Tributes are flowing for former Metropolitan Police officer Sergeant Graham Saville who died after being hit by a train while attempting to a rescue a man in distress on the tracks.
The father and football coach, 46, was taken to hospital after the incident on August 24 near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire and died on Tuesday, Nottingham Police said.
A JustGiving page raising funds for Mr Saville’s family has raised £91,776 of its £100,000 target.
Mr Saville’s father-in-law Terence Henshaw told the Daily Mail there is “a lot of love and support out there”, adding that the whole family is “devastated”.
Meanwhile friends are remembering “many good times” with Mr Saville in tribute posts on social media.
Nottinghamshire FA said Mr Saville was a coach for local under 11s team the Ravenshead Reds.
“Ravenshead Reds FC have paid tribute to a lovely man, a respected coach and friend to everyone at the club. The club would like the football community to hold a minute’s silence during matches played across Nottinghamshire over the coming days,” the organisation wrote in a statement.
“Whilst Graham’s death is a huge loss to Ravenshead Reds it is nothing in comparison to the loss felt by Graham’s loved ones. Graham was a great role model who volunteered his time so children could play football.”
Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said Mr Saville began his career in policing with the Metropolitan Police before joining Nottinhamshire Police in 2017.
“Losing an officer in the line of duty is something we all hope we never have to face. It is one of the darkest and most sobering moments which brings into focus the outstanding dedication and bravery officers show each day,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Sergeant Saville was demonstrating the very best of policing when he was injured. Courageously and selflessly he was prepared to risk his life to save another.
“In what is the most unimaginable moments for them, Graham’s loved ones, his colleagues both within Nottinghamshire and here in the Met, can rightly be proud of him.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to say it was a “testament to his bravery that he died in the line of duty”, adding that it was a “terrible reminder of the work the police do every day to keep us safe”.
I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Sergeant Saville.
It is a testament to his bravery that he died in the line of duty and a terrible reminder of the work the police do every day to keep us safe.
My thoughts are with his family, friends and the whole of Nottinghamshire… https://t.co/TrvHsEuwWr
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) August 29, 2023
Nottinghamshire Police said that flags across the force will be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect to the “popular colleague”.
Paying respect to Sgt Saville, Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “Today is a day of mourning for the entire police family.
“Graham was a hugely respected and popular colleague and his death in the line of duty has come as an enormous shock to us all.
“On Thursday, he went to work to protect the people of Nottinghamshire from harm, and it is testament to his bravery and dedication as a police officer that he was fatally injured while attempting to save another man’s life.
“His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
The man on the railway lines, 29, sustained electricity-inflicted injuries and was taken to hospital where he remains. His injuries were not thought to be life-changing.
British Transport Police (BTP) is leading an ongoing investigation into the incident.