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28th Mar 2022

Non-league club confirm death of midfielder Tom Rankin

Daniel Brown

Rest in peace, Tom Rankin

Redditch United player Tom Rankin has sadly passed away unexpectedly at the age of 26, his club confirmed at the weekend.

The club announced that the midfielder had died on Sunday afternoon, however, the cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

It came just 24 hours after the 26-year-old featured for Redditch in their Southern League Premier Division Central home clash against Rushden & Diamonds.

Tributes pour in for the 26-year-old

Tributes poured in for Rankin, a Loughborough University graduate, following the tragic news of his passing.

“Redditch United are devastated to hear of passing of midfielder Thomas Rankin,” the club tweeted.

“Tom has been with the Reds for the past three seasons and his loss will be felt by all at the Club. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. RIP Tom.”

Redditch boss Matt Clarke also tweeted: “Life is so precious people. We often take things for granted, I know I do… certain things 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.”

Rankin’s parents Bob and Wendy said that their son’s passing had left the family devastated.

“Tom you are the best son, you have always made us so proud, you are our world,” said Wendy in a Facebook statement.

“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.”

A number of clubs paid their respects on social media, with Redditch’s opponents from the weekend – Rushden & Diamonds – replying to the club’s post, saying: “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 and family.”

Kidderminster Harriers added: “On behalf of everyone at Aggborough, our thoughts and wishes are with all at Redditch United and especially Thomas’ family and friends at what is a truly sad time.”

One of Rankin’s former clubs, Leamington FC, wrote: “Our sincerest 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 five years ago. A truly sad loss. Thoughts are with all who knew him.”

League One side Doncaster Rovers wrote: “Everyone connected to Doncaster Rovers sends our love to Thomas’ friends, family and team mates at this sad time.”