Minute's applause at Challenge Cup Final in memory of Archie Bruce

Archie Bruce
Archie Bruce

A minute's applause will held at the Challenge Cup final at Wembley tomorrow in memory of Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Moor player Archie Bruce.

The minute’s applause, to celebrate his life, will be held before the crowd are invited to join in singing the traditional cup final anthem, Abide with Me.

Archie Bruce, 20, was in Toulouse playing his debut match against the local team on Saturday.

Mr Bruce, from Heckmondwike, was found dead in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Tributes poured in from both his clubs and around the rugby league world following his death.

A statement from former club Dewsbury Moor said: “Archie was truly loved at Dewsbury Moor by all. He first joined the club at the age of five, raring to go upon reaching his 6th birthday.

“It wasn’t long before the professional game finally noticed Archie and at the age of 19 he was invited to train with Batley Bulldogs whilst maintaining his amateur status and playing with the Moor.

“Archie grasped the opportunity with both hands and with the support of his family he took a sabbatical from work and threw himself into getting his body ready for a career in rugby league.

“Archie set off to Toulouse the happiest young man alive, he made his debut for the Bulldogs and all the talk in France was ‘wow, who is this kid’.

“The rest unfortunately is simply unthinkable.

“He came from a rugby league family, a family now left devastated.

“He was always the life and soul, loved life, loved rugby league and never did he not have a smile on a face

“Life was just getting good for Archie and it’s incomprehensible what’s happened.

“All at Dewsbury Moor are totally devastated, there will always be a hole, a hole that will never be filled.

“The world of rugby league has lost a future star, a star that could have gone a long way. We have lost a friend, a teammate, a ray of light. Archie should be a role model to others, to follow your dream and never give in. Archie’s family have a tough time ahead and we at the club ask everybody respects their space during this horrendous time.

“He will always be loved and never forgotten the club will ensure his memory lives on.”