Tributes paid to Eastbourne man after sudden death in New Zealand

All-rounder in life and sport: Jonathan Cooper leaves a wife and two children

All-rounder in life and sport: Jonathan Cooper leaves a wife and two children

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The death of a popular Eastbourne man in New Zealand has prompted a flood of warm tributes from devastated friends.

Jonathan Cooper, known as Cooperman, passed away suddenly on November 22. He had been living in New Zealand for some time and leaves his wife and two children.

Mr Cooper’s death has sent shock waves through the community at Eastbourne Rugby Club where he played regularly for a number of years before moving overseas.

Brought up in Eastbourne, Mr Cooper was also a keen cricket fan and played for the Viscount Chumley XI cricket team.

A get-together has been organised at Eastbourne Rugby Club today (Saturday, December 3) for friends to pay their respects and share memories.

Club chairman Fraser Brooks said, “My memory of Jon Cooper, aka Cooperman or Coops, will always be of laughter. He was a remarkably intelligent man with an infectious sense of humour and possessed the gift of you wanting to be in his company.

“Coops was a real all-rounder in life and in sport. A great back row player in rugby and a wizard with the bat and ball on the field of cricket.

“To be able to say Jon was a good friend of mine is an honour I will always cherish. When introducing me to his friends, he would always say, ‘please meet the second funniest man in Eastbourne’ – a title I will keep with me forever.

“Thank you Coops for being in our lives and your legendary stories will forever live on and be forever told. A great man with a big heart and sense of humour that will never be beaten.”

Mark Dimmock from the Chumleys said, “Jon was a vastly over-talented man both on and off the pitch. Many of us feel the loss of this dear friend but our memories will always raise a smile and our hearts go out to his brothers and our team mates Paul and Adrian at this sad time.”

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