Cricketer honoured by club

A CRICKETER, who plunged to his death after an argument with his girlfriend, has been honoured by his old club. Ipswich Cricket Club dedicated ground at Clay Hall in Copdock to the memory of opening bowler Martin Hackney.

A CRICKETER, who plunged to his death after an argument with his girlfriend, has been honoured by his old club.

Ipswich Cricket Club dedicated ground at Clay Hall in Copdock to the memory of opening bowler Martin Hackney.

The popular 31-year-old sportsman died on May 8 after he fell 30ft from the balcony of his girlfriend's Norwich flat.

Club chairman Graham Denny said Mr Hackney's family had donated money to club enabling the development of the Clay Hall ground.

He said: “We wanted to name the ground Hacker's field in memory of Martin so he should not be forgotten.

“We miss him terribly. The club isn't the same without him. He was such a character and he always brought a smile to everyone's face.”

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Mr Hackney's parents Tim and Angela Hackney had flown from their home in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia to be at the simple ceremony.

Mr Hackney, 61, said: “The club has been really supportive of us and they have done much for us and our family since Martin's death.”

Surrounded by club members and players Mr Hackney paid an emotional tribute to his son.

He said: “His team mates and the club were obviously a great support for Martin. We would like to think his dedication and his love of the game was what gave him such a love of life.”

Fighting back tears, Mr Hackney thanked the club for their dedication of the field.

He added: “It is a part of England named after him”

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at an inquest at Norwich Magistrates Court on Friday.

The inquest heard how following a row at around 2.30am, Mr Hackney's girlfriend Claire Thompson had locked the door to her flat to prevent him leaving as she felt he was in no fit state. He had a wound to his head after falling from his bike and she said she was trying to tend to his injury, but he appeared disorientated, walking from room to room.

It was then that Mr Hackney ran across the room, stood on a seat on the balcony and threw himself over a four foot high wall, falling 30 feet to the ground below.

Did you know Martin? What do you think of the dedication to his memory? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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