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Demetriou sorry after Saints rout

Leon Walker
Walker's funeral will be held on Thursday, 2 April, in Leeds

Wakefield captain Jason Demetriou has apologised for his side's performance after they were thumped by St Helens on the night the club mourned Leon Walker.

Walker, a promising 20-year-old from Morley, collapsed and died during a reserve match against Celtic Crusaders at Maesteg last Sunday.

After Fridays 42-18 defeat at Belle Vue, Demetriou said: "We have to apologise to Leon's family.

"We didn't give him the send-off that he deserved - we failed to do that."

The cause of Walker's death has yet to be fully established after post-mortem results showed it was not caused by trauma or any injury sustained as a result of playing rugby league.

A coroner's inquest has now been opened and adjourned but Belle Vue paid a deeply moving tribute to Walker's memory before the match against Saints.

A television interview with his parents was shown on a big screen before kick-off, reducing many in the crowd to tears, while family members, team-mates and both sets of players formed a guard of honour on the pitch before a minute's silence was observed.

Once the game got under way, Wakefield surrendered meekly as St Helens ran in eight tries.

Demetriou said: "We weren't as one and we let each other down with our performance. Leon's family are hurting the most and we had an opportunity to go out and try and put a smile on their faces.

"We failed to do that and we've got to live with that. We argued amongst ourselves, we gave away far too much ball and St Helens destroyed us."

Celtic Crusaders have spent all week trying to come to terms with the tragedy of Walker's death.

"Last Sunday was a very sad day for us," said Crusaders coach John Dixon. "However, what cleared the air for us the most was a letter from Leon's family explaining that he was doing something he loved and that there was no fault on anyone's part.

"This has certainly helped us put things into perspective. All of us, first team and reserves, are keen to get back onto the field against Warrington this weekend and it helps that this is with the blessing of Leon's parents."

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see also
Wakefield 18-42 St Helens
27 Mar 09 |  Rugby League
Injury 'not cause of rugby death'
27 Mar 09 |  Bradford
RFL launches Walker death inquiry
23 Mar 09 |  Wakefield
Rugby league player dies in game
22 Mar 09 |  Rugby League
Fa'asavalu handed one-match ban
10 Mar 09 |  St Helens
Rugby stars face jail over attack
26 Mar 09 |  Merseyside
St Helens 26-18 Leeds
20 Mar 09 |  Rugby League
Wakefield 30-10 Catalans
15 Mar 09 |  Rugby League
Wildcats in Watene shirt tribute
16 Dec 08 |  Wakefield
Memorial service for rugby player
22 Oct 08 |  Bradford
Rugby league player dies suddenly
13 Oct 08 |  Bradford

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