Tributes paid to passionate Castleford Tigers and Leeds United fan

Lewis Dance. Photo from Paul Burns-Williamson

Lewis Dance. Photo from Paul Burns-Williamson

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Tributes have been paid to a dedicated Castleford Tigers and Leeds United fan, who died aged 24.

Lewis Dance was a member of supporters’ clubs for both teams and followed them home and away.

He was described by close friends as a “popular and nice lad” who was passionate about his sport.

Mr Dance, of Castleford, died from cancer on Saturday, January 16.

Paul Burns-Williamson, of Castleford Tigers Supporters Club, said: “Lewis was a really nice lad. He was very popular and it was quite a shock.

“Lewis loved his sport and went to watch his teams as much as he could.”

Mr Dance played for The Bootroom Tigers, a tag rugby team based at The Boot Room pub on Wheldon Road, Castleford.

His friend Adam Price said: “Lewis was in the same group of lads that played rugby together and followed Castleford and Leeds at the weekend.

“He was a big part of our team and will be sadly missed.”

His team mates organised a minutes applause during the Tigers’ pre-season game against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday, January 24.

Mr Price said: “We came up with the idea and it was advertised a couple of hours before the game on Facebook.

“It grew like wildfire and lots of people took part in the applause. The Wakefield fans all joined in as well and it was really impressive.”

Mr Dance’s funeral took place at Pontefract Crematorium on Thursday, January 28. And his friends wore their Tigers and Leeds shirts.

Mr Price said: “His family asked us to wear them. It was our special tribute to him.”

Castleford Tigers chief executive Steve Gill also attended the funeral.

He said: “We wanted to show our respects. We are a family club and we wanted to show our support and share the grief with the family.”

Tigers and Leeds fans plan to fly a memorial flag at games to make sure Mr Dance’s memory lives on.

A collection at The Boot Room pub in Castleford has raised £435.

The money will go towards buying the memorial flag for Mr Dance and to his family’s chosen charity the Youth Cancer Trust.

His Bootroom Tigers team mates will also frame Mr Dance’s number 44 shirt and hang it on the wall of the pub.

A collection held at Mr Dance’s funeral also raised £1,781.19 for the trust.

Youth Cancer Trust is a national charity based in Bournemouth.

It provides support and free activity holidays for young people aged between 14 to 30, who have been diagnosed with cancer or any malignant disease.