South African-born Paul Barker left Stourbridge Rugby Club in 2006 and spent the rest of his professional career playing for Esher until moving to Effingham & Leatherhead in 2012.
A burley, six foot seven South African, Paul was an outstanding second row, with a phenomenal work rate to match.
However, during a friendly game for Effingham and Leatherhead, Paul suffered a serious leg break. Following surgery Paul embarked on the long road to recovery, only to return to hospital almost a year on as he was still suffering with leg pains. What followed was to change Paul’s life forever.
Doctors found a cyst in Paul’s leg, which was actually a rare form of an aggressive cancer called Fibrosarcoma. The cyst had broken, causing the cancer to spread up his leg.
Following more tests, frank conversations and a second opinion, Paul had his left leg amputated from above the knee, to save his life. But as with most cancer treatment, it didn’t stop there, as Paul is currently in and out of hospital as he receives intense chemotherapy.
There has been an understandable desire from the people who know him to support him and a fund has been set up in an effort to raise £50,000 to obtain a state of the art prosthetic leg. At an event in April 2014 at Twickenham, The Voyagers, represented by Nige Connell and Julian Davies, presented a cheque for £4000 - http://murderballrugby.com/