Forever in our hearts: Tributes paid to tragic Yorkshire teenager as friends and team-mates honour 'one in a million' Brooke

A Crowdfunding page in honour of Brooke Firth has already raised more than 4,000.
A Crowdfunding page in honour of Brooke Firth has already raised more than 4,000.

The sporting world is rallying round to support the family of a talented teenage rugby player from Yorkshire who died in tragic circumstances last week.

Brooke Firth, 16, was a flanker with Sandal Girls and a student at Crofton Academy, where she was studying A levels, including law with the aim of becoming a criminologist.

Her body was found near playing fields in South Hiendley on the evening of Thursday October 12. West Yorkshire Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with her
death.

A Justgiving page set up to raise funds for Miss Firth’s family has already attracted donations totalling over £4,000, leaving her team-mates at Sandal “overwhelmed.”

The donations include the proceeds of fundraising activities by rugby union clubs across the county and beyond, including Barnsley, Pontefract, Harrogate, Scarborough, Ripon and
Worcester.

The family of Evan Hawksworth, the 14-year-old Sandal player who died in a freak accident playing for Stanley Rangers in July, have also donated £250 with the message “Thinking of
you all, from one Sandal family to another. Take care of each other #teamevan.”

On Sunday, a raffle and cake sale at Sandal before the girls under-15 and under-18 teams’ RFU National Cup games against Old Brods and Selby raised over £900.

Sandal Girls RUFC spokesman John Ledger said: “The response from everyone at this terrible time has been overwhelming and we would like to thank the whole rugby family for their
wonderful support.

“Brooke was a lovely young woman who was adored by all her team-mates and respected by opponents as a player who represented all that is honest and decent about girls’ rugby
union.

“Sandal Girls and Brooke’s devastated family are hugely thankful for all the kind messages, the wonderful donations and the loving hugs we have received from friends and strangers
alike since last week.”

Sandal Under-18s captain Olivia Watson said: “Brooke will always be a member of Sandal and will forever be in our hearts.

“It was an absolute honour to know her and in the short time I did she filled my life with smiles, laughter and so much happiness.

“It’s so hard to see her go but I hope we do her proud.”

Brooke’s team-mate and fellow pack member Courtney Nettleton said: “Brooke was one of the kindest people I have ever met and I'm so happy I could share my life with her.

“She never had a nasty word to say about anyone and I feel proud to call her my best friend. Brooke was one in a million and I'll never ever forget her.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Justgiving page should visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/brooke-firth