A MEMORIAL rugby match will be held in honour of a tragic teenage lifeguard.

Rory Wai, 18, died at his home in Wivenhoe last month.

The popular teenager was a member at Colchester Rugby Club and his former teammates are playing the game in his memory on Sunday at 12.30pm.

Tributes have poured in since his unexpected death, including from Eric Batley who was an official at the rugby club when Rory played for the under-16 team.

He said: “Rory was an outstanding member of our rugby team and for me it was particularly satisfying to see him steadily rise from the lower ranks to become a key member of the A team.

“To me he was always courteous, polite, a little shy but when he smiled it was lovely.

“He always gave his all and I remember more than one occasion when he made himself unwell through his exertion and determination to succeed.”

Ahead of the memorial match at Mill Road this weekend, he added: “It will be a way of the lads paying their respects to Rory and I’m sure that plenty of good will come from this including the rekindling of old friendships and learning from his family’s sad loss, and never to waste a minute of their lives.”

The teenager was working as a part-time lifeguard at Brightlingsea Lido and Valley Farm Caravan Park, Clacton, for the summer while waiting for his A Level results after studying at Colchester Sixth Form College when he died.

He had been given conditional offers to study at five universities recently paid for his own lifesaving course and bought himself a secondhand motorbike to get to work.

Rory’s funeral is on Thursday at St Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe, at 2.30pm when some of his lifeguard colleagues will form a guard of honour as Rory’s coffin goes into the church.

His friends will be helping to carry or escorting Rory’s coffin along the quays with family and friends processing behind on the way to the church. The wake will be at Wivenhoe Sailing Club.

Devastated mum Sally Anderson-Wai said: “Rory went along the quays every day, either on his paper round when he had it or on his dog walk for a friend, so we thought it would be nice to have his coffin taken along there on the way to the church.”