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English football mourn sad and sudden death of Redditch player aged 26

English football mourn the sad and sudden death of Redditch United player Tom Rankin aged 26, confirmed on Sunday afternoon.

Tributes have poured in after devastating news was announced by his team, of whom he was a former captain of and had been with the side for three seasons.

His devastated parents said that he was “their world” and his grief-stricken manager said he had “no words for how special” the footballer was.

In a statement it said: “Redditch United are devastated to hear of passing of midfielder Thomas Rankin. Tom has been with the Reds for the past three seasons. His loss will be felt by all at the club. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. RIP Tom.”

In a Facebook post, his parents Wendy and Bob said his passing had left the whole family devastated, with his mum saying: “Tom you are the best son, you have always made us so proud, you are our world. There are no words for how much we will miss you.

“You have achieved so much in your short life. We would give everything to have you back with us. Rest in Peace with all our love Mom and Dad.”

Thomas was a graduate of Loughborough University and went into football, becoming experienced in the Southern League Premier Division Central and was named on the bench and came off it on the 45th minute for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

Redditch manager Matt Clarke, a former Kidderminster Harriers player, tweeted his devastation at Thomas’s death. He said: “Life is so precious people. We often take things for granted, I know I do.

“In reality certain things really aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. A special person left us today and words cannot describe how special this lad was.”

@lborofootball Club Secretary Margaret Folwell: “Tom was a regular for Loughborough Students during his time studying at Loughborough. Sending love and condolences to his family, friends, team mates and former team mates from all at Loughborough Students FC. RIP TOM”

As mentioned, English football mourn the sad and sudden death of Redditch player Tom Rankin aged 26…

@SCTFC: Terrible news to hear of the passing of Thomas Rankin. All of us at Sutton Coldfield Town FC send all of our love and condolences to all at @RedditchUtd 💙❤️💙❤️

@LeamingtonFC: Our sincere condolences to everybody at Redditch and to Tom’s friends and family. He played for us briefly upon our return to the National League North 5 years ago. A truly sad loss. Thoughts are with all who knew him.

@khfcofficial: On behalf of everyone at Aggborough, our thoughts and wishes are with all at Redditch United and especially Thomas’s family and friends at what is a truly sad time.

@SolihullMoors: Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Thomas and all at @RedditchUtd at this extremely sad time. Rest in Peace, Thomas. 💙

@AFCRD: Having been with you all yesterday, We are devastated to read this awful news this afternoon. Our thoughts are with you all and with Tom’s friends & family ❤️

@ROFCOfficial: We are devastated to read such horrific news. Our thoughts are with family and friends, sending our love and strength at the most difficult of times. Rest in eternal peace, Tom 🙏 ❤️

@SelbyTown_FC: We are heartbroken to hear the tragic news of Tom’s passing, it’s clear from the reaction on social media how many people love Tom and what a fantastic lad he is. Our thoughts and love go out to Tom’s family, friends, teammates and everybody at @RedditchUtd

@Mikeproudfoot1: Beyond gutted right now, He really was the nicest guy and anyone would have said the same. rest easy my man💫🫀

@Cress31: Devastating news. I had the pleasure to manage Tom at Bromsgrove Sporting Reserves. He was a smashing lad both on and off the pitch. So polite, and a lovely well grounded lad even at 16. Thoughts and love sent to Bob and the rest or the family xxx

@StaffordTown1st: Everyone here at Stafford Town are sending our condolences to Thomas’s family and friends and ofcourse everyone at Redditch United. R.I.P Tom ❤️

@BerkoFC: Devastating news! The thoughts from all of us here at Berkhamsted FC are with his family and friends. Rest in peace, Tom.

@DuckworthTia: Rest easy Tom, such a nice genuine lad I’m absolutely lost for words. You’ll be heavily missed

@JayKhfc: Such sad news rest in peace Tom

🙏🏼 Make sure to keep an eye out for the people around you and be there for them.
With people suffering, never suffer in silence.
Help is always out there in one way or another.
DMs always open!

@HCSStweets: So sorry to hear this. Our thoughts are with you all.

@DarbyLord: So sorry to hear this sad news, my condolences to his family, friends and everyone associated with @RedditchUtd 😢

@HagleyBaggie: Such sad news. Puts life into perspective! Condolences to family and friends! RIP 💜

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