the Championship football club, Bence died later in the afternoon.
The game was immediately abandoned.
Oxford Chairman Richard Oakes paid warm tribute to the club stalwart in the wake of the tragedy.
“It is with a great deal of sadness that I am letting you know that during the men’s 7s game on Saturday Tim Bence, our friend and goalkeeper, collapsed,” he told players and supporters on the club’s website.
“He received prompt medical care, but regrettably, despite all the doctor’s efforts, he passed away yesterday afternoon.”
Tim has been a keen and enthusiastic member of the club for many years playing in goal for both the men’s and mixed sections and he readily endeared himself to both team members and opponents alike. He will be sorely missed by the club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Host BA were quick to join others on social media sending tributes to Bence.
“British Airways Hockey Club offer their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tim Bence who passed away while playing for Oxford Hockey Club against BA on Saturday,” read a club statement.
“It is events like this which prove winning or losing is actually secondary to just enjoying the game and having a beer or two afterwards. BA stand with Oxford Hockey Club during this time of great sadness and are ready to offer whatever support they can.
“BA would like to thank the Imperial Harlington Grounds Team and the QPR medical team for their swift action in trying to help Tim.”
According to QPR’s own club doctor 12 people under 35 die every week in the UK from sudden cardiac arrest.
Rs CEO Lee Hoos added his and QPR’s voice to those sending condolences.
“Firstly, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to Tim’s family and friends following this tragic accident,” he said
“The medical team from QPR who were on the ground at the time of the incident responded in the most professional of manners and we praise them for their actions.
“We will be making contact with the family in the coming days and on behalf of everyone at the club, we once again send our sincere condolences.
“At a time convenient to them, it would be our privilege to host the family at our game.”