Pocklington was stunned at the weekend with the news that one of the town’s leading sportsmen, Billy Hardy, had died suddenly at home.
Billy, 28, had starred for all Pocklington’s main sports clubs, rugby, football and cricket, before stepping up to play semi-pro rugby for Hull Ionians in the national leagues a couple of seasons ago. He died on Saturday after returning home from the gym and complaining of feeling unwell.
The former Woldgate School pupil overcame considerable adversity to achieve so much on the sports field. He spent some of his childhood in a wheelchair then calliper due to a lower limb problem, but recovered fully to make his mark as a junior with Pocklington CC, Pocklington Town AFC and Pocklington RUFC.
He began his senior sporting career as a teenage central defender in Pocklington Town’s 1st XI, then followed in the footsteps of his father, also Bill, to switch from a leading local soccer player to be an equally good performer at rugby. Tragically his father also died suddenly less than three years ago.
After five years at Percy Road as a strong running three-quarter, ‘Young Billy’ decided to play at a higher level at Hull in 2018, but had recently stated his intention of returning to his roots in Pocklington later in his career. The thoughts of all the local sporting community are with his girlfriend, family and friends.