Rugby League

Tributes Paid To RAF Airman Who Died After Inter Services Rugby Match

Senior Aircraftman Scott Stevenson has been described as "one of life's good guys" and a "legend". 

Senior Aircraftman Scott Stevenson was a full back for the RAF and UK Armed Forces rugby league sides (Picture: RAF Marham/Twitter).

Tributes have flooded in for an RAF airman who died after being injured in an Inter Services rugby league match against the Army. 

Senior Aircraftman Scott Stevenson, who was stretchered off with a head injury on Friday night in Aldershot, has been described as "one of life's good guys" and a "legend". 

Across social media, tributes have been paid to the 25-year-old.

Dewsbury Rams and RAF rugby league player, Jordan Andrade, wrote: "Devastated is an understatement what a guy!!

"Legend taken far too soon was an honour to call you a team mate and a friend. Rest easy brother."

The RAF Rugby League posted a message from SAC Stevenson's family on their Facebook page: "Rugby was Scott’s whole life from as early as six years old.

"We take great comfort in the knowledge that he passed doing something he loved, surrounded by his teammates, all of whom care about him dearly. Few of us are fortunate enough to leave life in such a way."

'We take great comfort in the knowledge that he passed doing something he loved' (Picture: Facebook).

SAC Stevenson's former side, Boston Buccaneers RLFC, said: "Saddened to learn of the loss of one of life’s good guys.

"Condolences to Scotty’s family and friends at this time. He will be remembered and missed by all of his Buccaneer family."

RAF Marham, where SAC Stevenson was based, said: "Scott was a very popular member of the Royal Air Force Marham community.

"Scott will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts remain with Scott’s family and we ask that their privacy is respected during this difficult time."

Ben Taylor, the Navy and UKAF rugby league captain, wrote: "I had the honour of skippering Stevo for @ukafrugbyleague, great ont park and even better off it. Thoughts are with his family, devastated."

'Thoughts are with his family, devastated' (Picture: Twitter).

SAC Stevenson's death was announced on Monday evening.

He said his proudest moment was winning the Inter Services with the RAF in 2016. 

In 2017, he was picked to represent UK Armed Forces Rugby League (UKAFRL) at the World Cup in Australia but he was injured shortly before the team departed.

He said back then that “the opportunity to represent the UKAFRL in Australia, is without a doubt my greatest achievement I’ve done since I started playing rugby when I was 8".

In a statement, UKAFRL said it was "deeply saddened by the devastating news" and described SAC Stevenson as an "extremely talented player and a popular teammate".

"His passing is a terrible loss to the Armed Forces Rugby League Community," the statement added.

RAF Marham's flag was lowered to half mast following the death of Senior Aircraftman Stevenson (Picture: RAF Marham).
RAF Marham's flag was lowered to half mast following the death of SAC Stevenson (Picture: RAF Marham).

The UK Armed Forces (UKAF) Rugby Union squad, who are in Japan for the Forces World Cup, have also been paying their respects to Senior Aircraftman Stevenson

Captain Jamie Miller, UKAF captain, told Forces News: "It's incredibly sad news. It definitely rocks the community - both codes.

"Our thoughts are absolutely with his family."  

Kitman Jamie Doig, who knew SAC Stevenson well, said: "Words can't put into description. A flamboyant player on the park, joviality off the park, he was just one of life's good guys." 

Watch: The UKAF and Australian Defence Force rugby union squads observe a minute silence.

The UKAF squad paid their respects with a minute's silence alongside the Australian Defence Force squad. 

Ralph Rimmer, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “This is tragic and heartbreaking news, and I know everyone involved in the game will join me in sending deepest condolences to Scott’s family and friends, and to all involved in Rugby League in the RAF and the other services.”

A decision on whether the RAF will play their final game against the Royal Navy this coming Friday is expected later this week.