By Richard Sykes

Tributes have been paid to a teenage rugby union player from Huddersfield who died after being hit by a car on the A64.

Lockwood Park fell silent in memory of George Sawyer prior to Huddersfield RUFC’s A-Team game against Burley 2nds on Saturday.

George, 18, of Farnley Tyas, was knocked down and killed in an accident on the A64 near York in the early hours of Monday March 27. George was a first year student at Askham Bryan Agricultural College near the city.

George was a member of Huddersfield’s Academy team and had played rugby at the club since he was six years old.

Academy manager Tracy Davis said: “George was loved and respected by his teammates and coaches alike. He was a wonderful young man and it has been an absolute pleasure to have him play at HRUFC through our age grades. I am sure George’s family have some great memories of their time at Lockwood Park.

“We would like (parents) Sarah, Phil and (sister) Lucy to know that at this time of unimaginable grief, their rugby family has their arms around them and are here to offer all the support we can.”

The two senior teams were joined on the field by George’s teammates from the Academy for the minute’s silence. Members of George’s family were in attendance and the crowd was swelled by many of George’s friends and former school mates from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, who had come to the game to pay their respects.

A minute’s silence was also held up in Northumberland where Huddersfield First XV were taking on Tynedale in their National 2 North match.

In a statement staff from the Agricultural Department at Askham Bryan said: “George was studying Level 3 Agriculture, on the arable pathway in his second year with us, and he had a very promising future.

“He was an outstanding, dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled student with a great passion for the course and agriculture in general.

“George will also be remembered for his brilliant sense of humour, the ability to make everyone in a room smile and to always lift the mood and get everyone working.

“He was a pleasure to teach, perfectly balancing a cheeky character and great sense of humour with a willingness to work and succeed that made him so popular among staff and fellow students alike.”