Gareth Puttock, who had just won the Clubman of the Year award at Roundhegians RUFC, suddenly passed away in his sleep.
“He only moved up about a year ago and straight away he joined his local rugby club. His death has had a big effect on the club,” said Club secretary Mick Mulligan
“He played every week and was a big part of the social scene.
“He was a young lad and rugby was a big part of his life. He was experienced and had been playing for years, and he was outgoing and popular.
“He was involved in all the social aspects here, and organised events. Even though he was a new player he was always in the midst of everything.
“The rest of the lads have been really upset by it – it was so unexpected. He went to bed and died in his sleep, he was meant to be going to work the next day but he never woke up. He hadn’t been ill so it’s been a really big shock.”
The club are now planning their own tribute to the second-row player.
Puttock was a Sheffield Hallam University graduate who had previously played for Hallamshire RUFC in the city.