Charity ball in memory of Fakenham rugby player Craig Prior, who died suddenly aged 18

Craig Prior playing rugby

Craig Prior playing rugby - Credit: Archant

He collapsed at his home in the town's Jubilee Avenue, in February 2014. An inquest recorded an open verdict and his death remains unexplained.

Family and friends set up a fund to remember Craig.

Family and friends set up a fund to remember Craig. - Credit: Archant

Craig, who played for Fakenham Rugby Club and Norfolk, was a popular member of the local rugby scene.

He was also selected for an elite players' development group, which led to him playing with his favourite team, Leicester Tigers.

His half-brother Roger Palmer said: 'Craig's family were heart-broken by their sudden loss as were his closest friends and rugby family.

'It became clear very quickly that their sadness and loss was felt by many others, more than they could have imagined, spread far and wide.

'Tributes arrived from all over East Anglia from many rugby clubs and the general public that had come across Craig and his enchanting personality.'

A letter was received from the president of the Rugby Football Union and England and Leicester Tigers forward Ben Youngs.

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Mr Palmer said Craig was always there for others when they needed support. 'It was clear that there was so much good that Craig had done that impacted an entire community so the Craig Prior Memorial Fund was born,' he said.

'They set about raising money to buy a new scrummage machine for Fakenham Rugby Club, a task that Craig had started.

'But it became clear that they could help so many other people and charitable causes through the memory of Craig including funding sporting equipment for a local school for autistic children.

'By organising some fun events, we hope that we can raise money to be passed on to help of benefit local people via the charitable causes they support.'

A night in Little Vegas-themed memorial ball is being held on Saturday, October 22, at the Godwick Great Barn, off the A1065 between Fakenham and Swaffham.

There will be drinks on arrival, a four course meal, a licensed bar, a fun casino, DJ and dancing - along with a rugby-style tribute to Craig.

Tickets for the night are priced £500 per table of 10 in advance, while individual tickets are £55.

To book, call Mr Palmer on 07880 728412 or go the ripcraigprior page on facebook.

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