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Tributes paid to popular sportsman found dead in Kingsteignton

By This is Devon  |  Posted: November 02, 2010

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular sportsman who has been found dead at an address in Kingsteignton.

Phillip Blackmore (above), 38 and a former captain of the South Devon Cricket Club in Newton Abbot, was discovered dead in a garage at Yew Tree Drive on Sunday night.

Police and an ambulance crew were called to the property, where Mr Blackmore had been staying, after receiving a 999 call just before 10pm.

Mr Blackmore, a maintenance worker at Channings Wood prison near Newton Abbot, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

A police spokesman said yesterdaythat formal identity of the deceased had not yet been carried out. He added that there were no suspicious circumstances. South Devon coroner Ian Arrow has been informed.

An inquest, to take formal evidence of identity only, is expected to open later this week.

A full inquest is expected to be held at a later date.

Mr Blackmore, married with a young son, was well known in cricket circles (see back page). He had played for several clubs, including Paignton and Abbotskerswell, where younger brother Matthew had a spell as captain.

Matthew Blackmore, who now plays for South Devon CC, said he was still coming to terms with his brother's death.

"All I can say right now is his family will always be proud of him and will miss him forever," said Matthew.

Barry Widdicombe, the South Devon CC chairman, said the club had been left reeling by the news of Mr Blackmore's death.

"Phil had been at the club for so many years he was part of the fixtures and fittings," said Mr Widdicombe.

"This has come as a complete shock to all of us.

"He was a quiet man who took his cricket seriously and liked to do his talking out on the pitch.

"Small clubs like ours do not function without people such as Phil, who don't just play but do some of the other jobs that need doing, like coaching and taking net sessions.

"Our thoughts are with his wife, son, brother and mother at this difficult time for them all."

Herald Express cricket correspondent Conrad Sutcliffe, a life member and veteran player at South Devon CC, played with Mr Blackmore for more than 20 years. He said his old club-mate would be remembered with affection by all who knew him.

"Phil was one of those people who represented everything that is good about the game of cricket," said Mr Sutcliffe.

"He played it hard, but fair, and never forgot you were doing it for enjoyment.

"Phil wanted to win and wouldn't take defeat without a fight. I can think of numerous games when his sheer bloody mindedness saved us from a heavy defeat.

"Over the past few years he had started bringing his young son to matches. If Phil wasn't out on the pitch, the two of them would probably be playing bat and ball somewhere around the boundary.

"He was a hugely popular figure in the dressing room and around the club. The place won't seem the same without him."

Away from the cricket pitch, Mr Blackmore was a keen angler and was a member of the Newton Abbot Fishing Association and liked to fish at Rackerhayes Ponds in Kingsteignton.

Friend Max Palmer said Mr Blackmore liked the peace and quiet of the riverbank more than anything else.

"Phil was a lovely bloke and it is a darn shame that he has died," said Mr Palmer, who is a member of the fishing association committee.

"He wasn't into match fishing, or anything like that, but enjoyed fishing for the relaxation it gave him."

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    Jenna Heywood, Newton Abbot  |  November 14 2010, 11:27AM

    I have known Phil for a few years now after I worked with his Wife, Lisa. We were all so fond of him, always happy and friendly when he popped in to see her. You will be greatly missed Phil, by all that knew you. We know that you will be looking down on us with a smile. Much Love to Lisa and Jake, I am sending you lots of love and strength. xxxx

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    Den & Lynn Blackmore, Totnes  |  November 05 2010, 12:29PM

    Phil Blackmore was my late brother Len's son, I'm Phil's uncle Den. My wife and I were both shocked and saddened by the news of Phil's tragic death, we don't know why this has happened to such a lovely young man who had his whole life ahead of him, and sadly Phil leaves a 6 year old son Jake. Only someone who has lost a child will understand the pain and anguish it causes, and how it devastates your life, I lost a son 6 years ago so I understand what Phil's mother June is going through right now, and no words could ever take away the pain and the heartache June will be feeling. All my wife Lynn and I can do is send our love and our deepest condolences to Phil's mum June, his brother Matt, his son Jake and his wife Lisa. (((Hugs))) xxxx RIP Phil Blackmore You may be gone from this earthly place But no one will forget your smiling face Hearts will mend but it will take time We know you're in heaven with dad and you're fine God looks after all with great care You'll never leave us you'll always be there We'll remember you with a warm heart Death's not the end, we're not really apart! Lots of love Den & Lynn Blackmore xx

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    carla, BOVEY TRACEY  |  November 02 2010, 9:09PM

    What a tragedy, My thoughts are with the family at this sad time

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    Michelle, Newton  |  November 02 2010, 7:18PM

    Rest in Peace Phil, you will be greatly missed

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    Michelle, Newton Abbot  |  November 02 2010, 7:18PM

    Rest in Peace Phil, you will be greatly missed