A glorious day of junior rugby proved a fitting way to honour a young player who remains in a critical condition after a road accident.
Stamford Rugby Club hosted its annual mini rugby festival at the Empingham Road playing fields on Sunday.
More than 120 teams from across the region took part with hundreds of spectators stopping by to watch.
This year’s event was particularly poignant for members of Stamford Rugby Club, whose thoughts were with under-9s player Seb Goold.
Seb, from Wansford, was seriously injured after falling from a moving coach on the way back from a tournament in Norfolk last month. He remains in a critical condition in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.
Stamford minis chairman Ross Thain said the festival gave players, officials and families something positive to focus on. He added: “We are delighted that everyone has had such a good day.
“The club has been a sad place for the last couple of weeks in the light of Seb’s accident and it was good to see so many people playing the game we all love and enjoying themselves. Seb remains at the heart of the club at present and we are in close contact with his parents and are providing support to others that have been affected as required.”
The under-9s tournament was cancelled this year out of respect for the players. But Stamford aside, teams who were due to compete took part in a “Supporting Stamford” tournament in Market Harborough and held a collection on the day.
Kate Everitt, who helped organise the Stamford festival, thanked all those who helped and took part.
She added: “Clearly the last few weeks have been incredibly difficult for Stamford Rugby Club, but it was the right decision to go ahead with the festival and showed how sport can unite everyone when the going gets tough.”