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  • Writer's pictureDurham County RFU Admin

Tributes and support flood in following the devastating news of Durham City Players' deaths

Tributes and support flood in following the devastating news of Durham City Players' deaths

Durham County Rugby Football Union and neighbouring clubs show their support to Durham City following the death of two of their players on Tour in Sri Lanka.

It was with great sadness that the Durham County rugby community and the nation learnt of the death of Thomas Howard, 25 and Tom Baty, 26 this week, while they were away on tour with Clem’s Pirates.

The two players were admitted to hospital on May, 13 following complaints of non-rugby related breathing difficulties.

The death of Thomas Howard swept the nation on the morning of Monday May, 14 following his admission to the hospital in Colombo and it was with great sadness, that the club announced the death of Tom Baty on the afternoon of Tuesday May, 14.

Howard and Baty were away in Sri Lanka with the Clem’s Pirates to part take in some charity work and rugby kit donations in Galle.

Since the death of the two players, Durham City have announced that out of a mark of respect, the planned charity work will go ahead.

An article from Durham City, stated: “The charity work and kit donation will involve providing eight school teams with much needed boots, gum shields and shirts.

“The work in Galle will continue the international charity work began by Clem’s Pirates in South Africa in 2004.

“In addition to kit purchased for donations by the Clem’s Pirates team, donations were received from across the North East of England by both amateur and professional sporting clubs.

“The deceased players were at the forefront of efforts to ensure the global rugby family supports its own wherever and whenever possible.”

Upon the announcement of the saddening news, Durham clubs and clubs, volunteers and players across the Country began to share their condolences and support with Durham City across social media.

Here are just some of the messages that came flooding in;

Durham County Rugby Football Union continues to support Durham City and its members during this difficult time, and we extend our condolences to the Baty and Howard families’.

The Club requests that the families' right to privacy is respected and upheld at this most difficult time.

By Clarissa Murphy

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