SLIDESHOW: Rugby match tribute to war hero

A charity rugby match in honour of fallen Castleford soldier, James Backhouse, raised nearly £700 for the charity Help for Heroes.

Thirty local lads, known as the Airedale All Stars, split into two teams and battled it out in the match at Airedale Sports Centre. Toni Earley organised the game in memory of Rifleman Backhouse who was killed while serving in Afghanistan in July 2009.

James Backhouse

James Backhouse

The Airedale 18-year-old was one of five soldiers in 2nd Battalion The Rifles who died in two explosions near Sangin in the Helmand province.

His brother, Ryan, captained one of the local teams and all James’ family turned out to show their support.

Miss Earley, 30, said: “The rugby match was a fantastic way to honour Jimmy and raise money to support our troops.

“It went really well and the pitch at Airedale Sports Centre was choc-a-block.”

A presentation, raffle and clothing sale took place at the New Airedale pub afterwards.

Castleford Tigers’ hooker Daryl Clark and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ star, Richard Owen, each signed a rugby ball, which was auctioned off and brought in £110 for the charity.

The current total raised stands at £636, all of which will be donated to Help for Heroes.