rugby team visit to Jacob Wilson in hospital

Young Crewe and Nantwich rugby players helped raise thousands of pounds to show support for a team-mate battling with a life-threatening condition.

Jacob Wilson, from Nantwich and a member of Crewe & Nantwich RUFC’s U16s, fell ill last season with kidney failure and was rushed to hospital.

His shocked team-mates were determined to help – so teamed up with Premiership side Sale Sharks to raise £2,000 for the Liverpool Ronald McDonald House that has supported Jacob and his family during his treatment.

The teenager began feeling ill in October last year at home.

His condition deteriorated rapidly and he was diagnosed with kidney failure, a critical and life threatening condition.

He was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and underwent treatment and careful observation over the next few weeks.

During that time, Jacob’s family was given a room at the charitable Liverpool Ronald McDonald House next door so they could stay close by.

Crewe & Nantwich club spokeswoman Katie Astbury said: “Being part of Jacob’s extended rugby family, we thought it a good idea to arrange a visit for some of the coaches, players and parents to Jacob’s ward at Alder Hey to show him our support.

“Jacob’s dad Pete showed a few of us around all the facilities of both Alder Hey and the RMH.

“It is impossible not to be affected by these incredible places dedicated to making sick children better.

“I was moved by it all but particularly at the RMH which is run solely on charity.

“We resolved that our team, on behalf of Jacob and his family, must thank and support them in any way we can.”

Jacob was allowed home after several weeks and had a dialysis machine installed, while he was placed on the kidney transplant waiting list.

The family suffered a second trauma when their home was damaged by fire.

The club stepped in and approached Sale Sharks to lift their spirits – and organised a VIP visit for Jacob and his family where he also got to meet the players including South African international Faf de Klerk.

Jacob with Sale and South Africa Scrum Half Faf de Klerk
Jacob with Sale and South Africa Scrum Half Faf de Klerk

Crewe & Nantwich also held a charity dinner and auction, which included prized rugby memorabilia such as Faf De Klerk’s boots, signed shirts and balls from Sale Sharks, London Irish and Northampton Saints.

It raised £1,755, which the club topped up to make £2,000.

A cheque was presented to Denise Byrne, of the Ronald McDonald House, who in turn presented the club with a plaque to be displayed on their Tree of Life.

In the last month, Jacob’s dad Pete has been closely matched as a possible donor match and the family is awaiting confirmation.

“Everyone at Crewe and Nantwich RUFC has their fingers crossed,” added Katie.

That U16s side will be Junior Colts this coming 2018-19 season, and will be back playing at the Vagrants in Willaston from September.

If you are interested in joining the club’s youth section, contact Naomi Povey on [email protected] or visit

Harvey Nurse and Bob Arnott, two of the coaches placing the plaque on the Tree of Life
C&N rugby coaches Harvey Nurse and Bob Arnott, place plaque on Tree of Life

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