Cricket match in memory of hero fireman
A POIGNANT cricket match is to be played in honour of a heroic firefighter who died trying to rescue a woman from a burning building.Former Framlingham College pupil Jeff Wornham, 28, died in the line of duty in February this year along with colleague Michael Miller, 26, during a rescue bid at a high-rise flat blaze in Stevenage.
A POIGNANT cricket match is to be played in honour of a heroic firefighter who died trying to rescue a woman from a burning building.
Former Framlingham College pupil Jeff Wornham, 28, died in the line of duty in February this year along with colleague Michael Miller, 26, during a rescue bid at a high-rise flat blaze in Stevenage.
The pair had just fought their way through intense heat and smoke to save a woman stuck in the building.
Both the two firefighters and the mother-of-two died in the blaze.
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Now the college is set to host a cricket match in Mr Wornham's honour on Saturday, May 28.
Teams including players from his year at school will play the match, which will be watched by close friends and members of his family.
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The afternoon event will begin with the dedication of a bench and a tree at the college cricket pitch, known as the Back, in his memory.
Mr Wornham, a keen cricketer, came from a farming family in Hertfordshire and after leaving Framlingham College attended agricultural college in Chelmsford.
However, after graduating, he decided to pursue a career in firefighting.
His best friend, Tom Bunting, who attended Framlingham College and agricultural college at the same time as Mr Wornham, will captain a side from his year against a mixed 11, which will be captained by Matthew Truman.
A popular pupil, Mr Wornham formed a close-knit network of friends while at the school, and continued to play cricket with other past pupils at the school. These were left shocked by his untimely death, explained Mr Bunting.
“You don't expect that to happen,” he said.
He described his old schoolfriend as “a friendly, kind, all-round decent bloke”.
“Jeff thoroughly enjoyed cricket. It was his favourite sport, and the majority of his friends played cricket,” he said. “It should be quite a day really.”
Mark Robinson, senior academic tutor at Framlingham College, paid tribute to Mr Wornham, describing him as “a very likeable, charming young man, with bags of sporting flair and a great sense of fun” who returned annually to take part in Old Boys' cricket fixtures,
“Jeff didn't set out to become a hero, but force of circumstance made him one just the same,” he said.
“It was kind of extraordinary in that he had a split-second decision to make and he was willing to make an extraordinary sacrifice in order to save someone else.”
He recalled him as “a pretty extraordinary character” who had “so much going for him”.
“He was a great cricket player, and that's why the cricket match seemed the most apposite way of celebrating his time on this earth,” he said.
The event runs from 1pm, with the cricket match starting at 2pm. Those who knew Mr Wornham are welcome to attend.