Deeping Rugby Club pays tribute to former player

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More than 70 rugby players lined up for two memorial matches to pay tribute to a former player who died of bowel cancer.

Three teams from Deeping Rugby Club and one from Peterborough Rugby Club took to the pitch on Saturday for the Martin Tebbs memorial match.

Martin, a former Deeping veterans player, died of bowel cancer aged 44 on December 5, 2010.

The memorial match was organised by former teammates, who invited Martin’s mother Janet, 
sister Jackie, sons Glen and Carlton, auntie Joyce Dean 
and close friend Jude Price-Wallace.

The Deeping veterans team took on Peterborough’s veterans in the first game, winning 24- 5.

In the second game some faces from the club’s memorable 2001/02 season made a return for a game against a Deeping select team, winning 36/27.

The teams then joined Martin’s family to watch England beat New Zealand.

Martin’s family paid for a memorial shield, which will be presented to the winner of the second game.

Joyce, from Swineshead, said: “It was humbling for all of us and we couldn’t believe how many people wanted to play in memory of Martin.

“It was a pleasure for us to shake hands with all the players who turned up and it was a privilege to say thank you to them.”

Martin, who lived in Market Deeping, was a chief petty officer in the Royal Navy and spent most of his career working on Harrier jets.

He moved to the area when the famous planes came to RAF Wittering.

Son Glen, 20, and Carlton, 17, were both pupils at Deeping St James Primary School and The Deepings School.

Joyce paid tribute to Martin’s former teammates Andy France and Paul Rogers, who organised the memorial match.

She said: “They did some superb work.”