A Sleaford football side has expressed its shock after one of their founders and manager collapsed and died after witnessing their first win in a senior competitive match.
Jim Pacey, aged 50, collapsed as he headed back to the changing rooms after seeing his team, Sleaford Rangers, chalk up their first win in the Balcan Lighting Lincolnshire Premier League away at Brigg Town Reserves in the EC Surfacing Stadium.
He had been celebrating with the players at full time after taking on management duty for the game but collapsed and died despite the best efforts of medics battling to save him at the scene, including an air ambulance crew. Son Jay was with his father, while partner Michelle was kept informed by phone.
A statement issued by the club said: “We are devastated as a club to announce the sad passing of one of our founders Jim Pacey, father of player Jay, at the end of our game against Brigg.
“Jim was an integral part in the forming and creation of Sleaford Rangers FC. More importantly, he was the reason the majority of our side continue to play and develop their football as he had managed many of our young players from the age of seven.”
They continued: “As a club we would like to thank all at Brigg who helped, especially their physio and a parent in the crowd who was a nurse. We would also like to thank Neil Sayce and the paramedics for their heroic efforts in trying to revive Jim. We are all devastated and want to send our love and condolences to his family.
“Rest in peace Jim Pacey, a true legend of Sleaford Football club.”
Sleaford Rangers FC are a new side to the Lincolnshire League which works closely with Sleaford Town and Sleaford Town Juniors to provide local talent their first taste of senior Saturday football.
Brigg Town FC said on Facebook: “We would like to give our heartfelt sympathy to all at Sleaford FC and the family of Jim Pacey.
“A tragic and sad day for all involved, our thoughts are with you.”
○ Michael Hayden from Sleaford Rangers added: “Tthe team have decided to go ahead and will be playing at home on Saturday, with all money received on the gate being donated to the family to support with funeral costs. I will post details from the club’s Facebook page tomorrow.”