TRIBUTES were today paid to a Fylde rugby stalwart who died after suffering a heart attack at a game.
Norman Allen, 77, from Wrea Green, was in the stands on Saturday watching Fylde RUFC on their way to victory against Loughborough University when he became ill.
Medics and doctors worked tirelessly to help Mr Allen at the club’s Woodlands Stadium, but he died shortly afterwards in hospital.
The retired solicitor had been a supporter of Fylde for almost 50 years and supported his son John when he began at the club as a junior.
Mr Allen is also linked to the club through his son-in-law Mark Evans, the husband of his daughter Sarah.
Mr Evans, a PE teacher at Arnold School in South Shore, started playing for the first team in 1994 and says Mr Allen had told members of his close family he would have preferred to die in the way he did, watching his favourite rugby team.
He said: “He was still a fit guy. He was still busy looking after the grass at Wrea Green Cemetery and helping the choir.”
A tribute on the Fylde RUFC website read: “He was a lovely guy. Very traditional, intelligent and sharp-witted. Even in his 70s he was always busy and fit and would put many 50-year-olds to shame.”
Mr Allen was a Major in the Army and served at Fulwood Barracks in Preston during the 1960s, where he first came to be a supporter of the club.
His family, including wife Trisha, son John, daughter Sarah and his grandson Iwan and granddaughter Isobel have given thanks to those who attempted to help Mr Allen on Saturday.