The guy who was willing to help out anyone on the rugby field is getting a little help from his team.
On Sept. 22, Jimmy Stafford, a former LCCVI student now attending Lambton College, was involved in an accident at the corner of Courtright Line and Mandaumin Road.
Lambton OPP say a pickup truck and transport collided. Stafford, who was on a motorcycle, hit the transport truck trailer. There was a fire and Stafford was in the middle of it. He was airlifted to hospital with severe burns and was in critical condition at the time of the accident.
The news shocked the Lancer community, particularly members of the rugby team. Stafford was one of the leaders of the squad for the past five years and many of the players knew him.
Coach Chris Edgar says on the field Stafford was fearless. “There is absolutely no fear to that boy,” he says with a grin while rugby players around him sold hotdogs and chips to raise money for Stafford’s long road to recovery.
“He was great for the team, I’d flip him around to a bunch of different positions because he had the experience other kids didn’t have and he didn’t flinch when I asked him to play the different spots,” says Edgar. “He would do anything to help us win, putting himself in spots that normal people wouldn’t put themselves in.
“He is a heart guy and a good guy for the team.”
Edgar says it wasn’t just his style of play that set Stafford apart. “He was always worried about the other guy,” he says.
“If he felt someone was being pushed around, he was always the first one to be there and give him a little bit of a hand and help them up when they were down.”
That’s why Jared Frew was standing out in the rain helping with the barbecue. He became friends with Stafford through rugby.
“I was heartbroken when I found out what happened to him,” he says. “He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He has a heart of gold and is willing to help anyone. – he’s an all-around great guy.”
Love for the former student was evident as students not only raised $1,700 in one day for Stafford’s family, they also signed a banner encouraging Stafford to stay “Lancer Strong.”
Edgar isn’t surprised by the turnout. “I think it is a shock whenever this happens…it
hits close to home for kids here…when that happens to someone …it changes everything…so every little bit helps to give him a chance to get better on the long road to recovery.”
The effort by the student is one of many being held to help the Stafford family. A GoFundMe page was started to raise money for the family’s travelling expenses to London and a bake sale at the Greenwood Recreation Centre on Saturday also raised money to help.
A trust account has been set up at ScotiaBank for donations. It is 808120151181.