International debut for deaf rugby player

Craven Herald: Peter Altham Peter Altham

Talented deaf Rugby player Peter Altham made his international debut against world champions Wales at the weekend.

The popular 20-year-old sportsman, from Old Hall Farm, Rylstone, scored a try and created another in the exciting match.

Sadly, it was not enough for England to win and they went down 18-25 to their Welsh opponents.

Now back at home, Peter paid tribute to the support he had received from his team mates at Wharfedale Rugby Club, based in Threshfield.

“I started training with England Deaf last summer and have played a few friendly games,” he said.

“Sunday was my first international. I found it quite hard playing with other deaf players as I found it frustrating when I was calling for the ball and they didn’t hear me!

“It brought it home to me what a great bunch of lads I’ve been playing with at the Wharfedale and Fylde as they all work hard to include me both socially and certainly on the pitch.”

Peter, a college student, who was born deaf, came up through the ranks at Wharefedale and played for Yorkshire U15s, U17s, U18s, U19s and U20s.

He said that among the highlights of his rugby career was playing at the County Championship Final at Twickenham for the Yorkshire U20 team last year and the year before, although the side was beaten both times by Gloucestershire.

He is currently registered to Wharfedale, but currently on loan to Fylde in National 2 North where he is gaining some great experience.

“I’ve always played prop, but I prefer to play tighthead and I’ve played hooker a few times, but I didn’t enjoy it as much,” said Peter.

“My time at Fylde is enabling me to get lots of quality rugby and also work on my scrummaging,” he added.

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