Memorial match for Devon rugby player Lily Partridge

Lily Partridge Image copyright Irving of Exeter
Image caption Lily Partridge had played for Exonian Ladies for about 18 months

A memorial game has been held for a rugby player who died after suffering a head injury during a match.

Exonian Ladies player Lily Partridge, 22, collapsed at the side of the pitch after getting hurt during a tackle in December at North Tawton, Devon, and died in hospital days later.

About 200 people watched the game against Newton Abbot Ladies in Topsham.

A charity auction followed, with items donated by Coldplay, and Shaldon Zoo where Ms Partridge worked.

'Rugby family'

Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin, who knows the family, donated signed merchandise including a guitar.

Katie Lunnon, team captain, said: "It's about remembering what a special person Lily was and how much fun and excitement she bought into our lives.

"It's not a day to be sad.

"We're part of a rugby family and we've all pulled together and everyone has been there for each other."

Image caption Exonian Ladies posed for a team photograph before the memorial match started in Topsham
Image caption The team held a one minute applause in memory of Lily Partridge before the game, which was the first match since her death

The club said Ms Partridge had suffered "a couple" of concussions previously, but had taken the recommended time out from playing and had consulted a doctor.

Ms Partridge, who was a part-time teacher and also worked as a keeper at the zoo, had played for Exonian Ladies for about 18 months. She was also the club's social secretary.

Image caption Katie Lunnon, team captain, said it was not a day to be sad

Her parents Jeff and Liz paid tribute at the time, saying she was "the glue that stuck everyone together and was a brilliant star in their lives".

It was revealed at her funeral at Exeter Cathedral that Ms Partridge saved the lives of at least four people as she was an organ donor.

The money raised from the auction will be donated to the Devon Air Ambulance, Exeter Intensive Care Unit and Shaldon Zoo.

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