Tribute to 'positive, gentle and kind man' who died in crash

Leonard Rice died following a road traffic collision in Rickinghall in April

Leonard Rice died following a crash in Rickinghall in April - Credit: Supplied by Suffolk Police

The family of a "positive, gentle and kind man" who died following a crash in Rickinghall have paid a moving tribute to him.

Police were called shortly after 10.05am on Thursday, April 29 to reports of a collision involving a black Ford Focus and a grey Toyota Corolla at the junction of the A143 and B1113 Finningham Road.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue, an ambulance and air ambulance attended and, despite the efforts of a member of public and paramedics, 85-year-old Leonard Rice - driver of the Toyota Corolla - died a short time later at the scene.

The family of Mr Rice, who was born in Suffolk and lived in Cotton, have now paid tribute to him as someone "who always had a smile on his face, with a great sense of humour, much loved by his many friends and family".

"Leonard Rice, known as Len or Lennie, was born in Finningham and grew up in the village," the tribute said. 

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

"Though better known for his many appearances as a key member of the 1950s and 60s successful Finningham Football Club, recently he had provided material for a new book An Imprecise Account of the History of Sport in Finningham, written by Peter Everall.

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"Len moved to Cotton upon marrying his loving 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.

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

"Len enjoyed many hobbies including fishing, gardening, and playing darts for both Finningham White Horse and Mendlesham Kings’ Head."