RFL launches inquiry into player's death - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

RFL launches inquiry into player's death

24/03/2009 06:55:36 AM Comments (0)

England's Rugby Football League has launched an inquiry into the death of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player Leon Walker in a reserve team match.

An RFL statement said on Monday an inquiry was the governing body's standard procedure in such cases although it added the "initial information is that this incident was a tragic accident".

The RFL also said it was offering a counselling service for all the players involved in the fixture between the Wildcats and Celtic Crusaders, which was played on Sunday at the home ground of Maesteg rugby union club in south Wales.

A minute's silence will be held in Walker's memory before all of this weekend's fixtures, covering all grades and age groups of the game, the RFL said, adding that the body's benevolent fund was "committed to assist Leon's family as appropriate".

Walker, 21, collapsed in the 63rd minute of the match. He was airlifted to Morriston Hospital in nearby Swansea, but pronounced dead upon arrival.

Sunday's scheduled Super League match in Bridgend, south Wales, between the Crusaders' and Wakefield's first teams was postponed as a mark of respect.

A second rower or loose forward, Walker signed for Wakefield in November 2008 having spent three years at Salford City Reds, where he earned representative honours with Yorkshire and England in 2007.

"This is a tragic loss for all involved with Rugby League. Clearly everybody at the club is devastated by this news and all our sympathies and prayers are with the family at this time," Wakefield chairman Ted Richardson said Sunday.

Nigel Wood, the RFL chief executive, added: "This is truly shocking and tragic news and our heartfelt condolences go to the parents, family and friends of Leon as well as the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats club."

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