VENTNOR Rugby Club is mourning the loss of one of its players and 'club legend' Michael Walker.

Tributes have been paid to Michael on the club's Facebook page, where an outpouring of comments describe him as a formidable opponent on the rugby field, a gentleman off it, and a gentle giant who would help anyone.

The club statement says: "The club are deeply saddened and shocked at the passing of club legend Michael Walker.

"Michael was part of the rugby family at Ventnor and his loss is being felt by all.

"We send our love to his family at this time, especially thinking of Lorelai and Cairan, his beautiful children who shared his love of rugby and the club.

"Always helping Dad when he was working the bar, collecting glasses with big smiles. The club are here for you all.

"A member of the 'front row union' forever more. Never forgotten, many memories and stories will be told as we raise a glass to you our friend. RIP."