Tributes flood in for beloved Halifax rugby player Ben Benn who played for Bradford Bulls, Fax and Huddersfield Giants after sudden death

Tributes have been pouring in for a much-loved Halifax father, son and rugby player.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Ben Benn, from Siddal, passed away suddenly at the age of 30 in the early hours of yesterday (Monday).

His devastated family includes an eight-year-old son.

Ben loved rugby and had played for a host of local league and union teams including what was then Fax as well as Huddersfield Giants and Bradford Bulls.

Ben Benn and his mum MandyBen Benn and his mum Mandy
Ben Benn and his mum Mandy
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ben's mum Mandy Rathmell-Benn said she has been left "broken" by her son's death.

She has been inundated with messages from people who knew and loved Ben.

"Everybody has said he always made everyone laugh," she said. "He was so witty and funny.

"We went out for a meal on Friday in Sowerby Bridge and he just had everyone laughing.

Ben Benn with his sonBen Benn with his son
Ben Benn with his son
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He was a brilliant dad. He and his son had such a close bond.

"I didn't realise how well-known he was but I've had so many messages, some from people I don't know but who knew Ben."

Ben, a former Park Lane High School pupil, had been playing rugby since he was a child.

His teams included Siddal ARLFC, Fax, Bradford Bulls and Huddersfield Giants.

Ben with his dad Mick and brothers Alfie and JoshBen with his dad Mick and brothers Alfie and Josh
Ben with his dad Mick and brothers Alfie and Josh
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He took a short break from the sport but had recently begun playing again for Halifax RUFC's 1st XV Men.

Michael Botting, from the team, was a close friend and had known Ben since primary school.

He said everyone at the club has been left "shocked and devastated".

"It was a pleasure to play alongside him and the most common thing that all the players say is that everyone felt safe when he was there on the pitch," said Michael.

Ben with his siblings Jemma, Josh, Charlotte and AlfieBen with his siblings Jemma, Josh, Charlotte and Alfie
Ben with his siblings Jemma, Josh, Charlotte and Alfie

"You knew he had your back 110 per cent.

"Our thoughts and best wishes go out to his family."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Siddal ARLFC posted: "We are in shock to hear the devastating news that one of our own, Ben Benn, passed away this morning.

"RIP Ben. Deepest condolences to all his family at this sad time from us all.”

Martin Gonzalez, Head of Youth at Halifax, now known as Halifax Panthers, at the time Ben played, said "Although Ben could be a reserved member of the group, he would often come up with a really funny comment which made him a popular member of the squad, but primarily he did his talking on the pitch.

"Although not the biggest player, Ben was immensely strong and his fearless style of play endeared him to team mates and always left opponents knowing they had been in a game. He was one of those players that you always wanted on your team and not on the opposition."

Ben played with several rugby teamsBen played with several rugby teams
Ben played with several rugby teams
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ben had five siblings - Jemma, Josh, Charlotte, Alfie and Andrew - and two step-siblings - Amanda and Richard. His dad is Mick Benn.

He worked at Hanson Plywood, on Shay Lane, in Ovenden and, as well as playing rugby, enjoyed playing football, going to the gym and socialising with his friends.

"He loved rugby," said Mandy. "He was buzzing when he was signed for Bradford Bulls.

"I'm just broken by his loss.

“He will be missed by so, so many people.”

Ben’s loved ones have launched an online fundraiser to help meet the costs of his funeral. Any extra money will be put aside for his son.