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Applause starts Thurston rugby match in memory of Josh Gilbert

PUBLISHED: 10:43 01 October 2017

Thurston Rangers and Sudbury RFC held a memorial match in honour of Josh Gilbert over the weekend. Picture: STEWART AMBROSE

Thurston Rangers and Sudbury RFC held a memorial match in honour of Josh Gilbert over the weekend. Picture: STEWART AMBROSE

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A match dedicated to Thurston rugby player Josh Gilbert began with a minutes applause in his honour over the weekend.

Ipswich Town fan Josh was a season ticket holder for 19 years - he is pictured here with Tommy Smith at the Newcastle away game last season. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYIpswich Town fan Josh was a season ticket holder for 19 years - he is pictured here with Tommy Smith at the Newcastle away game last season. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Josh Gilbert, 25, collapsed and died during an away match for Thurston Rangers against Hadleigh last month.

On Saturday, Thurston’s second team paid a fitting tribute to the ‘gentle giant’, who was also chairman of Bury Young Farmers Club, by celebrating his life through applause rather than silence ahead of a match against Sudbury RFC.

The club also retired Josh’s shirt number, three, from both teams for the match.

Matt Ansell, chairman of Thurston RUFC, said: “The games were dedicated to Josh, but they were actual league games, the first that the club had played since he passed.

“Last weekend, the family had asked for a minute’s applause, rather than silence, at all games in our leagues. This was our first opportunity to do this for him.”

A first team match against Haverhill and District was also dedicated to Josh.

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