Tributes after death of footballer

PUBLISHED: 09:46 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 10 September 2010

Shaun Bunn.

Shaun Bunn.

Tributes were paid today to a popular footballer who died after collapsing during a match.

Tributes were paid today after a popular footballer died after collapsing during a match.

Goalkeeper Shaun Bunn was playing for Sprowston Wanderers Reserves against Mundford on Saturday when he suffered a suspected heart attack.

The 38-year-old had earlier complained of a pulled muscle but was otherwise believed to be healthy.

The father-of-one, nicknamed Bunny, became unwell early in the second half.

Bystanders tried to help him on the pitch until the East Anglian Air Ambulance arrived and attended to him.

He was then taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, but attempts to resuscitate him failed.

His father Derek Bunn, of South Hill Road, Thorpe St Andrew, spoke of his shock, describing him as a “larger than life character”. It is now hoped teams all over Norfolk will join a minute's applause next weekend to celebrate his life.

Mr Bunn said: “He had played football since he was three-years-old and was picked for his school at seven. As soon as he could hold a ball in his hands he was playing. You could name virtually any team in the county and he had played for it.

“I didn't even know he was playing this weekend, he was supposed to retire years ago but just kept playing.

“Apparently they were 4-2 up and he had just taken a telling off for letting in two goals.

“Everybody was completely in shock and didn't know what to do. He was loved by everyone who knew him and his death will leave a big hole in all our lives.”

Shaun, who worked for Guardian Security and had a nine-year-old son Alex, was born and bred in Norwich.

He attended Thorpe St Andrew School and, as well as playing football, also represented Thorpe St Andrew at cricket. He was keen on rugby and athletics, having represented the county at javelin and running.

In recent years he had played in the Anglian Combinations League Division Five for Sprowston after dropping down a level following a dislocated shoulder. He had also represented Norfolk and played for teams including Norwich Utd, Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cromer.

“He was big physically and in terms of personality,” Mr Bunn said. “He was always the centre of attention and was known wherever he went all over Norfolk.”

Once a cause of death has been established the family plan to hold a funeral in Thorpe St Andrew in the hope Shaun's large network of friends and relatives will attended.

Team-mates have started a tribute section on the website of the Evening News's sister sports newspaper the Pink 'Un. Visit

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