THE rugby league community is rallying around 10-year-old West Bank Bears player Alfie Yardley after he was diagnosed with a rare condition.

Alfie is currently undergoing treatment for stage three nasopharyngeal carcinoma - a rare tumour that only affects one per of children.

The tumour has not spread further than his head and neck and his consultant is confident that it is treatable and that he will be cured.

The battler, known as “The Enforcer” by his club faces a tough road ahead of intense chemotherapy and combined radiotheraphy.

After hearing news, the rugby league community swung into action and have got behind the Go Fund Me page set up by Alfie’s aunty Vicki Hartley.

Vicki explained: “I set up the go fund me page to show support for Alfie after several requests from the Rugby mums who wanted to donate something for him.

“Initially, I set a target of £100 and thought he’d be able to buy himself a few V Bucks for his Play Station to keep him occupied whilst he’s in hospital.

“But this soon rocketed into something we could never have imagined and more than £5,000 was raised in the first 24 hours.

“The support from the whole Rugby League Community has been overwhelming for us all as a family.

“West Bank Bears u10s, who Alfie plays for, have all rallied around, as have all the other West Bank Bear teams and the Committee.

“Widnes Vikings have been amazing and numerous Viking players including Danny Craven, Patrick Ah Van and Jake Spedding have all auctioned off their shirts.”

On top of this Kemic the Viking has offered socially distanced visits and teams across the rugby league world are sending video support messages to Alfie.

“It really is amazing. Alfie is a tough lad going through the biggest fight of his life and this is really giving him a boost. There really is a sense of family amongst the Rugby League Community.”

St Helens Star:

It is not the first battle Alfie has faced.

He was a ‘rainbow baby’ born in 2010 after his big brother James sadly passed away in 2009 from a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia aged just two days old.

At just 18 months Alfie had to fight off meningitis - but he is now facing his biggest battle after finding a suspiciously large lump on his neck five weeks ago.

Various GP and hospital visits followed, until he was sent to Oncology & Haematology at Alder Hey Hospital where he's undergone investigations and then up to Preston for a PET scan, and a biopsy to remove the lymph node on his neck.

“The wait for the results was a horrendous time and on 27 October we were given the devastating news that that Alfie has a stage 3 nasopharyngeal carcinoma – it’s a rare tumour that only affects 1% of children.

“His diagnosis means that he will need an intense course of chemotherapy and combined radiotheraphy so the next six months will be a tough road for Alfie but anyone that knows Alfie’s character will know he won’t go down without a fight.

“He’s a fighter - as they call him down the Rugby Club ‘The Enforcer’.

St Helens Star:

“He’s just started his chemotherapy on Tuesday, 10 November at Alder Hey where he’ll have an intense course- he’ll then transfer to Manchester in the New Year for the combined chemo/radiotherapy and then back to Alder Hey for more chemo.

“As a family we are all so proud of how Alfie has dealt with everything- he has been so brave and taken everything in his stride,” she said.

Unfortunately, with the current covid situation no visitors are allowed to the Ward- so it’s just his mum Laura and dad Daniel with him.

He has two brothers Will, aged 14, who plays for Halton Farnworth Hornets and has also just signed for St Helens Academy and Charlie, eight, who also plays for West Bank Bears.

“As a family we are so proud how they are all handling the situation - how they are still smiling after everything they have all been through in life is testament to their strength and it’s this that will get him through this battle,” Vicki said.

The family are keen to awareness of this condition, because Alfie had no symptoms of this until a lump appeared – and by then then it was a stage 3 cancer.

Click here to go to Alfie's Go Fund Me page>