Tributes to Yarmouth rugby stalwart who died on holiday

TRIBUTES have been paid to a top sports official who died suddenly while on holiday in Egypt.

Keith Nelson, chairman of Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club, died on Thursday, July 14. Mr Nelson, 59, had been on holiday with his wife June, who is the club secretary.

Tributes to Mr Nelson have been left on the social network site Facebook with many people describing him as “the perfect gentleman”.

Fergal O’Driscoll, club president, said members had been shocked and saddened to learn of the death and that their thoughts were with Mrs Nelson, her sons Scott and Kris, and Keith’s brother Kenny and their families. “Keith has been the driving force behind the club for more than 25 years, and will be sorely missed,” said Mr O’Driscoll.

“He was involved with helping all aspects of the club from the junior sides right through to the senior side.

“Keith was always there to help whenever it was needed, and had so many friends,” he said.

A “great” committee man, Mr Nelson had a great knowledge of the game and was happy to share his expertise. “Keith never seemed to have to consult various rule books as he had the answers right away in his head, and this helped everyone,” said Mr O’Driscoll.

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It was not only on the playing side that Mr Nelson made an impact at the club, as he also helped with the social events.

“Keith was one of the main organisers of the Christmas dinner and dance, along with other regular social events that helped the club members knit together,” said Mr O’Driscoll.

Family friend and club member Tony Falco said Mr Nelson had been a player at the club before becoming chairman.

“Keith was so proud to have seen his two sons regularly turn out for the first XV.

“He was looking forward to another push for promotion, and his presence at the club and on the touchline will be sorely missed.”

Mr Nelson’s funeral is at Gorleston Crematorium on Friday, August 5, at 2.40pm, followed by a wake at the rugby club headquarters in Corton Long Lane.

The request is for family flowers only, but everyone who knew Mr Nelson is welcome to attend the funeral.