Michael Rustell tributes: True sportsman and father was loyal and loved
Father-of-four Michael Rustell, who died after a car crash near Warminster earlier this month, has been described by his family as a caring man who was committed to his family and to his work – and someone who loved a joke.
Mr Rustell, who was 50 years old and from Beckington, in Somerset, was affectionately known as Rusty.
He was travelling on the A36 on Monday, February 4, when his Rover 400 collided with a Volkswagen Golf being driven by a 22-year-old man from Melksham. His death shocked the community, where he was well known and liked, and tributes poured in after the tragic events.
Born and brought up in Beckington, Mr Rustell was one of five children of Frank and Mamie Rustell. Mr Rustell senior worked for quarry company ARC, and father and son shared a great affection for the game of cricket.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Michael Rustell was a pupil at Beckington Primary School, Selwood Middle School and then, as a teenager, at Frome College. He joined Beckington Cricket Club aged 15 and was recently given life-long membership, having been involved with the club for 35 years, becoming its longest-serving player.
Mr Rustell loved all sport and – having demonstrated considerable potential as a young footballer – was made an apprentice at Swindon Town Football Club in 1979. One of his proudest moments was scoring against Arsenal at the age of 17.
He worked for printing firm Butler & Tanner for 12 years, and during that time was a retained firefighter for Frome Fire Brigade. For a short period he had a window cleaning and gardening business before working at Beckington Petrol Station. However, his family explained that he found his true vocation recently when he became a care worker for Somerset Care.
Mr Rustell has two children, 23-year-old Lauren and James, who is 22, from his first marriage. He married Mary in 1998 and the couple have two children, Mollie, aged 13, and Charlie, 11.
The family moved to Rode, in Somerset, three years ago and Mr Rustell had already become happily involved in village life.
His elder son James said: "Dad was just a very funny man. He seemed to be able to say anything and get away with it. There is going to be a large void in a lot of people's lives now."
Friend and chairman of Beckington Cricket Club, Alex Keevil, who played with Mr Rustell for many years, said: "Mike was a natural sportsman, he turned his hand to most sports and made them look easy. He combined amazing hand-eye co-ordination with the a winning mentality and added a touch of aggression to make him a tough competitor once he crossed that white line. Cricket was in his genes, he grew up in Beckington and as a child spent many summer hours at the Rec, watching his father Frank play, and it wasn't long before he joined him on the field.
"He was a natural entertainer both on and off the field, he had a huge heart and was a larger than life character in the changing room and in the bar after a game.
"Rusty was more than just a player for Beckington and it's important that we recognise his contribution to the club. He took over the club singlehandedly when it was in its darkest days. Such was his commitment that he not only managed all aspects of its running, but also took responsibility for maintenance of the ground and fundraising."
Mr Rustell was a former player and well-known figure at Frome Town Football Club – his children also play there.
The club said: "Everyone connected with the club was saddened to hear of the sudden death of former player Mike Rustell who was very well known in local football. Our thoughts are with Mary, James, Lauren, Mollie and Charlie at this difficult time.
"Around 200 people observed an impeccable minutes' silence in memory of Mike at the game between Frome Town FC and Sholing last Wednesday evening, with his family in attendance and youngest son Charlie being a match-day mascot.
Mike also represented Calne, Westbury, Shepton Mallet and Melksham and was regarded as a talented player as well as highly respected as a person.
Mr Rustell was a retained firefighter at Frome Fire Station for 12 years, where station commander Ian Humphreys was a life-long friend.
Mr Humphreys said: "Firstly, I would like to send my sincere condolences to Mike's family, Mary, James, Lauren, Charlie and Mollie.
"Originally a friend from school, Rusty joined Somerset Fire Brigade at Frome Fire Station where he instantly made an impact.
"He left the fire service in the late 1990s and I have never known a man leave such a huge impression on all those who were lucky enough to serve with him. We all have some fantastic memories and I know he will be sorely missed."
Mr Rustell worked at the former Butler and Tanner for 12 years. Many of his former colleagues still work at printing factory, which is now known as Butler, Tanner and Dennis.
The company gave this tribute: "It was a great shock for all of Mike's former workmates at Butler, Tanner and Dennis to hear of his untimely parting.
"We think everyone here would agree that they never had a bad night out with Mickey as his full-on, positive approach to life would not allow you to be down in his presence. Big characters such as Mike are few and far between and all of us here at Caxton Road feel much poorer for his loss."
For the past nine months Mr Rustell found his vocation in life, working as a care worker for Somerset Care.
The company said in the short time he worked there he made a lasting impression on his colleagues and clients.
His funeral was on Saturday at St George's Church, Beckington, at 1pm, and followed by a private family service at Semington Crematorium.