Funeral to be held for young rugby star

Ronan Costello

Ronan Costello

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A funeral service for a young rugby league star who died during a match will be held on Friday.

Former Brighouse Rangers player Ronan Costello died after he was tackled playing against Salford Red Devils for Huddersfield Giants’ U-19 squad.

Floral tributes for young rugby player Ronan Costello at Brighouse Rangers Club.

Floral tributes for young rugby player Ronan Costello at Brighouse Rangers Club.

His funeral will be held at St Patrick’s Church on New North Road in Huddersfield followed by a wake at Brighouse Sports Club.

The talented centre or second-row forward died last week in the neuro intensive care unit of Leeds General Infirmary where he was taken on Saturday afternoon by air ambulance after his tragic accident on the pitch.

Brighouse Rangers youth rugby official Clarke Bailey said: “From all at Brighouse Rangers ARLFC, RIP Ronan.

“Our thoughts are with his family, his team mates and staff He will be sadly missed. Sleep well Ranger x.”

In a statement Ronan’s family, who are understood to live in the Ainley Top area, said: “We are absolutely devastated to lose Ronan so tragically and suddenly.

“Ronan was a loving and caring 17-year-old lad who was dedicated to his family and friends.

“He was a credit to all of his family and we are so proud of him and his achievements.

“He was passionate about rugby and rugby was a big part of his life. We acknowledge that this was a tragic accident.

“As a family, we wish to extend our appreciation to Leeds General Infirmary’s neuro intensive care unit for their dedication, respect and efforts in caring for Ronan and to the Giants, especially Andy Kelly and Richard Thewlis, who have been a great support to us all during such a difficult time.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us but we now need some privacy and time to grieve.

“We are all truly heartbroken and Ronan will be missed and forever in our hearts.”

A floral tribute was arranged on the pitch at Brighouse Sports Club and a minute’s applause will be held at every Super League match this week.Huddersfield’s former England international Eorl Crabtree, nephew of former Halifax wrestlers Shirley, Brian and Max Crabtree, said: “Taken far too young doing what he loved. My thoughts are with all his family at this sad time.”

Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood said: “We are all incredibly saddened by news of the death of Huddersfield Giants academy player Ronan Costello.

“We will work with both clubs involved in the game to ensure that the players, their families and friends are fully supported by the RFL Benevolent Fund and through Sporting Chance.”