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Second British rugby player dies two days after friend’s demise

British amateur rugby player, Thomas Baty, died yesterday, two days after the demise of his friend. They experienced breathing difficulties following a visit to a Colombo nightclub.

Thomas Howard and Thomas Baty, of Durham, were taken ill after returning from a nightclub and they were rushed to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning. Colombo Judicial Medical Officer, Dr. M. N. Rahul Haq, who conducted the post-mortem examination on Howard, yesterday, gave an open verdict. He said the death had not been caused by injury or disease. Parts of the body were ordered to be sent to the Government Analyst for investigations.

Howard, 25, died two hours later and Baty, 26, fell into a coma and died today. Both players were members of the Durham-based Clem’s Pirates rugby team who were due to play a series of matches in the capital throughout May.


The police are investigating any links into ‘narcotics and alcohol’.


British newspapers said Howard had run a clothing firm with his wife, Emma, 29. According to Colombo Fort police, the team arrived in Sri Lanka to play some friendly matches.


Last Saturday, the team played a match against a local team at the CR & FC Grounds. The duo had gone clubbing and returned to their hotel in Colombo Fort in the early hours of Sunday. Subsequently, they complained of breathing problems and the hotel management admitted them to a private hospital. Fort Police are conducting further investigations

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