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Boy dies after ‘freak accident’ during rugby league game

The 14-year-old boy died in Leeds General Infirmary after sustaining a serious head injury during a game.

A teenage boy has died after suffering a head injury during an under-14s rugby league game.

Evan Hawksworth, 14, who played for Stanley Rangers RLFC in Wakefield, was injured during a game against Batley Boys on Sunday.

Described as a “freak accident”, his father Gary said: “Evan passed away playing the game he loved. He was never without a rugby ball in his hands. This is a tragic, freak accident and no-one is to blame.”

The West Yorkshire club said: “It is with great sadness we have to report the passing of our talented player Evan Hawksworth. RIP Evan and fly high with the angels.”

Under-14 coach Steven Abraham described him as “fantastic lad” that had been tragically taken from them.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am letting you all know that Evan has passed away this afternoon,” he said.

“Evan’s family are overwhelmed by the support they have been shown over the last 48 hours.

“They explained that Evan’s injury was a freak accident and it was playing the game that he loved so much.

“Evan you were a fantastic lad so tragically taken from us. You certainly leave a stamp on my heart, young man. RIP Evan Hawksworth.”

Tributes poured in on social media, including from other rugby league clubs.

Warrington Wolves tweeted: “Such sad news, the thoughts of all at the Wolves are with Evan’s family, friends and all at Stanley U14s.”

Huddersfield Giants posted: “So sorry to hear of the tragic passing of Evan Hawksworth. Deepest condolences to his family & friends. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.”

The club, in conjunction with the RFL Benevolent Fund, has set up a JustGiving page to help support his family.

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