Award for three Fakenham rugby players - including Craig Prior, 18, who died this year

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 July 2014

Craig Prio, who died this year, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the local community. Picture: Mike Wyatt

Craig Prio, who died this year, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the local community. Picture: Mike Wyatt

This photo is copyright of amateur photographer Mike Wyatt

Three Fakenham rugby players, including a much-loved 18-year-old who died earlier this year, have won an award for their outstanding contribution to the local community.

The selfless efforts of Craig Prior, who died after collapsing at his Fakenham home on February 10, Adam Lingwood and Rory Singleton, also 18, have been recognised in a new awards scheme run by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).

The trio were named joint winners of the Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person to a Big Society Funded Project in the council’s Big Society Fund Awards, which were presented at The Atrium, North Walsham, on Tuesday night.

The award was in recognition of their work behind the scenes at Fakenham Rugby Club.

Fakenham Rugby Club’s director of rugby Alan Young said: “I’m very proud of them all.

“Craig was one of those lads who always had a smile on his face, he did a lot for the club and he meant so much to many people.

“All three are really nice kids who have been coming to the club since they were eight, nine and 10 years old who have made their way up to the first team.

“It’s great to see youngsters like this showing such commitment to the club and doing so much behind the scenes.”

Mr Prior, amongst other things, used his skills as an apprentice carpenter to help improve club facilities.

The Craig Prior Memorial Fund was established after he died.

The former Fakenham Infant, Junior and High School pupil also played for Norfolk youth teams and was selected for Leicester Tigers’ Elite Player Development Group (EPDG).

The Facebook page “Rest in Peace Craig Prior” has more than 2,400 likes.

The fund has paid for a bench at the club in Mr Prior’s memory and is raising money for a new scrummage machine and other equipment for the club.

Mr Lingwood and Mr Singleton have raised money for the fund by organising a rugby tournament in Mr Prior’s memory and Mr Singleton completed a sponsored skydive for it.

Both men, who have also helped maintain the club’s ground, have been appointed trainee vice captains.

Mr Lingwood has also used his skills as an apprentice electrician to help the club.

They were joint winners of the award with Dawn Hulbert from Edgefield Village Hall.

The awards were set up by NNDC to recognise exceptional projects and exceptional people in conjunction with its Big Society Fund.

Since the council set up the fund in 2012 nearly £900,000 has been awarded to more than 90 projects.

John Lee, chairman of NNDC Big Society Fund Grant Panel, said: “The award winners have each demonstrated that with commitment and dedication, changes can be made, and communities become stronger as a result.”

The evening came to a close with a special award, presented by Nigel Pickover editor of the Times sister paper the EDP, for an “outstanding contribution to the community following the tidal surge in December 2013.”

Lisa Grice, NNDC’s housing services manager, Damien Woods and Richard Cook from NNDC’s civil contingencies team, were recognised for being “instrumental in ensuring that the council’s response to the communities following the surge was both effective and compassionate.”

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