editorial image

TEAM-mates turned out in force to support a young rugby player who is mourning the death of his girlfriend.

Members of the Whitehall Warriors rugby league squad, who play in Hipperholme, postponed their match on Saturday so they could attend the funeral of Amara Hemingway who died at the age of 20.

They wore their Whitehall Warriors training tops to the funeral at St Anne’s Church, Southowram, in a gesture of support for her grieving boyfriend, winger John Sagar.

Amara, of Southowram, died of a rare heart condition after collapsing in Halifax town centre on November 19.

John, aged 22, and Amara had just bought a home in Shelf and were looking forward to a new life together.

“She was an amazing person, just perfect,” said John. “We had been going out together for about 18 months and she told me about her heart condition at the start. But she didn’t let it get her down or stop her doing anything she wanted to do.”

Dave Beaumont, chairman of Whitehall Warriors, said John had been left ‘broken up’ by the tragedy.

“They had just moved in together and were making plans when this happened,” he said. “When we realised that so many of the players would want to attend the funeral we decided it would be best to postpone the match against Whitworth Spartans. The players just wanted to be there for John.”

Amara was a former student at St Catherine’s High School, Halifax, and worked as a claims advisor at HBOS.

Her parents, Craig and Elizabeth, live at Fairfax Crescent. Mr Hemingway said his daughter had undergone numerous operations.

“The support from the Whitehall Warriors for John has been amazing and it is much appreciated,” he said.