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Birkenshaw Bluedogs Gala will go on in Max's memory

Max Blakeley tragically died on Saturday, aged just 32.
Max Blakeley tragically died on Saturday, aged just 32.

Birkenshaw Bluedogs ARLFC have confirmed that the gala planned at their East Bierley ground this weekend will go on, despite the tragic death of one of their players on Saturday.

Max Blakeley died suddenly aged just 32 after representing the club in a match at Heworth ARLFC, near York.

The club have announced that proceeds of the day will be donated to either Max's family or a charity of their choice.

Birkenshaw Club Chairman Adam Lincoln said “We are all incredibly shocked and saddened at the loss of our friend and team-mate, however we strongly believe that Saturday’s event should take place in Max’s honour. Max died playing a game he loved, and we believe that he would want the day to go ahead. Coming together on Saturday, as a club and a community, will be a wonderful way to say his name, honour his memory and continue to support all those affected by this tragedy”.

All age groups will be playing during the day and Max will be acknowledged at the start of each game.

In direct tribute to Max, there will be a recently arranged Master’s game between Birkenshaw Bluedogs and Cleckheaton RUFC, who he represented during the winter.

Closing the Gala will be a Yorkshire Men’s League game between Birkenshaw Bluedogs and Dewsbury Celtic.

The Gala starts at 10am with the Master’s game kicking off at approximately 2pm, followed by the open age fixture at 2.30pm.