Tributes paid to 'heroic' police officer Graham Saville who was hit by train while saving man

Graham Saville died whilst trying to save a man from the railway tracks in Newark Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Emotional tributes have been paid to a police officer who died after being hit by a train in Newark.

The response officer based at Newark police station, who had recently been promoted, suffered serious injuries in the incident in Balderton, on Thursday 24 August, and died in hospital on Tuesday.

Police said Sergeant Graham Saville's death had devastated the father-of-two’s family but they had "taken great comfort from the outpouring of love and admiration for him".

In his spare time when Sgt Saville was not serving as an officer, he coached football at his son's football club, Ravenshead Reds FC, in Nottinghamshire.

Those from the club gathered at the weekend to remember Sargent Saville by paying tribute and laying scarves, flowers and shirts in his honour.

  • Brave, kind and nurturing to others

One Under 11s player said: "Graham would want us to be brave, kind and nurturing to others.

"Whenever we were sad, he would want us to be the best we can, and he would want us to never let our dreams go. Never forget Graham, please."

  • Football coaching was not his forte - but he was determined to do the very best he could

Sergeant Graham Saville died saving a man's life

A tribute was read from Graham's widow, Joanne Saville, was read at the service.

Joanne recalled how when their son, Stanley, joined Ravenshead Reds they had no idea that Graham would end up managing the team.

"He was keen to support in any way, but football coaching was not his forte! That didn’t stop him and he was determined to learn and do the very best he could"

"But like all good managers, he recognised the importance of relying upon the strength and skills of the team and with Kev and Mark on the coaching side and the support of Ian, Pete and the parents, it all came together."

"Graham had his own inimitable style of coaching! He took great pride in seeing the boys develop their knowledge of the game and footballing ability.

"However, it was just as important to him to see the boys grow in confidence. He believed that teaching them respect for themselves and each other, encouraging good communication, and having a positive attitude were equally important life skills.

"He wanted them to be happy and enjoy coming along, as much as being part of the team and winning the games. He learned so much and gave his time willingly and for that we are very proud of him."

Joanne's statement finished by thanking those who came to the service, adding "Graham wouldn’t have wanted a big fuss but would be chuffed that you think enough of himto do so."

He went to work to keep people safe

Rachael Wilks from Nottinghamshire Football Association is a retired police officer and she says there are "no words" for what happened to Sargent Saville - but there are "so many people who want to show how much they care".

"Graham seemed to be the epitome of somebody who served his community. He went to work to keep people safe and in the spare time he had he was his son's football coach"

"Everybody you speak to thought he was amazing. Graham was somebody that you would want on your side"

  • 'He volunteered his time to coach and manage a junior football team - which tells you everything you need to know about the selfless man he was'

Graham was described as a 'lovely man' who was always on hand to help. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A statement from James Amos, the Under 8s Sunday coach and friend of Graham said: "I’ve known Graham and his family since they moved to the village in 2016 and shared many occasions together."

"Graham was first and foremost a family man as well as a dedicated police officer. Despite these commitments, he still volunteered his time to coach and manage a junior football team which tells you everything you need to know about the selfless man he was."

"He will be hugely missed by his friends, neighbours as well as everyone at Ravenshead Reds FC and our thoughts remain with his wife and children."

  • 'This week we lost a member of our football family who was dear to many of us'

The club's chair Kevin Pinner thanked people for attending the service and thanked the local and football community for their support.

"In addition to Graham’s professional career that has been well documented, Graham also found the time to volunteer as a football coach at our club."

"Graham was a much-loved at our club. He put in many hours of his free time, to not only ensure kids could turn up and play football but also to tutor them in sportsmanship and the correct way to conduct themselves on and off the pitch."

"Football is a game that through its enjoyment, passion, teamwork and unforgettable moments bonds people together. Bonds so strong that as a team we grow to become a family."

"This week we lost a member of our football family who was dear to many of us."

"Graham’s assistant manager Pete described him as not being a 'win-at-all-costs type of manager'. He was very inclusive, ensuring everyone got a fair share of game time regardless of ability. He was all about enjoying the game, playing fair, good sportsmanship, being respectful in victory and defeat."

"Thanks, Graham."

Police were called to a residential area in Balderton over concerns for a man’s safety just before 7.00pm on Thursday 24 August.

Sergeant Graham Saville was attempting to save a distressed man from the tracks when he was hit by the train and seriously injured.

Sergeant Saville was taken to the Queens Medical Centre but later passed away.

A Just Giving page has been set up in Graham's memory to help support his family during the difficult time.