Sport

Tributes paid to Enfield Ignatians rugby player after his death aged 24

Jonathan Landi from Enfield Ignatians Rugby Football Club pays tribute to “kind soul” Lucas Yoxall who unexpectedly died last week

Lucas Yoxall and (inset) playing rugby for Enfield Ignatians
Lucas Yoxall and (inset) playing rugby for Enfield Ignatians

A dark shadow hangs over Enfield Ignatians RFC after Lucas Yoxall, one of the team’s brightest young talents, unexpectedly passed away last Thursday (4th).

His untimely death comes as a huge shock to all concerned, particularly as the 24-year-old’s best playing days were still ahead of him.

A graduate of the club’s youth system, he showed infinite promise as a youngster, having been part of the vintage under-15s side in 2014 – nine of whose members went on to represent the club at first team level.

Lucas continued his rise up the ranks at senior level, and his Players’ Player of the Year accolade at second-team level served notice that his elevation to first team rugby was only a matter of time.

The breakthrough came in the Covid-19 ravaged season of 2019/20, when he claimed his first try at first team level against Kilburn Cosmos on his second appearance, and as part of a squad which eventually gained promotion to the former London Two North-West League.

He enjoyed a particularly fruitful 2021/22 season which yielded eight league tries for the talented loose forward/occasional three-quarter, with the highlight being a memorable hat-trick in the 29-14 win over Hackney.

The 2022/23 season proved a more trying one for the club, but Lucas still managed to cross the whitewash five times.

Lucas got on the scoresheet in the 53-39 win against Hampstead in September, but we could never have imagined that his appearance in the 15-9 loss against Hackney at Spring Hill on 9th December would be his last for a club which he loved.

A qualified electrician and former Highlands School pupil, the popular Lucas was a very dedicated and passionate rugby player, who went the extra mile by blending gym work and Parkruns.

It paid off, as he developed into a force of nature, having supplemented his ability to break the gain-line by becoming a very effective tackler, and the unleashing of his trademark ‘hits’ was certainly a sight to behold.

Ignatians’ head coach Jack Wilson said of this popular figure: “Lucas was not only an exceptional rugby player, but also a kind soul, and he was always a pleasure to be around. He will be sorely missed by everyone, and on behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to extend our condolences to his father Mark and all his family.”