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Dad, 38, dies on soccer field
Family and friends of an amateur footballer who collapsed and died during training have described him as ‘irreplaceable’.
Paul Thompson, 38, was taking part in pre-season training with Witney Royals Football Club on Tuesday evening when he collapsed.
His team-mates tried to resuscitate him, but the ambulance service later pronounced him dead at the scene.
Mr Thompson, of Aston, worked for his father Michael’s Chipping Norton-based firm Thompson Heating and Plumbing Ltd and played bass in two bands.
In a statement, his family said: “Paul was kind, thoughtful and was just so lovely to everyone.
“He lived life to the full and loved his job, his family, playing for Witney Royals and his bands, Fused and Molotov Sexbomb.
“But of all the things important to Paul, just the simple moments like walking the dog with his beautiful daughter Lilli far outweighed the rest.
“Paul is irreplaceable to all who knew him, in every sense of the word. It has just left such a big hole.”
Mr Thompson was from a large family and had three sisters and two brothers. He had a four-year-old daughter, Lilli, with his wife, Nikki.
Pete Farmer, who had worked with Mr Thompson for more than 20 years, said: “You could not wish to meet a nicer bloke.
“He was just fantastic and no-one ever had a bad word to say about him.”
The 39-year-old, of Carterton, added: “There are no words to describe the loss. I am still trying to get over the shock.
“As a company we will not replace him and as a friend we will not replace him. He is irreplaceable to so many people.”
Mr Thompson had played for Witney Royals FC for more than 15 years and won the A Team Manager’s Player of the Year award last season.
Club chairman Colin Morris said: “Paul was a much-loved member of the Royals.
“He could always be relied on and he always gave 100 per cent. Win, lose or draw, he always enjoyed his football.
“He will be deeply missed and the club’s thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Team-mate and friend Jamie Kennedy, 26, of Witney, said: “He was quite a quiet person but he was always really friendly.
“We are all in absolute shock.”
Paul Spink, owner of Fat Lil’s in Witney, had known Mr Thompson for five years and they played together in the rock cover band Fused.
He said: “Paul was the sweetest, most humble, mild-mannered guy you could ever meet.
“Everyone who met him and who knew him, whether through the band or football, knew him as a really sweet, gentle bloke.
“They always say the good ones die young.”
An ambulance service spokes-man said they received a call at 7.14pm to Burwell Recreation Ground.
Mr Thompson is believed to have died from heart problems.