The family of an 18-year-old Fakenham rugby player, who died suddenly in February, have raised nearly £10,000 in his memory to support the sport in his home town.
With help from friends, fellow players and Fakenham residents, Craig Prior’s family have now raised not only the money to pay for a new scrummage machine for the club, but also a new building to securely store it.
The £9,500 previously raised from collections and fundraising events was added to with the £640 raised at Sunday’s ladies rugby match, which saw the Fakenham Foxes taking on Southwold Ladies.
Roger Palmer, Craig’s brother, said: “The Foxes organised it but the Southwold Ladies also remembered Craig from their matches when he went along to support them. He loved the game so would support whoever was playing.
“There’s definitely something about the rugby community that no other sport has. Touch rugby team, Craig’s Ladies, gave a demonstration to get some of the younger girls involved without going straight into full rugby.”
At the match, the family presented six-year-old Arthur Loose with a special Craig Prior Memorial t-shirt after the youngster drew a picture of Craig and a friend as a thank- you for teaching him to play rugby.
Despite almost doubling their target, fundraisers refuse to stop and plan to continue with hopes of supporting Fakenham youngsters who are interested in the sport.
Roger said: “We hope to be able to supply anyone under the age of 10 with equipment to try and give them something to aim for and work towards, it helps to keep them out of trouble.
“We also hope to be able to sponsor the first team which we hope will help put the pride back into Craig’s team. It’s a hard thing to lose a friend out of the blue like that, so we hope by having kit with the charity crest the boys will feel like Craig is still with them.”
A charity quiz night held at Fakenham Racecourse took £500 for the Craig Prior Memorial Fund, along with Friday’s race night at the Rugby Club, which was hoped would raise around £1,000. There are also plans for the Memorial Ball to take place on October 25, Craig’s birthday.
After great interest was shown in the Craig Prior Memorial t-shirts and jumpers worn by family and close friends at the charity events, Roger has launched a clothing line with the help of Double G Clothing.
He said: “We now have polo shirts in all different colours, three variations of hoodies and we have the club shirt with our logo.
“He’ll never be forgotten, but this helps people to remember him and it has helped the charity. We’ve been getting recognition when out and about wearing them, which is great and exactly what Craig would have wanted.”
If you are interested in getting involved in the charity’s fundraising, check the website for upcoming events – www.craigpriormemorialfund.co.uk
To order T-shirts or hoodies, contact Roger Palmer through Facebook or call 07880 728412.