Garry Purdham

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Garry Purdham
Garry purdham rugby.jpg
Personal information
Full nameGarry John Purdham
Born20 October 1978
Whitehaven, Cumbria, England
Died2 June 2010 (aged 31)
Gosforth, Cumbria, England
Playing information
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–04 Whitehaven
2005–08 Workington Town
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Source: [1]

Garry John Purdham (20 October 1978 – 2 June 2010) was an English professional rugby league footballer[2] and farmer. He was killed in the 2010 Cumbria shootings.


Purdham began his professional rugby league career in 1999 with Whitehaven.[3] There he played alongside his brother Rob Purdham.

In 2005 Purdham transferred to the nearby club Workington Town.[4] He struggled with a recurring knee injury at Workington[5] and ultimately required four operations in six years.[6]

Purdham retired from professional rugby league after the 2008 season;[3] however, he returned in 2009 to play amateur rugby league for Egremont Rangers.[7]


On 2 June 2010, Purdham was working with his uncle mending a wire fence on his father's farm near the Red Admiral Hotel at Boonwood, near Gosforth when he was shot and killed.[8][9] He became the ninth murder victim of spree killer Derrick Bird, who killed 12 people and injured 11 others that day before committing suicide.[10]

In honour of Purdham and the other Cumbria victims, one minute's silence was observed before every rugby league match played in England on the weekend of 5–6 June 2010.[11]

The Workington club has announced that a memorial in honour of Purdham will be established.[12] His funeral and cremation were held on 10 June 2010, attended by over 600 mourners.[13]


Garry Purdham had a wife and two young children. He was the brother of Rob, a former player with Harlequins RL[14] who played for England five times.[15]



  1. ^ Rugby League Project
  2. ^ "Rugby star Philip speaks of gun horror". Edinburgh Evening News. UK: Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  3. ^ a b "Tributes are paid to ex-Workington player Garry Purdham". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  4. ^ Ledger, John (25 June 2005). "Featherstone fear Dragons' backlash". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  5. ^ Morgan, Martin (5 June 2008). "Purdham on course for comeback". Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  6. ^ Morgan, Martin (6 November 2008). "Workington's Garry Purdham to play on for one more season". Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Egremont give new coach Roper perfect start against Crosfields". 14 September 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Cumbria shootings: The victims named". The Whitehaven News. CN Group. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2011-01-16.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Bingham, John; Gardham, Duncan; Evans, Martin (3 June 2010). "Bitter family row over will was trigger that sparked killing rage". Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  10. ^ Hazelton, Liz (3 June 2010). "Family releases first picture of Cumbria gunman's slain twin brother as they insist there was no feud". London. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Game-wide minute's silence". 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Workington plan memorial for Garry Purdham". London. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Funeral for Cumbria shooting victim Garry Purdham". 10 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Rob Purdham on compassionate leave". 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  15. ^ Taylor, Matthew (2 June 2010). "Derrick Bird's brother was the first victim before random spree in Cumbria". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 June 2010.

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