Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves players in fund-raising tribute to ex-Leeds Rhinos academy star

The foundation set up in memory of former Leeds Rhinos academy player Nick Smith will receive a boost from three young Super League prospects next week.
Riley Dean, Morgan Smithies and Amir Bourouh.Riley Dean, Morgan Smithies and Amir Bourouh.
Riley Dean, Morgan Smithies and Amir Bourouh.

Smith was a member of Leeds’ 1998 Academy Championship-winning team, alongside Rhinos’ current director of rugby Kevin Sinfield.

He went on to play professionally for Sheffield Eagles, but was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) aged just 38 and died in 2017.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now a trio of players from his former amateur club - Siddal, in Halifax - are planning to run 48 kilometres in 48 hours to raise funds for the Nick Smith Foundation.

Wigan Warriors’ Amir Bourouh and Morgan Smithies, both 19 and 18-year old Riley Dean, who plays for Warrington Wolves, will take on the challenge next Monday and Tuesday, splitting the distance into three or four runs on both days.

The fund-raising effort will take place in full compliance with social distancing guidelines and government rules.

Bourouh said: “We’re all proud to have grown up playing for Siddal and everyone who pulls on the blue and white shirt is always part of the club’s family.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Nick was a Siddal legend and even though we never played alongside him, we know the impact he had and the passion he had for rugby league.

“His death touched everyone and we are determined to help ensure the legacy the Nick Smith Foundation is building in his name can continue.

“We hope as many people as possible will donate whatever they can to support us and help the charity’s aims.”

Stephen Naylor, Smith brother-in-law and chair of the foundation, said: “Siddal ARLFC has been a huge source of support for all of us in Nick’s family over the past few years and their fundraising efforts to help the charity have been nothing short of incredible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are so grateful to Amir, Morgan and Riley for choosing to support us with their 48 kilometres in 48 hours challenge.

“Their efforts will make a real difference to the work we are able to do in Nick’s memory and help ensure his legacy lives on.”

The foundation supports research into MND, the illness which Rhinos’ reserve team coach Rob Burrow was diagnosed with last December.

It also ensures there is more help for those diagnosed with the condition, supports children having to face the death of a parent at a young age and encourages children to take up rugby league.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has raised more than £100,000 since being founded two years ago.

Donations can be made though www.nicksmithfoundation.org.uk/4.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. These are challenging times but the team at the Yorkshire Evening Post need your support more than ever in the weeks ahead.

While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you - wherever possible and providing it is safe for you to do so - to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Inevitably falling advertising revenues will start to have an impact on local newspapers and the way we continue to work during this period of uncertainty. So the support of our readers has never been more important as we try to make sure that we keep you connected with the city you live in during this time. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. We need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Our team of trusted reporters are working incredibly hard behind the scenes- from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms - to look at how we can do this and your continued support to the YEP will help to protect its viability in the days and weeks ahead.

For more details on our subscription offers please visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk/YEP, email [email protected] or call us on 0330 4033004

Thank you

Laura Collins