West Hartlepool Rugby Club hosts match in memory of two family members

West Hartlepool Rugby Club player Martin Boatman who has died aged 35 from cancer.
West Hartlepool Rugby Club player Martin Boatman who has died aged 35 from cancer.

Two members of the same family who died tragically young will be remembered at a charity rugby game this weekend in Hartlepool.

Jonathan Boatman and his family are holding the poignant match at West Hartlepool Rugby Club, in Catcote Road, tomorrow.

West Hartlepool Rugby Footbal Club, Catcote Road, Hartlepool

West Hartlepool Rugby Footbal Club, Catcote Road, Hartlepool

It is in memory of Jonathan’s daughter Imogen-Rose who was stillborn three years ago this month, and his brother and former West rugby player Martin Boatman, from Washington, who tragically lost his battle with cancer in January aged just 35.

Two previous matches in Imogen’s name have raised thousands of pounds for 4Louis, a charity which delivers keepsake boxes for parents who have lost a child.

And in Martin’s honour, this year’s game will also raise money for the Dragon Fly Cancer Trust.

Jonathan said: “This is the third year we have held the charity game and it has gone from strength to strength, allowing us to supply hospitals that have been on waiting lists a number of cold cuddle cots.”

The charity 4 Louis supported Imogen’s parents after her death by giving them a memory box for keepsakes such as foot and hand imprints, locks of hair, photos, along with a cold cot that allowed them to spend more time with her.

Despite being very ill with the cancer, Martin joined in the first charity match in 2017.

Jonathan added: “After losing Martin in January to cancer we have decided to also support the Dragon Fly Cancer Trust charity, which supports young people with terminal cancer up to the age of 24.

“We have chose this charity due to Martin’s passion in supporting young people through his job as a teacher and as a Great Britain youth sailing coach.

“He often talked about people that struggle with the financial burden of having cancer and if there was something he could do.

“Dragon Fly Cancer Trust support these young people in making final wishes come true.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 2pm and is between a team of West veterans and a select Rest of Hartlepool veterans team.

There will be a barbecue and bouncy castle plus a raffle and auction.

Everyone is welcome.