A FORMER professional rugby league player who witnessed a team-mate seriously injured during a match is to quit the game.
Clifford Benjamin from Lindley was on the pitch when a tackle left loose forward Danny Scott with serious spinal injuries.
The pair were playing for Moldgreen against Sowerby Spartans last Saturday and 23-year-old Mr Scott is feared paralysed.
Now after visiting his injured friend at Leeds General Infirmary, Mr Benjamin, who played professionally for Batley Bulldogs for two years, says he no longer wants to play the sport.
He said: "After his terrible injury I went over to Leeds to see him in the intensive care unit and the only thing I could do was cry.
"After seeing my team-mate and friend in that hospital bed on Sunday I am forced to retire from the game.
"What a terrible waste of a young man - aged just 23 - playing the game he loved. My thoughts are with Danny and his family during this tragic time."
Mr Benjamin, who runs a security firm supplying doormen to pubs and clubs, also hit out at how difficult it is for amateur clubs to get insurance policies to cover their players.
He added: "In the amateur game it is hard for clubs to find proper insurance for the lads playing the game. I believe it is time for the Rugby Football League to get involved.
"It is now up to everyone connected with rugby league to look at the situation - insurance is a must.
"Even when I played professionally for Batley Bulldogs they did not have insurance. When I suffered a hernia I had to go to a private clinic for treatment."
Mr Scott, who lives in Lindley, was hurt after being tackled in the Pennine League Division Three match at Ridgeway.
He was immediately taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary but later transferred to Leeds where he has had two operations.
He had been working as a doorman at the Chicago Rock Cafe in Huddersfield town centre.