A 29-year-old rugby player from Vancouver has died after a tragic accident.
Dan Wigley, who represented British Columbia rugby and played for the Meraloma Rugby Club in Vancouver, died Tuesday in hospital from injuries sustained in an accident.
Tributes have been received from teammates, friends and loved ones in Canada and his native Wales.
“He’s just the nicest guy you can imagine,” said Jebb Sinclair, president of the Meralomas, on Friday, describing the second row player as loyal, funny and a great friend.
“He was an absolutely fantastic guy. Everyone will miss him and we all loved him. “
Wigley moved to Canada from the UK a few years ago and has been with the Meralomas for about three years.
“He came here to play rugby to get a little change of scenery,” said Sinclair. “He liked it so much that he got a (permanent residence permit) and would stay here for the foreseeable future.”
A GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his repatriation to Wales raised more than $ 100,000 (£ 57,500).
The organizers described Wigley as a “kind, fun, gentle giant”.
BC Rugby remembered him as a “talented athlete, dedicated teammate and real friend” while Rugby Canada said Wigley’s death was a “great loss to our rugby community”.
Wigley represented the BC Bears All Stars ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup against Canada’s national team.
Wigley’s former team, Llandybie Rugby Club, issued a statement released by UK media.
“He was the most wonderful, humble, and polite young man you can imagine,” said club secretary Stuart Griffith. “He was a huge presence on the field and a fantastic rugby player, and as a club we were all so proud of him as he represented the British Columbia team to play Canada’s national team ahead of the last Rugby World Cup.”