A day of fun to remember Leamington man who died suddenly last year

Duncan and Beth Phillips with their sons Sam and Thomas.Duncan and Beth Phillips with their sons Sam and Thomas.
Duncan and Beth Phillips with their sons Sam and Thomas.
A much-loved father, husband and friend who died suddenly while playing football last spring will be remembered by a charity fun day in Bishops Tachbrook this month.

On an evening last April, 39-year-old Duncan Phillips went out to St Nicholas park in Warwick to play football, as he did every week.

His wife Beth told the Courier: “I was in the middle of bath time with our boys when I got a phone call to say he had collapsed.

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“An ambulance was called. But an hour later, Dunc died at Warwick Hospital.

“The whole thing was a complete shock as Dunc was really fit and healthy. Nothing like that had ever happened before.”

Beth was later told by doctors that Duncan had, unbeknown to him, been suffering from a condition called hypertrophic cardio myopathy.

Beth said: “It meant the muscle of his heart had toughened due to scarring. We don’t know what caused it.

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“All his family have tested negative for the condition, but it still could have been a genetic mutation, so my boys - Sam, five, and four-year-old Thomas - are both being tested for it every year now.”

Duncan, an engineer at Jaguar Land Rover’s headquarters in Gaydon, would have turned 40 on March 25 this year. Beth, who has found a great deal of support from the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), said: “I decided it would be nice to mark the occasion in a positive way.

“At first I started organising a sponsored run or walk at Bishops Tachbrook Sports and Social Club field to raise funds for CRY in his memory, but then lots of people got involved and it has turned into a ‘fun day’, which we’re calling A Day For Dunc.”

The event, on Sunday March 23, will include the run/walk, as well as a raffle with prizes - including a driving experience for two from Jaguar Land Rover, a Medieval banquet at Coombe Abbey and prizes from the Warwickshire Golf and Health Club and Manchester United - while there will also be a tombola, archery, face painting, cake stalls and a puppet show.

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Anyone who would like to help out on the day, take part in the run/walk, donate a raffle prize or bake cakes to sell can contact Beth through the Facebook page she has set up: search for ‘A Day For Dunc’. Beth is particularly looking for someone who can donate a large teddy bear for a competition and for a firm to sponsor the event for insurance.

Friends and family have already raised £5,000 for CRY in Duncan’s memory. To make a donation, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/adayfordunc

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