Club rallies as rugby coach breaks back after fall

Jonny Brewerton playing for Sharlston Rovers
Jonny Brewerton playing for Sharlston Rovers

A rugby club has rallied around for one of its coaches who broke his back in six places after a fall.

Self-employed gas fitter John Brewerton was seriously injured after falling off a ladder while fixing a roof.

Doctors have told him that he cannot work for six months and he must wear a back brace for the next 16 weeks.

Sharlston Rovers, where Mr Brewerton is a coach, has organised a charity match where their current side will take on a team of veterans.

Rovers head coach Gordie Long said: “John is a true club man, a former player and has been involved at the club for more than 20 years. After hearing what happened everyone just wants to help him.

“We want to raise some money to help look after him so he can focus on recovering.”

The charity match was the brainchild of former Rovers player Jimmy Gittins, who broke his neck in two places while playing for club in 2002.

His injuries left him paralysed from the chest down. The club raised £19,500 to help support Mr Gittins.

Mr Long said: “Jimmy called me straight away and said we needed to do something to help. John has been overwhelmed by how many people have been in touch.”

The charity game will be held at the club on Sunday, March 13, and kicks off at noon.

Singer Alexandra Carlos will perform in the clubhouse after the match, where there will be an auction of sports memorabilia and other prizes.

They include a VIP trip to Dubai with flights, a signed Leeds Rhinos shirt and memorabilia donated by New Zealand rugby league star Jason Nightingale. Rhino’s favourite Jamie Jones-Buchanan will also be filming a feature on Mr Brewerton and the fundraiser for television show Rugby AM.

For tickets, call Sharlston Rovers on 01924 863869.