Birkenshaw amateur Max Blakeley dies during game

Drew Darbyshire

Birkenshaw Bluedogs have announced the passing of Max Blakeley after he felt unwell during a game and later become poorly.

Paramedics were called to the Yorkshire Men’s League match at Heworth on Sunday afternoon but we unable to revive the 32-year-old after he collapsed.

Blakeley’s family have requested privacy at this difficult time and the club will issue a full statement when appropriate.

Rugby Football League interim chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “We are all incredibly saddened by news of the passing of Birkenshaw Rugby League club’s Max Blakeley.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Max’s family and friends at this terrible time.

“The RL Benevolent Fund has been in contact and is already providing support.”

Lizzie Jones, whose husband Danny died after collapsing during a game in 2015, tweeted: “So, so sad to hear of the passing of @BirkenshawARLFC player Max Blakeley.

“My prayers, love and strength are with Max’s family, friends and team-mates at this very sad time. Fly high Max.”