KIDDERMINSTER Carolians have paid tribute to a local rugby stalwart who served the club at all levels - from player to president.

The club announced the news of Nigel Oakes' sudden death last week, describing him as an "absolute rugby fan and club man".

Nigel was heavily involved in the amalgamation of the Old Carolians with the Town Club and went on to represent the combined club as a player, captain, president, selector, chairman and juniors coach - during which time he taught well-known players such as Steve Lloyd and Neil Lyman.

Nigel also led the committee's effort to plan the redevelopment of the clubhouse and changing rooms. His building company, J N Oakes Building & Civil Engineering, eventually won the bid to build the clubhouse that still stands in Marlpool Lane today.

In a tribute to Nigel, Kidderminster Carolians Rugby Football Club wrote: "Nigel was an absolute rugby fan and club man – always very active in the club and supported the club by watching the first XV home and away - usually behind the posts - and joining in club functions and work parties to look after the place he built.

"[He was] very well respected throughout rugby and will be missed terribly by lots of generations of club members."

Nigel leaves behind his wife Chris, son Tom and daughter Ellie, and two grandchildren Hettie and Primrose.

On Facebook, Tom, who also played for the club, described Nigel as not only his father, but his friend and hero.