Tragedy as young Huddersfield Giants rugby player Ronan Costello loses fight for life

Huddersfield academy player Ronan Costello has died in hospital, the Giants have announced

Tuesday, 14th June 2016, 5:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2016, 6:08 pm

The 17-year-old centre or second row forward had been on a life support machine since being airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary after being hurt playing for Huddersfield in an Under-19s game against Salford on Saturday.

The match was abandoned after the freak accident.

A statement by the Super League club said: “It is with regret that Huddersfield Giants wish to inform everyone of the passing of 17-year-old academy player Ronan Costello today.

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“Ronan was airlifted to the LGI on Saturday afternoon after he was injured during the Giants academy game with Salford.

“The club have been asked by the family to send their thanks for the messages of support they have received to date and have requested that all well-wishers now allow them to grieve and respect their privacy.

“The Huddersfield Giants are collating all messages, cards and tweets that they receive to pass to the family at the appropriate time.”

Huddersfield’s academy coach Chris Thorman said on his Twitter account: “Rest in peace, young man. You were a pleasure to be around.”

The Costello family issued a statement, saying: “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.”

The Rugby Football League says it will offer support to players from both Huddersfield and Salford.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, said: “We are all incredibly saddened by news of the death of Huddersfield Giants Academy player Ronan Costello. It is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with Ronan’s family and friends at this time.

“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.”