Students remember rugby-loving Danny King with memorial game

Danny King loved the game of rugby, so Liam Warren figured there was no better way to remember his coach than with a memorial match on the first anniversary of his death.

Rugby player and teacher died one year ago

Students from the Waterford Valley Highschool rugby teams play a scrimmage match in remembrance of Danny King, a teacher who died in 2016. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Danny King loved the game of rugby, so Liam Warren figured there was no better way to remember his coach than with a memorial match on the first anniversary of his death. 

Warren was one of the Waterford Valley High School students who helped organize a rugby game Tuesday in remembrance of King, an athlete and teacher who died last year at 44. 

Students sold memorial wristbands on Tuesday afternoon, raising money for the SPCA and for a school project. The boys and girls rugby teams played a game at lunchtime on the school's pitch in St. John's.

"We decided it would be the best way to remember D.K.," said Warren, referring to the late rugby player and powerlifter's nickname

Liam Warren says he was coached by Danny King on his Swilers rugby team. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Warren played on the school's rugby team, he said, and with the Swilers. He'll always remember that King gave him a shot to play wing.

"I was like, holy cow. This guy, he must be something special, 'cause he sees potential in me," he said.

King died on Jan. 17, 2016.

'He helped me through it'

Jordan Chaulk, another student who helped organize the memorial scrimmage, said King helped motivate him through some tough times at school.

Chaulk said he had a stroke at 15, and struggled with his day-to-day mobility.

"He kind of helped motivate me to stay in school and pass and do good," Chaulk said.

"And then throughout that, I just kind of went on about my life. And he helped me through it." 

The Swilers Rugby Club posted this photo of Danny King to its Facebook page after he died in 2016. (Swilers Rugby Club)

Chaulk said it broke his heart last year to hear that King had died.

"He had something special, he was able to be a teacher and carry authority but also be your friend. And as a student that's very special to see," he said.

Chaulk helped create sell the "D.K." memorial bracelets. They're designed in pink, white and green — the colours of the Swilers rugby club, where King played. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

With files from Ted Dillon and Don Power