ON Easter Sunday, 17 April, there will be a memorial game celebrating the life and memory of Ben Marklew.

The match is between a Wharfedale U21 side and a Ripon U21 team at Wharfedale Rugby Club, with kick off at 2pm, while there will be a raffle and collection to support the amazing work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue.

Ben was tragically lost on Thursday 22 July last year. He was a long serving member of Wharfedale Rugby Club, and everyone at the club, alongside his family had watched him grow from a wild, cheeky lad into an ever-maturing lovely young man (still with a cheeky smile).

He left behind his Mum Sue, Dad Paul (aka Cabbage) and sister Ella.

Over the years, under the tutelage of his dad who coached him throughout his playing days at Wharfedale, Ben developed into a fine prop forward, also mobile enough to play in the back row too. Having finished his junior playing days Ben was embarking on his senior rugby career.

All his family were great supporters of Ben and were usually there on a Sunday morning to cheer him and his team on, including his Nan Pat.

They were all really proud of him. He leaves a large hole in the lives of a lot of people…

Ben’s father, Paul “Cabbage” Marklew, writes that “Ben loved life. He lived it to the full.

"With a cheeky grin and the words "don't worry about me" on his lips, which usually saw the start of another adventure, whether it was another day working as a brickie at Woolers, following Bradford City, a weekend with his mates or indeed pulling on a green shirt for The Dale.

"Growing from a cheeky young lad, playing in the u12s into a confident young man who was chosen by his teammates to captain his Colts side.

"Ben's rugby was very much how he lived life- Loud, fast and sometimes pushing the boundaries. Ben was a force of nature, known, respected and loved by many.

"Sue, Ella and myself hope to see you all at the club on Sunday 17 April to celebrate and remember Ben with family and friends”.