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  1. ITV Report

Young rugby league player dies after 'freak accident'

Evan Hawksworth was playing for Stanley Rangers under 14s when he fell ill. Credit: Family photo

A West Yorkshire rugby club has announced the death of a junior player who had been in a coma following a head injury he sustained in a game at the weekend.

Evan Hawksworth was playing for Stanley Rangers under-14s against Batley Boys on Sunday when he fell ill in what was described as a 'freak accident'.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, but his death was confirmed last night.

In a statement his coach Steve Abrahams called Evan "our great friend, teammate and all round good guy".

Evan's 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 club says events are being planned for Friday in Evan's memory.

Evan Hawksworth was playing for Stanley Rangers under 14s when he fell ill in what was described as a 'freak accident' Credit: ITV News

It is with a very heavy heart that I am letting you all know that Evan has passed away peacefully this afternoon. Evans 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. They have asked for a decree of privacy at this very difficult time which I am sure everyone will appreciate.

Evan you were a fantastic lad so tragically taken from us. You certainly leave a stamp on my heart young man. Fly high buddy. RIP Evan Hawksworth.

– Steve Abrahams, Stanley Rangers under 14 coach