Popular cricketer killed in balcony fall
SHOCKED cricketers last night paid an emotional tribute to one of their teammates who died following a fall from a balcony.Martin Hackney, 31, who was opening bowler for Ipswich Cricket Club, died in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Sunday from injuries suffered after a balcony fall.
By Danielle Nuttall
SHOCKED cricketers last night paid an emotional tribute to one of their teammates who died following a fall from a balcony.
Martin Hackney, 31, who was opening bowler for Ipswich Cricket Club, died in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Sunday from injuries suffered after a balcony fall.
Mystery surrounds the circumstances of his death, but police have confirmed they are not treating it as suspicious.
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The Australian, who moved to England seven years ago and who had played in the cricket club's first team for five years, lived in Norwich but travelled back to Suffolk for games.
Kristina Raines, a spokeswoman for Norwich Police, said: “We were called to Union Street in Norwich just after 3.10am on Sunday, May 8.
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“A 31-year-old man sustained very serious injuries after falling from a balcony at the property.
“The man was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment but sadly died later that morning.
“Police sealed off the scene until lunchtime yesterday and forensic examinations were carried out along with other enquiries by police officers.
“At this time his death is not being treated as suspicious. It is anticipated a file will now be passed to Her Majesty's Coroner in due course.”
Last night Martyn Kidd, club captain, described Mr Hackney, who worked in marketing, as a 'live wire' who was extremely popular.
“He was such an enthusiastic character. We loved him at the club. He had a real spark in him,” he said.
“I was devastated yesterday when I heard. He was such a live wire.
“He was a talented cricketer and played in the first team for about four or five years.
“He came over from Australian seven years ago and has been with us every since.
“He was popular around the circuit and a lot of clubs will be really upset to hear the news.
“People are devastated, absolutely devastated. I got off the plane yesterday and was just waiting to be picked up and his girlfriend rang me and I had to cancel meetings in the afternoon.
“The rest of the time has been spent trying to understand what has gone on and what we can do as a club. We will miss him unbelievably.”
Mr Kidd, who last saw Mr Hackney on Saturday when they had a drink after the game, added: “He has tried really hard playing in the first team.
“I think because he respected me so much I always seemed to be able to get something else out of him.”
Graham Denny, club chairman, added: “He was a tremendous club man. He was always fun to be with.
“He enjoyed his cricket and was totally committed to the club, coming down from Norwich each weekend to play.
“He will be sorely missed by both the club and cricket in general.
“To play cricket with someone on Saturday afternoon and discover within 24 hours he is dead, we've just not got over it and it will take a long while.”