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 suddenly collapsed and suffered 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’ face by giving them free tickets for his Southampton gig.

Mark’s brother Michael, 37, from Romsey, who works as a stock controller, 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 longtime Rod’s fans.

“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,”Michael said.

Mark’s mum Jenny, 68, 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: “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.”