Charity match held for 'adored' UWE student who died after rugby injury

  • Max Walsh spent the day at the fundraising match held in Maddy's memory

A charity fundraiser has taken place at the University of the West of England in memory of 20-year-old student Maddy Lawrence who died after dislocating her hip during a game two years ago.

Maddy was injured during a university rugby match, but died two weeks later after developing sepsis.

Her former teammates came together on Wednesday 27 March to raise funds for a charity set up by her parents.

Maddy's Mark aims to encourage more girls into playing rugby, and has already raised tens of thousands of pounds in Maddys' name.

Speaking to ITV News at the match, Karen Lawrence, Maddy's mum, said: "I think she probably just wishes that she could be here with us and the girls and her friends, enjoying a good game of rugby."

Maddy died at Southmead Hospital two weeks after sustaining her injury at the rugby game in March 2022. Last year an inquest found that gross failures in her care led to her death.

Maddy's former teammates told us they were all left "heartbroken" by her death.

"I didn't realise how bad it was. You're in a state of ignorance", Simon Lawrence, Maddy's dad, said.

"You can't believe that your fit and healthy young child would actually die", he added.

"She went into hospital on the Wednesday and she should've been home by the weekend", Karen said.

"How it went from that to her then having to be admitted to ICU, we will never understand."

Simon added: "We are now in a situation so what do you do which is for the best for yourself, your daughter and the people around you.

"The only thing you can do is something like Maddy's Mark."

The charity set up in Maddy's name has already raised tens of thousands of pounds, with the money being spent on encouraging more girls into rugby.

Maddy's nickname from her teammates was 'twinkle toes', her parents told us, as she was known for being light on her feet as well as fun to be around.

Hazel Joel, the club's former captain, says Maddie's death has rocked the lives of her and her teammates.

"It was awful what happened but there was a whole rugby team that adored her. There were 70-something girls who were heartbroken by what happened.

"She got so much out of rugby. Friendships, confidence, and that's what rugby can do.

"It's about making sure all girls have that opportunity to join that community and thrive in it."