Rugby players have collected almost £5,000 for a charity raising awareness about men’s health to commemorate former player Lewis Weston who tragically took his own life aged just 22. 

The men at Streatham-Croydon RFC were devastated to learn of Lewis’ death and raised a huge £4920 for Movember charities by growing moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.

They all individually committed to running 60kms each over the course of the month, which also helped keep them fit in check for the return to training in December, with a total distance of 578kms covered..

Lewis, 22, who died at the beginning of November, was a gap year student from Australia and made a big impression on and off the pitch when he played for the SCRFC in 2017. He was described as a ‘good all round top bloke’, whose bubbly personality made him many friends at the club.

Explaining their motivation for the fundraiser the team said in a statement: “At the age of 22, for a man so confident and outgoing to make this decision is shocking and devastating. But this also warns us that any of us can be suffering in silence, even those that appear the strongest. Funds are desperately needed, to stop tragedies like this happening.”

Sharing Lewis’s playing position of fly half, Harry Peddle (pictured) raised a huge £1465 of this total, and said: “Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Too many men are ‘toughing it out’, keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence.Mental health issues will be more prevalent this year more than ever as a result of COVID-19, therefore it is important to act now to tackle these issues for men before it is too late.”