Garry Purdham

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Garry Purdham
Garry purdham rugby.jpg
Personal information
Full name Garry John Purdham
Born 20 October 1978
Whitehaven, Cumbria, England
Died 2 June 2010 (aged 31)
Gosforth, Cumbria, England
Playing information
Position Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–04 Whitehaven
2005–08 Workington Town
Total 0 0 0 0 0

Garry John Purdham (20 October 1978 – 2 June 2010) was an English professional rugby league player[1] and farmer. He was killed in the 2010 Cumbria shootings.


Purdham began his professional rugby league career in 1999 with Whitehaven.[2] There he played alongside his brother Rob Purdham.

In 2005 Purdham transferred to the nearby club Workington Town.[3] He struggled with a recurring knee injury at Workington[4] and ultimately required four operations in six years.[5]

Purdham retired from professional rugby league after the 2008 season;[2] however, he returned in 2009 to play amateur rugby league for Egremont Rangers.[6]


Main article: Cumbria shootings

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.[7][8] He became the ninth murder victim of spree killer Derrick Bird, who killed 12 people and injured 11 others that day before committing suicide.[9]

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.[10]

The Workington club has announced that a memorial in honour of Purdham will be established.[11] His funeral and cremation were held on 10 June 2010, attended by over 600 mourners.[12]


Garry Purdham had a wife and two young children. He was the brother of Rob, a former player with Harlequins RL[13] who played for England five times.[14]



  1. ^ "Rugby star Philip speaks of gun horror". Edinburgh Evening News. UK: Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Tributes are paid to ex-Workington player Garry Purdham". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Ledger, John (25 June 2005). "Featherstone fear Dragons' backlash". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Morgan, Martin (5 June 2008). "Purdham on course for comeback". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Morgan, Martin (6 November 2008). "Workington's Garry Purdham to play on for one more season". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Egremont give new coach Roper perfect start against Crosfields". 14 September 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Cumbria shootings: The victims named". The Whitehaven News. CN Group. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2011-01-16. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Bingham, John; Gardham, Duncan; Evans, Martin (3 June 2010). "Bitter family row over will was trigger that sparked killing rage". Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Game-wide minute's silence". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Workington plan memorial for Garry Purdham". London. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Funeral for Cumbria shooting victim Garry Purdham". 10 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Rob Purdham on compassionate leave". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  14. ^ 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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