A second rugby player has died in Sri Lanka after complaining of breathing difficulties following a visit to a nightclub in the countries capital Colombo.
25-year-old Thomas Howard and 26-year-old Thomas Baty were on tour in the country with their Durham-based club Clems Pirates RFC.
Howard died after he went to hospital on Sunday, while Baty who had been in a critical condition, has now also died.
The President of Durham City Rugby Club, which oversees the team, revealed on Monday that the pair were suffering breathing difficulties.
Richard Wilkinson said “Whilst touring Sri Lanka two members of the party suffered non-rugby related breathing problems and were admitted to hospital. Subsequently one of the two has died and one remains in hospital.”
However that situation sadly changed on Tuesday with the death of Baty.
The team arrived in Sri Lanka last Wednesday and played a match on Saturday against Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club in Colombo.
Local officials said two players reported breathing difficulties to hotel management at around 10am on Sunday morning after returning to the hotel in the early hours from a nightclub.
The team remains on tour and have vowed to continue charity work that they had planned, in honour of the two players who lost their lives.
A statement on the club website said: “As a mark of respect to the deceased players (Thomas Howard, 25 and Tom Baty, 26) Clem’s Pirates will go ahead with their planned charity work and rugby kit donation in Galle before the end of the tour.
“The charity work and kit donation will involve providing eight school teams with much needed boots, gum shields and shirts. The work in Galle will continue the international charity work began by Clem’s Pirates in South Africa in 2004.”
Clubs have been sending condolences since the tragedy unfolded.
All members and supporters of PRFC send their thoughts and condolences to the families and friends of Thomas Howard and Tom Baty of @DurhamCityRFC who both passed away on a current Rugby tour of Sri Lanka.
Durham City RFC is the Home club of current PRFC player @jmn1980
— Portsmouth Rugby (@Portsmouth_RFC) May 15, 2018
@DurhamCityRFC Can’t find any suitable words to express how you all must be feeling. Condolences to the families and loved ones from all at Gateshead.
— Gateshead RFC (@gatesheadrfc) May 15, 2018