About the Richmond Heavies Foundation

The Richmond Heavies are the veteran’s side of Richmond Football Club, one of the leading community rugby clubs in the UK. 

The Richmond Heavies Foundation was borne out of the unconnected premature deaths of three amazing guys closely connected to the Heavies within six weeks of each other in 2018.

As a group of former Heavies captains, we want to raise the bar of what all our players, coaches, referees and their families can expect from a community rugby club in terms of player welfare and family support through helping avert future preventable tragedies, if possible, as well as being able to help those immediately impacted by life-changing injuries or death.

The Richmond Heavies Foundation focuses upon player wellbeing through our PROTECT and SUPPORT missions.


Our mission is to extend lives and prevent avoidable early deaths by facilitating cardiac screening to detect and prevent serious cardiac conditions, provide access to confidential mental health services and increase health awareness – physical, mental and emotional – through education programmes and campaigns.


Every week, at least 12 apparently fit and healthy young (aged 35 and under) people in the UK die from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. In 80% of cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms, which is why proactive cardiac screening is so vitally important. Sport
itself does not cause young sudden cardiac death but it can exacerbate an underlying condition, if not identified.


One in four adults will experience a mental illness at some point each year in the UK. Most young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment and it can take a decade to receive help after showing first symptoms. Opportunities to help are often missed until they reach “crisis” resulting in suicides being the leading cause of death in young adults.


“Behind every statistic is player or coach, a family, a community… a tragedy”

Our mission is to assist Heavies families affected by sudden death or life-changing injury through access to counselling and ongoing support.

Neil Darke, Richard Holman, Ian Grundy, Jim Kottler
Founder Trustees