A FUNDRAISING appeal will soon be under way to help a rugby player who was badly hurt on the field.
Danny Scott, 22, suffered severe spinal injuries when he was tackled while playing for Moldgreen Amateur Rugby League Football Club on Saturday, January 10.
He collapsed after he was tackled by two opponents from Sowerby Spartans. He now faces months in hospital and uncertainty over the long-term effects of the injury.
Danny, a former pupil of All Saints' High School, Bradley Bar, had been a player with Moldgreen since he was 14.
Danny - who lives in Marsh with his parents Terry and Martha and brothers Gary and Lee - was named the club's Sportsman Of The Year in 2002.
Officials are determined to repay his loyalty and have pledged to do all they can to help the popular player.
The club has already been inundated with offers of help. A public meeting will be held at Moldgreen's clubhouse on Ridgeway, Dalton, at 8.30pm tomorrow.
Club secretary Jill Sykes said Danny had now been moved from Leeds General Infirmary to a specialist spinal injuries unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
He is suffering from a chest infection as well as his spinal injuries, so only his immediate family can visit.
Moldgreen ARLFC has had a tough last couple of years in the Pennine League and is now close to the bottom of the third division, but hopes are high a new clubhouse due to be built at its Ridgeway base will rejuvenate fortunes.
Jill said: "Over the last few years Danny has been a tower of strength to Moldgreen and a mainstay of the team.
"While the club's fortunes have declined, he has turned down repeated requests from other clubs to leave us.
"His sense of loyalty to the club, his friends and team-mates was, in the circumstances, extraordinary.
"If Danny shows the same courage in fighting this injury that he shows on the pitch, he should be able to win the battle."
She described the injuries from the tackle as a "freak accident".
"Danny had the ball and was tackled from the front by two opponents. It was not an unusual tackle and nowhere near as hard as it can be.
"The referee shouted `break' and the two other players stood back. Danny then fell forward to the ground and did not move again."
Team manager Brian Tracey and first aider Cameron Warrington both ran on to help, but quickly realised the injury was serious.
Paramedics spent some time stabilising Danny before he was driven slowly to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
He was transferred within hours to Leeds General Infirmary where he had one operation that night and another two days later. He was transferred to Pinderfields at the end of last week.
Jill said Danny has no movement or feeling below his shoulders at the moment, but it will be months before doctors know how much nerve damage has been done.
She said: "The doctors do not know yet and may not know for a long time how badly Danny's nervous system has been damaged by the injury. We are all being hopeful for him."
She stressed Danny had a British Amateur Rugby League Association insurance policy and was also a member of Moldgreen's own insurance scheme.
He had signed a personal insurance policy only the night before the accident, which would be honoured.
"These policies can, however, never hope to compensate in any way for Danny's injuries," she said. "We are in the process of setting up a committee to raise funds for Danny and his family."
* Phone Jill on 01484 548865.