Tributes paid to popular sportsman killed in A36 crash

This Is Wiltshire: Michael 'Rusty' Rustell playing cricket for Beckington Michael 'Rusty' Rustell playing cricket for Beckington

Teammates have paid tribute to father-of-four Michael Rustell this week, after he was killed in a car crash on the A36 near Warminster on Monday.

Mr Rustell was travelling on the A36 at Norridge Woods, between the Cley Hill and Granada Services roundabouts, when his Rover 400 collided with a VW Golf driven by a 22-year-old man from Melksham just before 5pm.

The 50-year-old, known as Rusty, suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene. Wiltshire Air Ambulance attended, but Mr Rustell had already been pronounced dead when they arrived.

Mr Rustell, who lived in Rode with his wife Mary and two of his four children, was a keen sportsman, playing football for Frome Town and cricket for Beckington Cricket Club. A tribute from the cricket club read: “It is with great sadness that Beckington Cricket Club has to announce the death of its longest-serving player Mike ‘Rusty’ Rustell.

“Mike played for Beckington Cricket Club for 35 years, following on from his father Frank who also played for the club.

He was a prolific batsman, wicket keeper and when required, wicket taking bowler.

“During the club’s history there have been a few lows and Mike was responsible for keeping the club going through its lowest years.

“The club will miss his legendary sense of humour, comradery and, of course, massive talent. His son Charlie certainly has the same talent and will go on to play a very good standard of cricket. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mary and his four children, Charlie, Mollie, Lauren and James.”

Mr Rustell was a well-known figure in Frome, having worked at Butler and Tanner for many years and as a retained firefighter for 12 years.

Frome Town Football Club held a minute’s silence before their 3-2 victory against Sholing on Wednesday as a mark of respect for former player Mr Rustell, whose son James and daughter Lauren also played for the Robins.

Club Secretary Ian Pearce said: “Mike was well respected and his daughter and son both played for us.

“The minute’s silence before the game was our little way of paying tribute to a man who was very well liked. It is a sad loss.

“Everyone at the ground observed the minute’s silence impeccably and I don’t think I have ever heard the ground so silent. It shows just how well-loved he was.

“It was fitting Frome Town managed to get the win as well against Sholing – that one is dedicated to Mike. Our thoughts go out to his family.”

Touching floral tributes from Mr Rustell’s family and many others have been laid at the side of the road where he lost his life.

The road was closed for seven hours while police carried out investigations into the crash, before being re-opened on Tuesday morning.

The driver of the VW Golf was taken to RUH Bath with minor injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the incident can call PC David Williams from the serious collision investigation team on the police 101 number.

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