Tributes pour in for two Durham rugby players who died in Sri Lanka

Tributes from across the country have been pouring in on social media, to the two rugby players who died whilst on tour in Sri Lanka.

Thomas Howard, 25, and Thomas Baty, 26, had been touring the country with Durham-based Clems Pirates RFC.  The 22-strong party of rugby players visited Sri Lanka last Thursday and played a friendly against a local club two days later.

Live Blog Tributes pour in for two Durham rugby players who died in Sri Lanka

The following morning the two men, were taken to hospital with non rugby-related breathing difficulties, whilst on their end of season tour.

Mr Howard, from Durham, died after being admitted to hospital on Sunday. Mr Baty, also from Durham, who had been critically ill in the same hospital, died on the Tuesday.

Durham City RFC president Richard Wilkinson said: “On behalf of all members and friends of the DCRFC family we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of Thomas Howard and Tom Baty.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,” he said.

“Both players and Clems Pirates hold a special place in our rugby family, and our continued support is unconditional.”

Mr Wilkinson added: “We will also continue to support the Clems Sri Lankan tour party by being in regular contact with senior club officials out in Sri Lanka.”

The club president also thanked people for the many messages of sympathy and support that have been received from members, friends and the wider rugby family.

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