MOURNERS are being encouraged to wear their rugby league team’s shirt at the funeral service for a popular player and coach who collapsed and died after playing a match in Leeds.
Dave Batchelor’s family want his funeral service at Rawdon Crematorium next week to be a celebration of his life and rugby league.
Mr Batchelor, 43, collapsed and died after suffering a suspected heart attack while walking to the clubhouse after playing in a match on Sunday November 22.
He had been playing in Masters game for players aged over 35 at Oulton Raiders ground next to Rothwell Sports Centre.
Leeds Masters RL player Mr Batchelor, of Farsley, had answered a call to play for Halifax team Boothtown Terriers, who were short of players for the game against Oulton Raiders Masters.
Leeds Rhinos fan Mr Batchelor had played for Stanningley RL Club for many years and coached the Under 15’s team.
Around 300 mourners are expected to pay their last respects to Mr Batchelor at his funeral service on Tuesday December 8.
The hearse will leave Stanningley RL Club at 11 am ahead of the funeral service at Rawdon Crematorium at 11.40am.
Mr Batchelor’s mother Janette Marshall said anyone who wants to pay their last respects is welcome to attend.
There will be a wake at Stanningley RL Club following the funeral service.
Mr Batchelor’s sons Jordan Anderson, 20, and Brandon Batchelor, 16. are both rugby league players.
Leeds Masters team manager Kath Wilson, said: “Janette and the boys would like people to wear their own club shirts.
“She thought it would be nice to make it a celebration of rugby and Dave’s life rather than have everybody in black.”
Mourners are being asked to make donations to the Rugby League Benevolent Fund in lieu flowers.