Tributes have been paid to Bristolian former footballer Steve Talboys after his death aged 52.
The midfielder, who played in the Premier League with Wimbledon in the 1990s, has died suddenly while on holiday in Spain.
Talboys was born in Bristol and played for Bristol Rovers juniors, Forest Green, Mangotsfield United, Bath City and Trowbridge Town before joining Gloucester City in 1987.
He became a legend during five years with the Tigers and eventually worked his way up to the top flight, Gloucestershire Live reports.
A Mangotsfield United spokesman said: “The football world has been saddened by the sudden passing of Steve Talboys aged just 52.
“Steve was a Mangotsfield player in the 1985/86 campaign… MUFC send their condolences to his family.”
Talboys played for the Tigers between 1987 and 1992 and was part of the side that reached the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in 1989, scoring in their 2-2 draw away at Cardiff City before they lost the replay at Meadow Park.
He was part of the Southern League Midland Division title-winning team in 1988-89 and was Players’ Player of the Season the following year.
Talboys left to join Wimbledon for £11,000, where he competed for a place with the likes of Vinnie Jones, Robbie Earle and Oyvind Leonhardsen, he made 26 appearances and scored one goal.
He went to Watford in 1996, where he played under former England manager Graham Taylor, and also played for Sutton United, Aldershot Town, Boreham Wood, Carshalton Athletic and Hampton and Richmond before briefly re-joining City in 1999.
‘Life and soul’
Former Gloucester City player and manager Tim Harris, who only spoke to Talboys two months ago, said: “He was the life and soul of the party.
“When he was at Gloucester City some of the antics he got up to… he was a great character on and off the field.
“He was very energetic and had great quality. I remember being on the bus with him in fancy dress at the end of the season.
“Dean Holdsworth was good friends with Sticksy at Wimbledon and the things he told me about Sticksy were unbelievable and didn’t surprise me one iota. He always lived life to the full.
“I’m shocked because another good friend of mine Justin Edinburgh passed away a few weeks ago at 49 and Sticksy was 52, in good shape and on a real fitness binge.”
Forest Green physio Ian Weston knew Talboys from playing youth football with him at Longwell Green and Parkway (Bristol Rovers juniors), while he became close to his family.
“He was a great character, very funny and a very talented footballer who got on well with everyone,” said Weston.
“He comes from a footballing family and I’m devastated for them. My thoughts are with them at this tough time. He was way too young and too good a person to go at that age.”
Another former Gloucester City manager Dave Mehew knew Talboys from the Bristol football circuit in their younger days.
“He was a fun-loving guy. He was always liked in the dressing rooms and a pretty good footballer as well,” said Mehew.
“You never had anyone say a bad word about him. My thoughts are with his immediate family and close friends.”
Former Liverpool defender and fellow Bristolian Nick Tanner was among those to pay tribute to Talboys on Twitter.
He said: “RIP Stixsy YNWA .Thoughts are with all his family and friends at this sad time.”
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