Charity issues family statement as arrests made into death of Halifax rugby star Harry Sykes

Halifax teen rugby star Harry Sykes
Halifax teen rugby star Harry Sykes

A charity supporting the family of a Halifax rugby star has issued a statement after two people were arrested in connection with his death.

Lightcliffe Academy pupil Harry Sykes, 16, drowned in a lake in southern France during a tour in Carcassonne whilst on tour with Halifax Elite Rugby Academy in September.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed last week that they have arrested two men in connection with an investigation into the death of the teenager.

READ MORE: Two arrested in connection with the death of teenage Halifax rugby star Harry Sykes
The RFL Benevolent fund which has been supporting family and friends of the teenager issued the following the statement:

"The family of Harry Sykes have been informed by West Yorkshire Police, that they are conducting a formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the teenager’s death whilst on a trip to France in September 2018, with Halifax Elite Rugby Academy.

"The RFL Benevolent Fund is continuing to support Harry’s family, who remain deeply upset at their tragic loss. Harry’s family have asked that their privacy, and that of his friends and team-mates be respected, we have every confidence in the police to conduct a full and thorough investigation.

"No further statements will be issued, until the UK authorities have concluded their investigation."

The RFL Benevolent Fund is a charity that provides assistance to players, and the family of players who have suffered life-changing injuries playing Rugby League.

The charity has 20 former players on its full-time register and each year works with around 40 other people who have experienced serious injuries playing the game they love.

In recent years, these have included the families of Ronan Costello, Evan Hawksworth and Danny Jones, who all lose their lives while playing Rugby League, as well as many other players whose journey through the darkest chapters of their lives have been helped by the Benevolent Fund.