Football club's tribute to crash victim

TRIBUTES were paid last night to a “loveable and popular” footballer who was killed in a road crash.Peasenhall United player Nigel Stebbings, 24, died on Saturday night after his car careered into a hedge on Harrow Lane, Theberton.

TRIBUTES were paid last night to a “loveable and popular” footballer who was killed in a road crash.

Peasenhall United player Nigel Stebbings, 24, died on Saturday night after his car careered into a hedge on Harrow Lane, Theberton.

Club officials have spoken of their sadness and shock at the death of the Saxmundham man.

Karl Baldry, first team manager, said: “He was a very lovable lad who was always popular in the dressing room and he always cheered us up and made us laugh with his funny sense of humour.


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“We're a close-knit club and all of the players are mates so we're all down on our knees because we can't believe it.”

He said that the team, which plays in the Suffolk and Ipswich League, had been successful over the years and Mr Stebbings had been part of that.

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“He was a very quick player who had a lot of pace and enthusiasm,” said Mr Baldry. “He was just hitting a bit of form and had scored two goals for the first team in our last match and scored a goal on Saturday for the reserves, which he was chuffed about.”

Mr Stebbings had played for the club's reserves team, who lost to Old Newton United 'A' 6-3, on the day of his death.

Alan Robinson, the reserves team manager, said: “He helped me out on Saturday and it just seems very strange that I won't be seeing him again.

“He was very popular and he loved his football - he normally played for the full team but often if I was short he would play for me. We're all very sad and absolutely devastated by the news.”

The reserves were due to play Saxmundham Sports Reserves this weekend but are yet to decide whether the fixture will go ahead.

Mr Stebbings died after his silver Peugeot 306 left the road and came to rest on its side, entangled in a large tree.

He had worked at Hatcher Components in Framlingham for four years where he assembled spoilers for commercial vehicles.

Mike Barker, the company's finance director, said his colleagues were saddened by the news as he was a very popular man.

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