Norfolk charity rugby match will be held in honour of ‘Little Tom’

A charity rugby match will be taking place on Sunday as family, friends and teammates remember a talented sportsman, who died aged 42.

Tom Nobbs Junior died last September after a battle with oesophageal cancer.

The talented rugby player, known as 'little Tom', had represented Norfolk in the sport, spending many years playing for the Crusaders before he injured his back.

His dad, also called Thomas Robert Nobbs, has also been involved with the Little Melton-based club for many years, and to honour his memory and raise money for the Big C Appeal, they decided to put on a charity rugby match.

His sister Julie Deeley-Nobbs said: 'The club is very family-orientated. All his brothers, cousins and my husband have played for the club.'

Mrs Deeley-Nobbs said that Tom had always been a natural at sport.

'He was a very keen sportsman. He loved to play and watch sports and was very good at all of them as a schoolboy.'

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He worked with his dad as a plasterer for many years, but when he injured his back he stopped and started caring for his grandmother.

At the beginning of 2010 he was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer and moved back home with his parents in Rider Haggard Road, Heartsease.

Mrs Deeley-Nobbs said: 'He had been feeling a bit poorly and kept putting it down to different medications.

'It was quite a while before he was given a test that showed he already had a terminal illness.'

During his last six months the family tried to make the most of every day when he felt well, with trips to London and Colchester Zoo.

'Any day of the week, if he was having a good day we would all put everything on hold and do something.

'We made the most of every second,' said Mrs Deeley-Nobbs.

He died on September 21 and more than 300 people attended his funeral at Colney Woodlands and memorial at the rugby club.

After taking part in a Big C charity walk earlier this year, the family are hoping to raise more money and awareness for the charity with the match.

On Sunday a team of family and friends will take on a team comprising Crusaders' second and third players.

There will also be a variety of attractions.

These include face-painting and a bouncy castle, stalls, a barbecue, live music and a raffle featuring some top prizes, such as a trip to Wembley and a Norwich City signed football.

The day, which starts from 1pm, is open to all. Kick-off is 3pm.

- Are you holding an event for charity? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email