A TOWN'S rugby pitches have been named in memory of a club stalwart who tragically died before a match.

Nigel Banwell fell ill while putting out the flags ahead of an Upton Rugby Club game on Saturday, January 7.

Upton Town Council has now given the club permission to name the town's two rugby pitches after Mr Banwell.

Councillors approved the name 'Banwell Park' at an open spaces committee meeting on Tuesday and a sign has been installed on the rugby club.

Maurice Bottomley, president of the rugby club, said: "[We] have decided to name the rugby pitches, off Old Street, as Banwell Park, in memory of and gratitude to Nigel Banwell.

"Nigel was a player and the lifelong fixture secretary at Upton Rugby Club and also served local rugby in various roles.

"[His] service to rugby further afield than Upton was recognised in him being elected as president of the Worcestershire & Herefordshire Rugby Football Union (RFU) and also the North Midlands RFU."

Mr Banwell's widow, Jane, is due to unveil a commemorative plaque in the clubhouse on Saturday, September 23.

The ceremony will take place from 2pm onwards, ahead of the club's first home league game.

Cllr Betty Williams, chairman of the town council's open spaces committee, said: "Nigel was a very well liked and respected member of our community and he worked so hard for the sport he loved.

"I am pleased that he will be remembered in such an appropriate way."