Appeal to help cancer-stricken former Stourbridge rugby player

Stourbridge News: Paul Barker Paul Barker

STOURBRIDGE Rugby Club is getting behind a fundraising campaign to support a former player who lost a leg to cancer.

Paul Barker, who joined the club in 2002, is currently undergoing intensive treatment to tackle the disease and is "not out of the woods yet" according to Stour’s director of rugby Neil Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell, who returned to Stourton Park on the same day Mr Barker arrived, has expressed his distress at the news and urged the community to help raise £50,000 to purchase a state of the art prosthetic leg.

Mr Barker, who was born in South Africa, left the club in 2006 and spent the rest of his professional career playing for Esher until moving to Effingham and Leatherhead in 2012.

But four games in, he broke a leg and it was only when he had an operation to repair the damage that doctors noticed a cancerous cyst behind the knee and had to amputate.

Mr Mitchell said: “Paul is not out of the woods yet and is undergoing intensive chemotherapy. There has been an understandable desire from the people who know him to support him.

“Paul was a real athlete and a true gentleman both on and off the field and proved to be extremely popular at the club for the years he was with us.”

Mr Mitchell and the club’s former director of rugby, Norman Robertson, are looking for support in the local area.

Anyone who would like to contribute, can do so by calling Stourbridge Rugby Club on 01384 395000.

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