RUGBY players and supporters from Wellington and Wiveliscombe walked between the two towns in memory of Paul Bristow before the annual Boxing Day match between the clubs.

Paul, an outstanding servant of Wiveliscombe RFC as player, coach, supporter and committee member, died suddenly in June, leaving his wife, Claire, and daughters, Ellie and Scarlett.

He was born in Wellington and grew up in Oake, where he attended primary school, before going on to Kingsmead School in Wiveliscombe.

Sponsorship raised by the sixmile walk is going to a trust fund for Paul’s daughters.

Walkers from Wellington included Matt and Ashley Coleman, Gareth Hodgson, Julian Jones, Paul Marsden, Mark Wardell, John and Andrew Govier, and Adrian Dyke.

They were joined by Paul’s brother, Ian, Dean Horton, Robert Burston, Paul Ridge and John Bradner, all friends of Paul from Wiveliscombe RFC.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “A rugby ball was carried from Wellington to Wiveliscombe and the challenge to return the ball to Wellington in 2014 was laid down.

“It’s hoped this will become an annual event.

“The idea came from brothers Matthew and Ashley Coleman, of Wellington, and further emphasises the bonds created through the game of rugby and the esteem in which Paul Bristow was held by his peers.”

The Boxing Day match, watched by an 800-strong crowd at the Recreation Ground in Wiveliscombe, was won 21-3 by the visitors.