More than £40,000 raised at charity rugby match to celebrate lives of young men

A charity rugby match held to celebrate the lives of three young men raised more than £40,000, organisers have announced.

Four cheques were presented today to the charities which will benefit from the game held at Wensleydale Rugby Club in May.

In total, Just ‘B’, which provides bereavement support in North Yorkshire, road safety charity Brake, mental health charity Young Minds and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance each received £10.127.50.

A further £6,000 was raised through the bar at the event, with this money being used to buy outdoor furniture for the rugby club’s new patio area.

The event was held to celebrate the lives of 18-year-old Aaron Bell, from Jervaulx, 18-year-old Tommy Shevels, and 17-year-old Louis Banks, who were both from Healey, who died tragically in July last year.

Aaron and Louis both played for Wensleydale RUFC from the age of seven and were members of the squad that reached the Yorkshire Cup Finals at U14 level.

Aaron later attended Bishop Burton College where he played for the college rugby team.

Wensleydale played a team from Bishop Burton for the charity game.

The cheques were presented today to representatives from the charities by members of the young men’s families, as well as Wensleydale RUFC officials and those who helped organise the day.

Nicola Bell-Percy, Aaron Bell’s mum, thanked everyone who had supported the event.

“With everyone’s help and support we managed to raise a staggering and overwhelming amount of money.

“In times of hardship it’s quite humbling that we can come together and raise so much.

“It’s a huge thank you to everybody who helped.”

At the event, more than £15,000 was raised with an auction, while a raffle raised more than £9,500.

Other money was raised by the sale of merchandise, including around 300 hoodies.

Several large donations were also made, with player sponsoring bringing in more money.