A HEARTBROKEN family has been overwhelmed with support after a much-loved mum passed away last month.

As reported by the Star last week, Paul Courtney announced on social media that his Lesley Phillips had tragically passed away, aged 38.

With Lesley described as the "best mum, daughter, sister, girlfriend, and friend that anyone could ask for", the family has been flooded with hundreds of tributes and messages of support since the tragedy was announced.

To help raise money for funeral costs and a mental health charity, a charity rugby league game was also organised on Saturday, May 11, with hundreds of people coming out to show their support.

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St Helens Star: Paul and the Stags were given a guard of honour before the matchPaul and the Stags were given a guard of honour before the match (Image: Garswood Stags)
With Paul a current player for Garswood Stags open age team, the club, which prides itself on being a "family and community club", helped to organise a charity game against Wigan Bulldogs at Birch Grove playing fields.

As Paul formerly played for Wigan Bulldogs, the occasion was even more special and he was given a guard of honour as he took to the field over the weekend, with a minutes applause also carried out to remember Lesley's life.

With around 200 people attending the charity game, more than £5,500 has been raised by family, friends, and the wider rugby league community.

This money will now be directed to pay for funeral costs and mental health charity 'Epic Hope'.

St Helens Star: The emotional game helped to raise more than £5,500 charity The emotional game helped to raise more than £5,500 charity (Image: Garswood Stags)
Following the emotional game, Paul posted on social media: "I can't thank everyone at Garswood Stags and Wigan Bulldogs ARLFC, and everyone else that has helped my family.

"Saturday was amazing, overwhelming, and showed what a family rugby league is.

"Love [to] everyone [who] was involved; me and my family can't thank you all enough."

St Helens Star: Lesley sadly lost her life, aged 38, last monthLesley sadly lost her life, aged 38, last month (Image: Paul Courtney)

  • To continue donating towards Garswood Stag's fundraiser for the family and Epic Hope, you can visit this link.
  • Further information about Epic Hope and the work they do around mental health and suicide prevention can be found here.
  • Further mental health and suicide support can be found at Samaritans website here.