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Tributes are paid to former rugby star Steve Prescott

Tributes are paid to former rugby star Steve Prescott

TRIBUTES have been paid to the former Rugby League star Steve Prescott who has passed away at the age of 39.

Mr. Prescott had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006 and given only months to live, but he went on to defy the illness while raising almost half a million pounds for charity.

During his playing career Mr. Prescott played for St. Helens, Hull and Wakefield Trinity and represented Ireland, England and Great Britain at international level. He had originally played for England but switched allegiance to Ireland — playing for his adopted country in the 2000 World Cup. Among his career highlights was winning the 1996 Challenge Cup final with St. Helens when he scored two tries in the first 17 minutes of the game against Bradford Bulls. The match ended 40-32, becoming one of the highest-scoring games in the competition’s history. However, he was forced to retire prematurely in 2003 after suffering a serious knee injury.

Three years later, on the day after his second son was born, doctors diagnosed the rare abdominal cancer. But Mr. Prescott refused to give up and embarked on a charity fundraising effort which was to involve a number of extreme physical challenges — fitting many of them in around courses of chemotherapy. He established the Steve Prescott Foundation (see below) and eventually raised a total of £480,000. 

His fundraising efforts included once running four marathons over four days, completing three London Marathons, hiking up Snowdon and cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats. In recent weeks he was planning an expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

In 2010, he was appointed M.B.E. for his services to sport and charity.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of St. Helen’s for Mr. Prescott’s Funeral which was held on Monday (November 18). Requiem Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. in Lowe House Church and was followed by committal at St. Helens Crematorium.

Mr. Prescott is survived by his wife, Linzi, and sons Taylor and Koby.

Donations were requested for the Steve Prescott Foundation, click here.

To visit the Steve Prescott Foundation website, click here.

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