Tragic star Savenaca Koroibulileka’s wife and sons attend memorial match at Oakham Rugby Club

Oakham Rugby Club tribute to Savenaca Koroibulileka. Wife Sili with Ratu, Vili, Orisi, and Kelepi EMN-160612-154228001
Oakham Rugby Club tribute to Savenaca Koroibulileka. Wife Sili with Ratu, Vili, Orisi, and Kelepi EMN-160612-154228001

Savenaca, a serving soldier, died on September 24 after collapsing while playing rugby for Oakham RFC. He was 38.

Oakham Rugby Club tribute to Savenaca Koroibulileka. A minutes silence perfectly observed EMN-160612-154214001

Oakham Rugby Club tribute to Savenaca Koroibulileka. A minutes silence perfectly observed EMN-160612-154214001

On Saturday, his Oakham teammates took on a side made up of Army colleagues for a memorial at the Rutland Showground.

Before the kick-off, there was an immaculately-observed minute’s silence and a presentation to Savenaca’s wife Sili and sons Ratu, Vili, Orisi, and Kelepi. They were given a framed number 4 shirt signed by the whole Oakham RFC family.

Club committee member Barbara Crellin said: “Savenaca wore the number 4 shirt and, after he tragically died, we retired it for the rest of the season.

“Everyone at the club signed one of the shirts and we had it framed for his family. We have a similar one hanging on the wall of our clubhouse as a permanent reminder of a lost friend.

“It was an emotional day, but we so happy that Sili and the boys were there with us. They have been to every home game since he died and we are doing everything we can to support them going forward.”

Savenaca was from Fiji and came to England to join the Army in 2003, initially enlisting with 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. Prior to his death, he had been serving with the Military Provost Guard Service, at St George’s Barracks, North Luffenham.

A couple of weeks ago, Barbara arranged for the three eldest boys to be mascots for England’s match against Fiji at Twickenham.

Prior the memorial match at the weekend, the boys were also presented with bound, signed programmes from the England game, along with a Leicester Tigers programme which contained a tribute to their father.

Oakham Rugby Club has set up a trust fund for the four boys to help support them until they reach the age of 18.

Barbara added: “We will do everything we can to support them.”