Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a memorial rugby match on Saturday in honour of 12-year-old Birkby schoolboy Dan Beal who sadly died earlier this year.
Dan was a popular pupil at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax, where he was captain of the Year 7 rugby team. He died on June 21 and an inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned.
The match which his father Dave, a lifelong rugby fan, will referee, will pit the two Under 13 teams for which Dan played, Crossley Heath and Huddersfield RUFC against one another in a friendly match for the Daniel Beal Memorial Trophy at Huddersfield’s home in Lockwood Park, Brewery Drive.
Kick-off will take place at 12.30pm and entry is free but the club has given organisers permission to raise funds, so there will be a special programme on sale for £2 at the gate and the chance to buy special #Doingit4Danny wristbands at pitchside.
Among those attending will be former Crossley Heath headteacher Wendy Moffat who played a key role in helping pupils through a very difficult time.
Mr Beal said: “I’m hoping we will get 500 people there, family, friends and anyone who wants to support us. I want to fill Lockwood Park! I’d like to see as many people there as possible. I don’t mind if they have never met Danny before.
“It should be a great game of rugby between two groups of lads who, like Danny, embody the values of respect and sportsmanship as well as a determination to be the best. We’ll be hugely grateful for any and all support, so see you there.”
Mr Beal said he was involved in setting up a special charity, The DB12Foundation. He says it will use sport “as a vehicle to help school students to improve their attainment in the classroom, teach kids the value of determination, going the extra mile, self-reliance and creativity.
“Hopefully, it will give kids the values that they can transfer back into the classroom. It will be about coaching the whole child and making them more rounded students.
“We are in the process of recruiting trustees, we have three in place at the moment. The charity is going to employ me as a director.
“By the end of this month we will have our bid in to the Charity Commission to register and start fundraising in earnest.
“I wanted to create a legacy that he (Dan) would be proud of. In the week that Dan died – he died on the Wednesday and I went into school on the Friday to see the tributes and some of his team-mates came to see me to talk to me about him.
“They got talking to each other and the rest of the team they realised that they were struggling with this, they were desolate. I talked to them and it was clear that they wanted to keep him alive in some way - ‘what are we going to do without him?’ was the gist. #Doingit4Danny started spreading round the school pretty quickly after that.”