March 16, 2018
Will, James and John Addyman recently ran out together for Keswick Rugby Club second team, the brothers making it a really memorable day for mum Sue and family and friends.
With 17-year-old Will making his senior rugby debut and Jon playing while on leave from the Army, James was back on the pitch after surgery to remove his right arm and shoulder joint due to an aggressive form of cancer. A former Keswick first team and Cumbria player, James usually plays number 8 and for this special match the 22 year old came on for half an hour of the Cumbria Shield League game against Workington Steelers. Keswick won 29-14, and James was happy with how it went. “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. I played because it was Will’s first senior game and John had come from Belfast for the weekend to play, but I won’t be playing regularly yet.” James, who lives at the family farm at Asby, near Rowrah, West Cumbria, was diagnosed with 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. 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,” he said.
Will, who plays for Keswick juniors, was making his senior rugby debut, while John, aged 25, returned from the Army, where he plays rugby, to take part. Keswick Rugby Club chairman Trevor Keough said: “It was impressive to watch all three brothers playing together, but more so to see James tackling, rucking and scrummaging and Will putting in a near man of the match performance in the back row of the scrum.”
Keswick School and former Keswick RFC coach Alan Gray began working with James when he was in Year 7. “Right from the start James was an X-factor player,” said Alan. “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.”
James left Keswick to play at Carlisle for two seasons and then went to Australia. He was also a Cumbria player and had North under-18 trials. “James is probably one of the best innovators I ever coached,” said Alan. “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.”
This story is written by Joe Ogden and features in Touchdown the online newsletter from England Rugby