Stewart Walker

Stewart Walker suffered a life-changing spinal injury playing rugby league for West Yorkshire club Ryhill and Havercroft in 1993.

The accident left the single father of three confined to a wheelchair but broke none of his spirit or love for the sport, which continues to this day.

In 2004, just a few months after its foundation, the Rugby League Benevolent Fund tracked down the former miner to his home in Havercroft to offer the support that had largely been absent from the game over the previous decade.

The Benevolent Fund quickly equipped Stewart with a lightweight chair and supplied a sports wheelchair when he said he would like to give wheelchair rugby league a try. A few years later, Stewart was part of the England team that won the first-ever Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup in Australia in 2008.

The Benevolent Fund has also provided assistance to the cost of adaptations to Stewart’s home and, just as importantly, has maintained regular contact with the 62-year-old.

Stewart attends the Challenge Cup final, Super League Grand Final and RL Lions Association reunion luncheon every year as a guest of the RL Benevolent Fund, joining other beneficiaries on what are always very special days for this very special branch of the rugby league family.