Tragic local footballer to be remembered at Doncaster Rovers match

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A young dad, who lost his life after falling fatally ill during a local football game, will be honoured tomorrow when Doncaster Rovers play their match against Barnsley in his memory.

FC Real Bridge player, Richard Hawcroft, was aged just 31 when he collapsed during a pre-season friendly game against Balby Rovers on July 26.

Richard was airlifted to Northern General Hospital by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, but despite the best efforts of medics he passed away later that day.

His daughter, Brooke Hawcroft, is set to kick off the tributes to the 31-year-old when she leads the teams out onto the pitch as Saturday’s matchday mascot.

There will also be a minutes applause in his honour during the eighth minute of the match.

Richard, who ran a physiotherapy and sports injury clinic on Balby Road, came up through Scunthorpe United’s youth team, alongside best friend and Rovers defender Andy Butler.

“I’ve known Rick since I was 4 years old,” said Andy.

He continued: “We went to the same school, played against each other in Sunday league football before spending two years together at Scunthorpe. I was also best man at his wedding last year.

“Rick was a true friend who never had a bad word to say about anyone. Whenever I scored a goal he would always text me saying ‘shock it was your massive swede again!’ There hasn’t been a day gone by when I haven’t missed him or speaking to him.”

The Black Bank are also set to organise a collection on Saturday in a bid to raise vital funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to help them continue to save lives across Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance provide a life saving rapid response emergency service to 5 million people across the whole of Yorkshire.

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