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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Tributes paid as brave Cumbrian RL player loses cancer battle

Tributes have been paid to a brave young rugby player who has lost his long cancer fight.

Andrew Jones photo
Andrew 'Pobs' Jones

Andrew ‘Pobs’ Jones was diagnosed with testicular cancer six years ago.

The popular prop forward and lifelong Whitehaven RL fan was determined to fight it and one day return to playing.

But he died yesterday, at the age of 26.

The news has been felt across the west Cumbrian rugby league community, prompting a flood oftributes on social media.

Andrew, nicknamed Pobs, came through the ranks at Hensingham Juniors, going on to play for the Haven academy and reserves.

Before taking ill he was making great strides towards his dream of playing for Haven’s first team.

Haven chief executive Barry Richardson paid tribute to his talent and determination.

“All he wanted to do was play rugby and he was making so much progress. When his illness first came about he was on the verge of playing for the first team,” he said. “He was such a determined lad and I think that came to the fore in his fight against illness. He’s a shining example to everyone with the positive attitude he has had.”

Even after illness put a halt to his playing career, Andrew refused to give in.

He continued to be involved in the club, helping out wherever he could. In more recent years he also devoted his time to Wath Brow Hornets.

Barry added: “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with so much determination to fight against all the odds. Just before he signed for us his father died, but his spirit and determination never waned. He always said he was going to play for Whitehaven again. It’s really sad. Everyone at the club passes on their condolences to his family.”

The club paid tribute, tweeting: “Heaven’s gained an angel in Andrew ‘Pobs’ Jones. Everyone at Wath Brow Hornets sends their sincere condolences to his family. Shine bright Pobsy. We’re going to miss you. X”

Others across the local community also added their own messages.

Peter Gilmour, of Seaton Rangers, posted on Facebook: “On behalf of everyone connected with Seaton Rangers ARLFC I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to all of Andrew’s family and friends. He will never be forgotten.”

Mr Jones' funeral takes place at St John’s Church in Hensingham on Tuesday (May 27) at 2.30pm followed by cremation at Distington Hall.

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