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Rugby players gather to remember teammates who 'died before their time'

Rugby players gather to remember teammates who 'died before their time'

James Harrison

Rugby players gather to remember teammates who 'died before their time'

Although usually most notable for allowing young and old players a chance to play against each other, including a few father and son pairings, this year’s Easter Sunday memorial match at Windsor Rugby Club will be best remembered for the international contingent that turned up to take part.

 

The annual game, now in its 21st year, honours the memory of players and coaches at the Datchet Road club who ‘died before their time’.

It was first held in 1994 following the death of Alex ‘Maggot’ Raynes, a scrum-half and pupil at Windsor Boys’ School who died aged just 16.

But this year’s match was intended to specially commemorate 10 years since the death of Edward Hastings, a 17-year-old Australian gap-year student from Sydney who suffered a heart attack while playing for the club.

And to properly mark the occasion, Penny Hastings, Edward’s mother, made the trip from New South Wales with his two older brothers, Patrick and Jeremy, his sister Lucy and her husband Matt Spargo.

Speaking at the game, she said: "It's very nice to meet some of the guys who were with him on the day.

"Everything is tinged with sadness, but this is a nice match in his memory because he died playing a game he loved.”

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