HE wanted to honour his former team-mate who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run.
But what should have been a day of celebration of the life of Adam O’Toole ended in disaster for one of the young men who gathered to play a rugby match in his memory.
Ally Lewis, 22, was left in agony after his collarbone snapped during a tackle just before the end of the memorial match at Lockwood Park last Wednesday.
He was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where doctors examined the broken bone protruding from his neck.
Ally, of Lindley, was told he needed surgery involving inserting a metal plate to mend the bone, but his case was not a high priority.
He was sent home from hospital the following day with painkillers and told he would be contacted when a surgery slot became available.
But seven days on, the young rugby player is still in agony and waiting to be seen by a surgeon.
His girlfriend, 20-year-old Linzi Fitton, said: “He is in terrible pain. The bone is really sharp and protruding so close to his skin it looks like it could come through it.
“He’s in an awful state. He can’t sleep properly and has to have help cutting his food up.
“The worry is that the bone will start fusing together and try and heal itself in the wrong place.
“It’s difficult to see him in so much pain. He’s a rugby player and a big strong lad.”
Linzi said the hospital has been in regular contact with her boyfriend, but each day informed him that no surgery slots were available.
His consultant contacted him this Wednesday to say he could have the operation that day but called back later to say there were no beds available.
Linzi said: “I’m quite disgusted that a week on he’s still waiting.
“Surely someone who has a bone snapped in half stabbing through his neck should be seen as a priority case.’’
Ally, who works for Michael Dyson building surveyors in Honley, was hurt 20 minutes before the end of the match held annually in memory of Adam, who died when he was hit by car on New Hey Road on March 6, 2007.
A Huddersfield RUFC side made up of members who had played in the academy team with the 18-year-old took on a team from Huddersfield University for the memorial match.
Winger Ally, who plays for Huddersfield YMCA, said: “I played rugby with Adam and we’ve organised these games in his memory every year.
“At half time I was substituted to play against my team but in a tackle I heard my collarbone snap.
“I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t belive what started out as a day for Adam ended like this.
“My shoulder now looks really abnormal. I’ve lost an inch of its width as the width as the bone tried to pull back together.
“It’s quite frustrating waiting for the surgery. We are supposed to celebrate my girlfriend’s 21st birthday this weekend but I don’t think that’s going to happen now.
“I’m hoping it won’t affect my rugby playing, but at the moment it looks like that’s it for 2010.”
A spokeswoman for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have spoken to Mr Lewis and have made arrangements with him for the treatment to be carried out this week.
“We all wish him a speedy recovery.”