A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched in aid of a former rugby league player after he was diagnosed with dementia.

Steve Pryce, 52, is very well-known within rugby league circles, having started at West Bowling, before playing professionally for York and Hunslet and being inducted into the Hunslet Hall of Fame in September 2018.

He also coached the Jamaican rugby league team.

Now, his friends and the rugby league community are rallying around following his diagnosis of early-stage dementia earlier this year.

His friend of 34 years, Chris Minchella, is spearheading the fundraising efforts.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Steve and ChrisSteve and Chris

Two charity walks will be held to raise money for Steve and a dementia charity of his choice.

Chris, who played for West Bowling and now coaches the over-35s team, said: “We’ve had a massive response. We initially set a target of £2,000, but we are well on our way.

“We just thought we need to try and do something for him because he’s so well-known and he’s so popular.

“I’ve had an unbelievable response, I know Stephen has had a lot of messages to him, people ringing him up and messaging him, the amount of people that want to get involved and get their own sponsors, it really has been a fantastic response.

“I’m guessing there’ll be more people who will want to get involved in one way or another.”

Steve has been blown away by the support and thanked all those who are getting involved.

He sent a message out that his condition “will make you get on with life, which I already have, it’s something that makes you think more”.

He added: “You expect in life to live life and be happy, but you hear and read how people die having Alzheimer’s and it sometimes worries me, sometimes you can wake up and all is ok, but that’s life.”

Steve said it teaches you “not to take everything for granted”.

“Life is life,” he said, touching on how much he’d loved playing rugby league.

It’s not known if his career has contributed to his condition, but those in the rugby league family are stepping up to help.

West Bowling masters rugby team will be doing the first walk on Saturday, April 9, from Saltaire to Leeds on the canal, which is approximately 12 miles.

The second walk will take place on Sunday, May 8, from Queensbury to South Leeds Stadium, home of Hunslet RLFC, which is around 14 miles.

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