TWO West Cumbrian rugby teams have joined together to support a former player and his family - as his young son battles a rare condition.

Nine year old, Archie Routledge from Seaton has suffered from hereditary pancreatitis since the age of five, unfortunately the condition has now turned chronic and has suffered 'serious complications' which have led the youngster to not having eaten except through picc lines since November.

Archie is the son of ex-Town and Seaton Rangers with Mark played for Town in the early 2000's, the club have decided to join forces with Seaton Rangers ARLFC to support Archie’s Army as there charity of choice this year, to raise awareness and crucial funds to help the family during a really difficult time.

The family are now 'anxiously awaiting' a date for Archie to have a vital operation named a Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Auto-Transplantation, on completion of the surgery he will be the first child to receive this kind of surgery at the hospital.

The family hope the operation will allow Archie to start being able to live a life 'free of pain' and allow him to begin eating again as well as come away from having daily transfutions.

Archie’s parents, Emma and Mark said: “Archie suffers from hereditary pancreatitis, which unfortunately has now turned chronic, this resulted in some serious complications - he is now on 20 hour a day infusions and having not eaten since November he is fed via picc lines.

"When Archie was hospitalised in November, we were told at this point no surgeon in the UK would touch him due to how severe the inflammation was inside.

"We were told that Archie would need a Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Auto-Transplantation (TPIAT). 

"However this is not commissioned in children and we needed to gain access to the funding and a National MDT board meeting to approve the operation.

"It has been a fight to get Archie to an operable condition, alongside the operation approval and planning.

"Archie will be the first child to receive a TPIAT at The Great North Children's Hospital. 

"As you can imagine, we are anxiously awaiting this date and live in hope that this operation will enable him to get home and live his life free from pain” 

Seaton Rangers, Archies community club have already carried out many fundraising initiatives for the youngster, recently hosting a charity night which raised over £3000. Member of the club will also carry out a Silloth to Seaton walk later this year.

On Saturday, June 29 Seaton will be wearing a special Newcastle United style kit for the game v Drighlington.

On Sunday, August 4 Workington Town will face Anthony Murray's old club North Wales Crusaders and we will be playing in a specially commissioned one off shirt that will be auctioned post game alongside a number of other fundraising efforts. 

The game will be sponsored by the Seaton Rangers Vice-presidents and on the day we will be marching for Archie with the whole of Seaton encouraged to walk on the day from Seaton Club to the Fibrus Community stadium along the old line and now cycle path as part of the fundraising.