Carl Ablett: Rugby league world has rallied round after tragic loss of Ronan

Ronan Costello.
Ronan Costello.
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IT IS truly tragic what has happened this week with the death of Huddersfield Giants’ young academy player Ronan Costello after suffering an injury during a game.

It’s definitely not anything you ever expect to see. When you go out there, being an active, fit sportsman, being so fit and able, for someone to go and lose their life so very, very young is just shocking.

As a 17 year-old, playing the game, enjoying the sport he loves... no-one should enter the field and not be able to go home at the end of it.

It is awful and it so so sad for all his family and friends. You can’t begin to understand what they are going through and, of course, my condolences go out to them all.

I think you can see, just looking at social media and elsewhere, that the sport and rugby league community in general has rallied around.

Whenever anything tragic like this has happened in the past, or any unfortunate issues, people in the game have always come out to support those who need it.

But it is such a great gesture from the Costello family to ask all those people wanting to make a donation in any way to support the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.

What has happened in the last two years – to Danny and now Ronan – shows that you can never be too safe.

The more we can do, the more money that can be raised, to help put resources in place that will help protect players, the better.

Defib machines are key to that; if anything ever did happen, they can potentially save a life and I’m sure the rugby league community will support the charity in any way it can.

It is a great cause and to have one at all matches in the community and junior game is something the sport will strive for.

Huddersfield are going ahead with their game at Salford tonight and I think that’s the right decision. I’m sure Ronan himself – as a player – would want the match to go on.

There will be a minute’s applause in his honour there and it seems all clubs will do the same this weekend so there is recognition of what has happened to Ronan.

It’s hard to envisage what they will be going through as a club at Huddersfield.

He was only a young kid and I’m sure he’ll have been in and around the first-team squad, the coaching staff will obviously all have been aware of him, and you just don’t expect this sort of thing to happen especially at such a young age.

There will be support for everyone at Huddersfield, though, and I’m sure they will be looking after people there, especially Ronan’s team-mates who will have seen him go down injured like that and witnessed everything that happened afterwards.

It will be tough for them, really hard, but there is player welfare support at clubs now all the way down to Under-19s and Scholarship level so they will be helped and that is important.

The fund was set up in memory of former Keighley Cougars and Wales player Danny Jones, who died last year aged just 29 from an undiagnosed heart condition during a game at London Skolars.

Money from the fund will be used to help community and junior rugby league clubs purchase potentially life-saving cardiac equipment.

The family wish for all fund-raising to be co-ordinated through the RFL Benevolent Fund.

There is no immediate need for financial support as a result of Ronan’s passing.

To make a donation in support of Ronan Costello please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/danny-jones-defibrillator-fund

Anthony Mullally

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