Rugby player dies after collapsing during match

Updated: 

A rugby player has died after reportedly collapsing during a match.

The man in his 30s was a member of the Warrington-based Culcheth Eagles, who play in the fourth division of the North West Rugby League.

He was playing away at Runcorn ARLFC at Heath playing fields in Runcorn on Saturday.

In a statement yesterday, his club said: "In light of this afternoon's tragic events, we appreciate the sentiments of the extended rugby league family, but could we please ask for everyone to be, at this time, respectful of the family's privacy, giving them time to pass on the sad news to those who need to know.

"The club will release a full statement as soon as is appropriate."

Some of the Eagles' junior teams were due to take part in matches on Sunday, preceded by a minute's applause in honour of the player, whose name has not been released.

Runcorn ARLFC tweeted: "The whole and everyone associated with @RArlfc sends there (sic) deepest condolences after today's tragedy @CulchethEagles."

Leighton Centurions posted: "Leigh Centurions sends its thoughts & condolences to all at Community Club @CulchethEagles following the loss of one of their players today."

A North West Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "We received a call at 3.11pm on 1 July, reporting that a man in his 30s was fitting at Runcorn Hill Park on Heath Road South in Runcorn.

"A paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and was sent to help, followed by an ambulance crew.

"Ambulance clinicians found the patient unresponsive and attempted to resuscitate him until they handed over his care to Whiston Hospital staff."