POPULAR Kingswood AFC footballer Mike Rodman has died after collapsing on the pitch during a match.
The 37-year-old, known as 'Raj', was playing for the reserves, who he also managed, against local rivals Charfield on Saturday.
Just 10 minutes into the game he collapsed and, despite extensive CPR, he died shortly afterwards.
Watching the game was his girlfriend Lauren and their five-month-old daughter Eva.
Club chairman Rob Bateman was also there. He said: "It was such an awful thing to witness – really, really horrible. Everyone is totally traumatised and all of our thoughts are with his family."
Mike, who lived in Wotton-under-Edge, had played for the club for the last 10 years and this season he took over the reins of the reserve team as manager, while continuing to play.
"I saw him just fall to the floor face first, there wasn't another player near him," added Mr Bateman. Someone started CPR on him straight away, and the ambulance turned up about 15 minutes afterwards and took over. There was no response. It was dreadful."
Great Western Ambulance received the call at 2.07pm and scrambled a rapid response unit and fire co-responders (firefighters trained in CPR) as well as a critical care team. A spokesman said: "CPR was given by a bystander before our arrival, so he was given the best possible chance, and we took over on arrival. Unfortunately we were unable to revive him and it was a sad ending."
Numerous clubs and players across Gloucestershire paid tribute to him on social networking site Twitter. Scott Harvey said: "This tragedy has touched everyone who knew Raj and has left family, friends, a community and local football totally devastated." Ross Stearn called him an "absolute legend".