Rugby player dies after sustaining injury in match


Tributes have flooded in for Maddy Lawrence, who died 18 days after sustaining an injury on the pitch (Picture: Instagram/@uwewrugby)

Rugby players from across the UK have come together to pay tribute to Maddy ‘Twinkle Toes’ Lawrence.

The 20-year-old winger for University of the West of England suffered an injury during a match on March 7 against the University of Bristol and died in hospital last Friday.

Devastated teammates paid heartbreaking tributes and compared the loss of the quick-footed player to ‘losing a sister’.

The club said in a statement: ‘Maddy exemplified what it means to be a UWE Women’s Rugby Player, “tackling” every new skill with enthusiasm.

‘She proudly represented our club both on and off the rugby pitch, growing into the sport and our rugby family. Maddy was a bubbly girl who was so fun to be around.

‘Whenever she smiled and laughed you couldn’t help but smile and laugh with her.

‘That was the sort of player, friend, sister and daughter Maddy was. Her everlasting energy has left its mark on this club, she will forever be our number 11 and will forever be our friend.’


Rugby player dies aged 20 after suffering injury in match

UWE Rugby will be retiring the number 11 shirt in Maddy’s memory (Picture: Instagram/@uwewrugby)

UWE Rugby will be retiring the number 11 shirt in Maddy’s memory. Following news of her death, tributes have poured in from up and down the country.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) tweeted: ‘On behalf of everyone at the RFU, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Maddy Lawrence.’

Wasps Rugby posted: ‘Everyone at Wasps send their condolences to UWE Women’s Rugby and to the family, friends and teammates of Maddy Lawrence who tragically passed away on March 25. Our thoughts are with all of you.’

England’s most-capped rugby international Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clark of Saracens said: ‘So sorry to hear this devastating news, my thoughts are with all her teammates, family and friends. A young life taken way too soon.’

Rugby teams across the UK will hold a minute’s silence ahead of their next games.


Rugby player dies aged 20 after suffering injury in match

‘Whenever she smiled and laughed you couldn’t help but smile and laugh with her’ (Picture: Instagram/@uwewrugby)


Rugby player dies aged 20 after suffering injury in match

Teammates compared the loss of Maddy to losing a sister (Picture: Instagram/@uwewrugby)

Stafford Rugby Union Football Club and Belper Rugby Club will also retire their own number 11 jerseys in upcoming fixtures – in memory of the 20-year-old.

A GoFundMe page has been launched to create a foundation in Maddy’s memory.

Organisers say the money raised will go towards two things she held close to her heart: women’s rugby and mental health.

Tomorrow, her teammates and loved ones will meet to hold a special fundraiser in her memory including a wheelbarrow race, raffle and touch rugby tournament.

People have been encouraged to dress in bright colours in tribute to Maddy’s ‘amazing range of colourful clothes.’

Teammate Maddie Crofts told the BBC: ‘None of us were really expecting her to pass away so it was just such a big shock to us.

‘We are such a close-knit team that it’s like losing a sister. She was honestly the nicest person I have ever met.

‘She was always so bubbly and always had a smile on her face. It is cheesy to say but the room really did light up when Maddy was there.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.



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