Ipswich Rugby Club has paid tribute to a rugby player who recently passed away - retiring his number for forthcoming matches. 

Arturas Rudys, a father-of-one, died suddenly while playing for Wisbech Rugby Club against Diss on October 14. 

In an online post, the club sent its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and rugby companions of the 27-year-old rugby player. 

Mike Hancock, chairman at IRFC, added: "We will retire our 14 shirt for this Saturday's match vs Wymondham and our matches vs Wisbech later on in the season as a sign of respect." 

Oli Hall, vice chairman of Ipswich Rugby Club, said: "The news of the sudden and tragic passing of Arturas Rudys at Wisbech RFC on Saturday has rocked the rugby world.

"Our players, although not there, have felt the impact of this.

"The game of rugby is a privilege, strong friendships are forged on and off the field, so when a tragedy like this happens, it hurts and affects every element of any club.

"The rugby community has a special bond, and when news spread of Saturday's events, every club, including ours, wanted to show our solidarity with the members of Wisbech Rugby Club and indeed extend our sympathy and compassion to the friends and family of Arturas Rudys.

"As a mark of respect to honour Arturas we will be retiring the number 14 shirt for our game this Saturday against Wymondham and for both our games against Wisbech this season.

"I know there will also be a minutes silence across all clubs in our region on Saturday to reflect on and honour Arturas' memory."

Mr Rudys was the father of a two-year-old child, Emilijus. 

His girlfriend, Jolita, wrote on the fundraiser page that Mr Rudys "passed away very quickly" like it was "in a dream" while playing for Wisbech Rugby Club against Diss. 

She also wrote: "It is a very hard time for us right now, I can't give up." 

"I have to live and show the right path to our child. I have never asked for money, but I want to reach out to you and ask for help." 

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Rugby Club pays tribute to Arturas Rudys who recently passed away and retires his number,  GoFundMeIpswich Rugby Club pays tribute to Arturas Rudys who recently passed away and retires his number,  GoFundMe (Image: GoFundMe)

It is understood that Mr Rudys, who was originally from Lithuania, went down during the match on Saturday afternoon and despite efforts by ambulance staff to resuscitate him on the pitch, he passed away. 

The Eastern Counties First Division match at the Chapel Road ground was abandoned. 

Roger Pierson, from the Eastern Counties Rugby Union, said there had been a collision but that no head contact had been involved. 

He described the tackle as a "rugby incident" and said everything was being done to support all the players involved. 

The East of England Ambulance Service said a player had suffered a cardiac arrest during the match.

The GoFundMe appeal in Mr Rudys' memory has already reached £21,000.

Support the fundraising here