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Family pay tribute to 'much loved' Cotton man Leonard Rice who died in Rickinghall collision

A tribute has been paid to a 'positive, gentle and kind' man who died in a crash in Rickinghall.

Leonard Rice, 85, of Cotton, died when the Toyota Corolla he was driving was involved in a collision with a Ford Focus at the junction of the A143 and B1113 Finningham Road on April 29 shortly after 10.05am.

Suffolk Police have issued a tribute from Mr Rice's family.

Leonard Rice
Leonard Rice

They said Mr Rice, known as Len or Lennie, was born in Finningham and grew up in the village.

He was a keen sportsman in his earlier days and was a member of the Finningham Cycle Speedway Team.

Mr Rice was better known for his many appearances as a key member of the 1950s and 60s successful Finningham Football Club and recently provided material for a new book ‘An Imprecise Account of the History of Sport in Finningham’ written by Peter Everall.

He moved to Cotton upon marrying his wife Pauline, and went on to have a daughter Beverley and son Neil, who will 'miss him very much'.

"He loved his daily walks around Cotton which would normally take a while due to the amount of friends he would stop and have a cheery conversation with along the way," they said,

Mr Rice worked firstly as a mechanic at both Brockford Garage and Fourways Garage, in Mendlesham, and went on to be a panel beater/sprayer for Reg Tydeman Body Repairs.

He enjoyed hobbies including fishing, gardening and played darts for Finningham White Horse and Mendlesham Kings’ Head.

His family added: "Len was a positive, gentle and kind man, who always had a smile on his face, with a great sense of humour, much loved by his many friends and family.”

Officers would like to hear from any witnesses to the collision, including anyone driving in the area before the incident who has a dashcam fitted in their vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, quoting reference 21775/21.

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