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By Gareth Salt | 01/03/2018

Llandovery RFC were stunned by the news of the tragic death of boxer Scott Westgarth, son of former Drovers lock John Westgarth writes Huw S Thomas.

The 31-year-old Westgarth won the England light heavyweight eliminator on points against Dec Spelman on February 24 but then fell ill backstage and was rushed to hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Llandovery Club President Handel Davies spoke for all at the Carmarthenshire club.

“ Our thoughts and prayers go out to John after the loss of his son Scott after  the fight at Doncaster”

“All his many, many friends at Church Bank send their condolences at this very sad time. John was and remains immensely popular with all in Llandovery”

Second row Westgarth – now 58 years of age - played 105 games for Llandovery 1994-1999 and gained a reputation as a real warrior - hard, fearless, committed and known as a man you did not want to tangle with - yet off the pitch, a softly spoken gentleman.

Along with Canadian Jamie Cudmore he remains undoubtedly the greatest lock to play for the Tywi Valley club.

John Westgarth came to Llandovery from West Hartlepool via Wrexham RFC and was a vital part of the Llandovery success in coming up from the West Wales Rugby Union League to a place in the Heineken leagues.

He made his debut against Penarth in August 1994 and was a regular over five years,

Before rugby, Westgarth had found earlier fame in the boxing ring, boxing 29 times as a professional and in 1986 fought for the European Heavyweight title, losing to champion Steffen Tangstad.

He was hugely proud of Scott, one of his four boys.

"I'm going to thank everyone for their condolences which has been overwhelming for all the family. I can't get round to thanking you all personally at this moment, but I'm sure I will. I thank the press for the special tributes - so very touching.”

"Scott Westgarth I’m going to miss you but I know that you are still here to talk to. We're going to look after your Natalie so don’t worry son. I’m sorry for all the tears, I know what you would say 'MAN UP' - well maybe a little stronger than that! Rest my son I will see you again. Love you xx."

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Westgarth's family has already raised more than £10,000.

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