Funeral held for former Dewsbury Moor and Batley Bulldogs player Archie Bruce

Friends and family paid tribute to a former Dewsbury Moor and Batley Bulldogs rugby league player who died tragically.

A funeral was held for Heckmondwike-born Archie Bruce, 20, at St Mary’s Parish Church in Mirfield this afternoon (Thursday).

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral

Mr Bruce was in Toulouse playing his debut match for Batley against the local team in August. He was found dead in his room after the match in the early hours of Sunday, August 18.

In a statement ahead of the funeral, the Bruce family said: "As a family we continue to be devastated by the sad and tragic loss of Archie. These are most difficult times.

"We would like to thank all our family, friends and the wider rugby league community for all their support and consideration over the few weeks. It very much appreciated."

Around 600 people came to pay their respects at the funeral, including representatives from both of Mr Bruce's clubs and the Rugby Football League.

Archie Bruce

Archie Bruce

Some mourners wore Dewsbury Moor and Batley Bulldogs rugby shirts at the service.

Tributes poured in from both his clubs and around the rugby league world following Mr Bruce's death.

A statement from former club Dewsbury Moor said: “Archie was truly loved at Dewsbury Moor by all. He first joined the club at the age of five, raring to go upon reaching his 6th birthday.

“The world of rugby league has lost a future star, a star that could have gone a long way. We have lost a friend, a teammate, a ray of light. Archie should be a role model to others, to follow your dream and never give in.

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral

“Archie’s family have a tough time ahead and we at the club ask everybody respects their space during this horrendous time. He will always be loved and never forgotten the club will ensure his memory lives on.”

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral

Archie Bruce funeral