Popular Exeter rugby coach died after falling ill at his Birthday meal

James ‘Chas’ Chalmers, 77, passed away on Friday, August 3, after suffering ‘breathing difficulties’ during his meal at Circa 1924, off Northernhay Place, Exeter reports Devon Live.

He was surrounded by around 12 friends and family members.

Chas coached city youth team Exeter Colts for a number of years, a squad which included his own son, in the 1990s before becoming chairman of Exeter Athletic.

He was well-recognised for wearing an Exeter Rugby baseball cap – before the team became known as The Chiefs – and many of his lads went on to have successful careers in the sport.

His popularity was highlighted at his packed-out funeral, held at Exeter Crematorium, which was attended by ‘a couple of hundred attendees.’

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