Connor Lynes, 17, from Kingston Upon Hull, was 14 when he was found collapsed on his bathroom floor after being tackled while playing for Lambwath Lions the previous day.
He was found to have a blood clot on his brain but three years later he stepped back out onto the field to play for Wakefield Trinity’s PDRL (Physical Disability Rugby League) team.
Connor returned with a bang, scoring a try from the half-way line, and his auntie, Sara, said the teenager has “got a smile on his face and his sparkle back”.
“I think for Connor, one of the biggest things was accepting his disability. He was not initially decisive about joining the PDRL team but he has not looked back since.”
Since his life-changing injury, Connor has set up his own fundraising charity, the Connor Lynes Foundation, where he helps raise money to provide equipment and support for brain injury groups across the country.
Connor now plays alongside people with a range of disabilities, including those with brain injuries, amputees, limited sight and limited hearing.
“It is just inspirational to watch him play”, his auntie said.
Connor has not let the injury stand in his way and has thrown himself into charity work, raising valuable funds for:
- Life For A Kid
- Leeds P.I.C.U Hospital
- Paul For Brain
- RFL Benevolent fund
- Jack Christmas fund
It is through his selfless efforts that he has been nominated and collected several awards over the last three years, regularly hosting fundraising events and raising awareness by sharing his story across various media portals.
All this wonderful work hasn’t gone unnoticed and yesterday Connor met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to talk about his story so far, which will no doubt inspire.
Community Trust General Manager, Craig Shepherd, said, “It has been a pleasure to get to know Connor and his aunt, Sara, this year. Their commitment to travel from Hull on a weekly basis has been exceptional. He is a valued member of the PDRL team and the Trust, for which he will become a ‘Young Trustee’ in a few weeks alongside six other motivated individuals.”
“When you first meet Connor he’s quiet, shy, unassuming but as he grows confidence he becomes very vocal and the way in which his story inspires is quite moving. He’s not the only young person to have suffered a life-threatening stroke but there are few who devote their lives to helping others and raising awareness in the way that Connor does and for that we are incredibly proud of him.”
“Meeting Prince William and his wife, Kate, is something that may never happen in a lifetime and we hope Connor enjoyed every second of it.”