- Brothers Will, James and John Addyman played together for Keswick
- James recently had his right arm removed due to cancer
For three brothers to end up playing for the same side is always special but for the Addyman's to feature in the same team had some extra meaning.
John (25), James (22) and Will (17) ran out for Keswick second fifteen this month in what was a truly special day for the family.
The youngest of the brothers, Will, was making his senior club debut while John was back home while on leave from the Army.
But it was middle brother James whose appearance for Keswick was particularly inspirational.
James, who lives at the family farm in West Cumbria, was diagnosed with an aggresive form of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, last June and learned that he would have to lose an arm and shoulder joint.
“I took it pretty well, really. You’ve just got to get on with it," said James.
"I still need some surgery but the chemotherapy finished in January and I’ve been training quite a lot since Christmas. I’ve been rugby training at Keswick and going to the gym locally."
'An awesome player'
A former Keswick first team and Cumbria player, James usually plays number 8 and came on to feature alongside his brothers in their win over Workington Steelers.
“It was good to play with my brothers,” he said. “I wasn’t sure it would happen.
"Catching the ball was a bit hard, but my tackling was OK,” he said. “I played because it was Will’s first senior game and John had come home from Belfast for the weekend to play, but I won’t be playing regularly yet.”
Keswick School and former Keswick RFC coach Alan Gray began working with James when he was in year seven and says the injury won't hold James back.
“Right from the start James was an X-factor player,” said Gray. “When they were under-17s we had a really good run in the national RFU knockout plate competition, and drew at West Park Leeds to go through to the semi-finals. James was regularly man of the match.”
“He is probably one of the best innovators I ever coached,” added Gray. “Playing with one arm will not represent the handicap for him that it would for some people.
All he will be bothered about is doing the best job he can— he is an awesome player.”
Watched on by their mum, Sue, as well as family and friends, it was a emotional occasion for those who were there and a special day indeed for the three brothers who got to play the sport they love together.
Image courtesy of Ben Challis.