THE heartbroken father of a Solihull man who died while playing football at the weekend has paid tribute to his “brilliant lad”.
Michael Hudson, whose son Stuart, 31, died on Saturday after collapsing while playing for Silhill FC, said the loss had “left a massive hole” in his life.
Stuart, who lived in Dickens Heath, fell to the ground during the game and despite desperate efforts to save him died later that day in Selly Oak Hospital.
“There have been a lot of tributes paid to Stuart and they have been really moving,” said Michael, who lives in Elmdon with his wife and Stuart’s mother Lynette.
“He was a brilliant lad and had a cracking sense of humour.
“I’ve been surprised by the amount of people who have spoke to us and the words they’ve said about him. He has touched many lives.
“It has left a massive hole in our lives.”
Stuart was a talented and well liked amateur footballer, who had played for all of Silhill’s teams since joining at the age of 16, and appeared in two Senior Cup Finals in 1996 and 1997.
He was playing in his regular defensive position for Silhill 4th XI against Northfield Village in the Birmingham & District AFA Division Five game when he suddenly collapsed.
Former soldier Simon Smith battled in vain to resuscitate his team-mate, leaping into action within seconds, but the BT Fleet maintenance controller died later in hospital.
Spokesman for Silhill FC, Oliver Haines, who had known Stuart for 15 years, said that everyone at the club was “saddened and shocked” following Stuart’s death.
He added: “Stuart Hudson was a defender of immense stature, skills and strength who conducted himself impeccably both on and off the pitch with quiet dignity, calm authority and a bright sense of humour.
“We have had a lot of local clubs send their condolences this week, and as a mark of respect, have decided to postpone all our games this weekend.”
As Stuart had no known underlying medical condition, a post mortem will be conducted before his funeral can go ahead.