Tributes are flooding in for a much-loved rugby league player, who played for a club in Boston, after he suffered a fatal head injury in a match for the Royal Air Force.
Scott Stevenson, 25, worked as a Senior Aircraftman (Technician) at RAF Marham. He was passionate about rugby league and on Friday, September 13 he played at full-back for the RAF Rugby League first team in an Inter Services match against the Army in Aldershot.
RAF Rugby League said Scott sustained a head injury while “putting on a performance for the Royal Air Force that had him in contention for man-of-the-match”.
He was stretched off in the second half and at the time his condition was said to be “critical but stable”, but on Monday evening the Station Commander of Royal Air Force Marham confirmed the player’s death.
They said: “Scott was a a very popular member of the Royal Air Force Marham community and a full-back for the Royal Air Force Rugby League first team. Scott will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts remain with Scott’s family.”
Passionate about rugby league
The RAF Rugby League released a statement from Scott’s family, which read:
“Rugby was Scott’s whole life from as early as six years old. We take great comfort in the knowledge that he passed doing something he loved, surrounded by his teammates, all of whom care about him dearly. Few of us are fortunate enough to leave life in such a way.
“It is important to us that everyone knows Scott suffered no pain, stress or discomfort. We would like to put on record our thanks for the superb medical care Scott received at pitch-side, in the stadium and at the specialist Neuro-ICU at St George’s Hospital, London.
“Thank you to all the players and staff at the various teams Scott played for, from Harrogate to the United Kingdom Armed Forces and all those who are in between.
“Scott loved his job, loved life, and loved his Rugby and we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes and the camaraderie shown by the Rugby League world.
“We are genuinely touched by just how many peoples’ lives Scott influenced and how much he meant to so many. Per Ardua Ad Astra.”
Ralph Rimmer, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, added: “This is tragic and heartbreaking news, and I know everyone involved in the game will join me in sending deepest condolences to Scott’s family and friends, and to all involved in Rugby League in the RAF and the other services.”
The RFL has offered support to the family and the RAF Rugby League through the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
Boston Buccaneers tributes
Scott played a key role and was an instant hit among the players in his first season with the Boston Buccaneers this year, where he scored four tries in six appearances.
A statement from the club said: “RIP Scotty Stevenson. Top lad, player, mentor, friend and member of the Buccaneers family. Taken too soon.”
His team-mates at Boston described Scott as a “top bloke”, “incredible player” and someone who had a “big impact on the club”.
Mark Cleaver, Co-Founder and General Manager at Boston Buccaneers, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “Scotty made an instant impact when he put on a Buccaneers shirt earning back-to-back man-of-the-match awards and scoring on his debut.
“For all his obvious talent he was a humble player who was always on hand to support, encourage and mentor other less experienced players. Respect is a difficult thing to earn but he had it from all the coaching staff and players.
“At the recent awards night he was unanimously voted both players player and coaches player both testament to his talent, humour and personality. An outstanding individual who We are all proud to have known, a credit to his family. He would also have been representing the Midlands team at the weekend – as a mark if respect there will be a minutes silence at the tournament.”
Lincoln’s Imps XV are hosting a match against the RAF Eagles at 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 17. There will be a minute silence in memory of Scott before the match.