Sec­ond rugby player dies af­ter visit to night­club in Sri Lanka

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY HENRY CLARE

Tragedy: Tom Baty A SEC­OND Bri­tish am­a­teur rugby player has died on tour in Sri Lanka, his club has con­firmed.

In a state­ment, Durham City Rugby Foot­ball Club said it was with “great sad­ness” that it an­nounced the pass­ing of 26-yearold Tom Baty yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

It fol­lows the death of his team­mate, Thomas Howard (25), af­ter the pair were both ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal in the city of Colombo on Sun­day com­plain­ing of breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties af­ter re­turn­ing from a night­club.

Mr Howard’s death was con­firmed in a club state­ment which was is­sued on Mon­day.

The play­ers, both from Durham, were on tour with one of the club’s teams called the Clems Pi­rates.

In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day, the club re­quested that the pri­vacy of their fam­i­lies be “respected and up­held at this dif­fi­cult time”.

The club pre­vi­ously said that in both cases the breath­ing prob­lems were non-rugby re­lated.

In a state­ment re­leased on Mon­day fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of Mr Howard’s death, Durham City RFC pres­i­dent Richard Wilkin­son said: “Both play­ers and Clems Pi­rates hold a spe­cial place in our rugby fam­ily, and our con­tin­ued support is un­con­di­tional.

“We will also con­tinue to support the Clems’ Sri Lankan tour party by be­ing in reg­u­lar con­tact with se­nior club of­fi­cials out in Sri Lanka.”

A spokes­woman for the For­eign Of­fice said it was as­sist­ing fam­i­lies of two Bri­tish men.

The BBC re­ported that po­lice in Sri Lanka had said some Bri­tish play­ers went to Colombo’s Cleopa­tra night­club af­ter the match and re­turned to their ho­tel in the early hours of Sun­day.

Se­cu­rity cam­era footage from the night­club is be­ing ex­am­ined in a bid to find out what hap­pened. It is un­der­stood that no in­ter­nal or external bleed­ing in­juries were found by a med­i­cal of­fi­cer.

A spokesman for Durham Po­lice said the fam­i­lies were be­ing sup­ported by of­fi­cers.

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