SUPERSTAR Rod Stewart has paid tribute to the memory of a Romsey resident who died suddenly.

Mark Etheridge was watching one of his three children play in goal for Baddesley Park U12s at North Baddesley Recreational Ground in May when he collapsed suddenly, suffering a brain haemorrhage.

The 40-year-old, who worked as a supervisor for VES Andover, was rushed to Southampton General Hospital, where he had surgery.

But the haemorrhage had caused so much damage that the family had to make the heartbreaking decision to let Mark go.

But now Rod has put a smile on Mark’s parents’ faces by giving them free tickets for his Southampton gig.

Mark’s brother Michael, 37, said he wanted to organise something for his parents, Jenny and David, to look forward to in what had been a “devastating year”.

So after he found out that Rod was due to play at St Mary’s Stadium in May next year, he contacted the promoters Cuffe and Taylor asking if they could help him surprise his parents who are longstanding Stewart’s fans.

“I heard Rod was playing Southampton through the Echo Facebook page. I contacted the promoters Cuffe and Taylor explaining about the year we’ve had and asked if there was anything they could do to help.

“They immediately responded saying they’d be happy to give my parents some tickets.

“I was so pleased to be able to tell my parents that we had been given tickets, it definitely put a smile on their faces.”

Mark’s mum Jenny, 64, a retired cleaner from Romsey, said: “It’s been a devastating year, but we’ve all supported each other as a family.

“I was so moved when Mike told me what he had done; we’re really looking forward to it and can’t thank the promoters enough.”

Cuffe and Taylor director Peter Taylor said: “Michael contacted us to tell us about Mark when we announced that Rod is playing at St Mary’s and we were only too happy to offer a pair of tickets to his parents.

“It is a small gesture to a family who have suffered the most terrible loss.”

“We hope they have a fantastic night when they come to see Rod perform and we wish them well.”