Castleford Tigers' coach Ian Millward speaks of ‘sadness’ after teenage son’s death - UPDATED

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CASTLEFORD Tigers’ coach Ian Millward has spoken of his shock after the death of his teenage son.

The Super League head coach said his 19-year-old son Robbie died from sudden adult death syndrome at Bolton Hospital yesterday evening after becoming ill at his home in Leigh, Lancashire.

In a statement, Mr Millward said: “On behalf of all our family, we would like to thank everybody for their kind messages of support, especially the rugby league family from both the UK and Australia.

“The messages have been of comfort in this time of great sadness. Robbie was a healthy young boy who died from a condition called sudden adult death syndrome, which comprises of a massive heart attack – the sudden nature of his death is making it even harder for us to deal with.

“We ask that journalists allow us the space and time needed to come to terms with the loss of Robbie. Instead of flowers, we ask any well-wishers to donate to the British Heart Foundation.”

Tigers’ stars, staff and members of the rugby league community spoke of their shock on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

A Tigers’ spokesman said: “The club is shocked and deeply saddened by the death yesterday of Robbie Millward, son of Tigers’ head coach Ian Millward.

“Robbie, aged 19, was taken ill at his home in Leigh on Sunday morning and was then rushed to Bolton Hospital where he died later in the evening.

“All our thoughts are with Ian and his family at this sad time.”

Player Nick Youngquest wrote on Twitter yesterday evening: "Don't even know what to write really. Heart goes out to Basil [Ian Millward] and his family. Sad sad day. We are all here for you mate."

A spokesman for Ian Millward's former club St Helens said on Facebook: "We're hearing the distressing news that Ian Millward's son Robbie died this morning. Some people will remember Robbie as the little lad who was always by Ian's side - you'll remember him getting a big high-five in the 2004 Challenge Cup game as he was sat behind our then coach. Our thoughts are with the Millward's at this time."

A spokesman for Leigh Centurians, where Ian Millward was boss last season, added: "All at Leigh Centurions are saddened to hear about the passing of Ian Millward's son."

See this week's Express for more.