Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Second British rugby player dies in Sri Lanka

The Durham-based club was scheduled to play several games in and around Colombo in the course of the Sri Lanka tour The Durham-based club was scheduled to play several games in and around Colombo in the course of the Sri Lanka tour Getty Images
Frederick Owens | 15 May, 2018, 20:48

A British rugby player has died in Sri Lanka after returning from a night out - with a team-mate left in critical condition.

Tom Baty, 26, also from Durham, remains in hospital.

Initial investigations showed the two victims from the Durham City Rugby Football Club, along with their team mates, had played a friendly with the Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club on Saturday.

Police sources said the two players identified as Thomas Howard, 25, and Tom Baty, 26, had serious breathing difficulties on Sunday morning and admitted to the Colombo National Hospital where one of them was pronounced dead.

The club issued a statement which said: "The Howard and Baty families have requested that their right to privacy is respected".

The club previously said that in both cases the breathing problems were non-rugby related.

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A second amateur rugby player has died after being admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties during a tour of Sri Lanka, a Durham rugby club has confirmed.

"Both players and Clems Pirates hold a special place in our rugby family, and our continued support is unconditional".

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are assisting the family of a British man who has been hospitalised in Sri Lanka, and are in contact with the Sri Lankan medical services...."

Durham County Councillor David Boyes said Durham City RFC was a very well organised, well equipped organisation and oversaw a number of teams.

He added that Clems Pirates was well known in the community.

Neil Foster, chief executive of Tynedale RFC wrote: "Tragic news".

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