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Tributes paid to Chippenham Harrier runner, aged 40
The wife of Chippenham Harriers runner Matthew Richardson has spoken of her shock after he collapsed and died of a heart attack.
Kirsty Richardson has described her husband, who had no signs of heart disease, as “one in a million.”
Mr Richardson, 40, collapsed as he was nearing the end of a 90-minute run on the evening of October 20. He was a member of Chippenham Harriers and was running alone.
He was found by two other members of the Harriers, collapsed face down underneath the railway arches in Ivy Lane, Chippenham.
One stayed with him while the other went to call 999. Despite the efforts of paramedics Mr Richardson, who was rushed to the Royal United Hospital in Bath, could not be saved.
A post-mortem examination showed Mr Richardson had ischemic heart disease and narrowing of the arteries.
Mrs Richardson said: “Matthew had no outward signs of heart disease, nothing. “He ate the right things, he never smoked. He drank occasionally but not to excess. He was the fittest man you could ever happen to meet and the nicest man as well. He just absolutely loved exercise. He adored running and ran three times a week.
“The coroner was very surprised to see somebody of Matthew’s age having such a bad heart condition. There were no signs, he never had shortness of breath. The coroner said what happened was so sudden and quick.
“I have had flowers, cards and beautiful letters from people who have wonderful memories of Matthew. Everybody is just so shocked.
“Matthew loved life and was always an active person. Everybody loved him. He was one in a million.”
Mr Richardson collapsed near to where he lived with his wife. He did not have any identity details on him and by chance Mrs Richardson saw the emergency services when she went looking for her husband after he failed to return home. She spoke to a police officer who told her the man who had been taken to hospital was her husband.
She wants to encourage runners to wear an identity tag with contact details on.
“If Matthew had had a tag on him it wouldn’t have changed anything,” she said. “The type of heart attack he had meant they wouldn’t have got his heart started again but they would have been able to contact me sooner.”
Mrs Richardson thanked the two Harriers who came to her husband’s aid. Mr Richardson, who worked at GCHQ in Cheltenham, joined Chipp-enham Harriers last year and was a regular at club nights and events.
His wife said he was particularly proud of completing the Cotswolds Relay last year.
Harriers’ chairman Michael Bright said: “We will miss Matthew very much and thoughts and love go out to his wife Kirsty, his family and friends.”
Mr Richardson’s funeral service is next Wednesday at West Wiltshire Crematorium, Semington, at 1pm.
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