'Once a Boar always a Boar' - Rugby club's touching tribute following tragic death of Dan Turnbull

A rugby club have paid tribute to a ‘fiery’ Sunderland dad who ‘would have gave anything for one more game with the lads’.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 7:00 am
Dan Turnbull pictured with wife Laura and daughter Poppy (top left) and with Houghton Rugby Club (bottom left)

Dan Turnbull, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January, died last month due to complications following a bone marrow transplant.

The loving father, who live in Castletown, tragically passed away without having met his baby boy, Archie, who was born just two days before.

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Brother Andy, mum Karen and Dan Turnbull

Dan, 29, played for Houghton Rugby Club, alongside brother Andy Turnbull for the past five years.

In a touching tribute, the club, who gave Dan a guard of honour at his funeral, said their final goodbye.

The club statement reads: “Anyone who has played with or against Dan knows he had a fiery temperament and was a huge influence on the team with hard hitting tackles, direct running and a fantastic boot for a back row forward, he’d play anywhere on the pitch to help the team out as well.

"Moody as owt when he didn’t play well or the team didn’t perform and I know everyone will have a story or two about Dan!!

Houghton Rugby Club paid tribute to fellow Boar Dan Turnbull

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"All the lads down the club will miss you mate and we’ll be playing with that extra bit passion and drive knowing that you would have gave anything for one more game with the lads!!

“Sending all the love in the world to his amazing family.

“Once a Boar always a Boar.”

Dan with wife Laura and daughter Poppy, three.

Dan, who previously served in the Navy and worked at Nissan, battled through gruelling chemotherapy treatment and was in hospital for months at a time.

His family were then given the news that Dan was in remission – but would need a bone marrow transplant to massively reduce the risk of it returning.

Although the initial transplant went well, other complications saw Dan develop sepsis. He started to deteriorate and Dan passed away surrounded by family.

A Go Fund Me page, set up by Dan’s brother, to support Laura, his daughter Poppy and son Archie, has been flooded with donations and more than £5,000 was raised in the first 24 hours.

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