A young rugby player whose career was cut short when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour has returned to the pitch.
Chae Jenkins, 23, from Bude, Cornwall, retired from rugby in 2020 after receiving the cancer diagnosis and was told he would never play again.
But he has now made a symbolic return to the pitch in a Boxing Day charity match in aid of Brain Tumour Research.
More than 500 spectators turned out at Launceston Rugby Club to cheer on their former player and Chae even scored a try with the help of both teams in the final kick.
Chae, who played in the Launceston first team, Exeter Chiefs Academy and Cornwall under 20s, said: “It was emotional to be back on the field, for me and my mum, who I surprised with my appearance with the team at the end of the match.
"I was greeted by a huge roar of cheers from the crowd. Both squads came together to help me score a try in the same place I scored the last time I played.
“Although I know I will never play rugby again, it was great to be carried with members of both teams and lace up my boots for the first time since I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.”
Chae was diagnosed with a brain tumour after he began suffering from migraines in January 2020.
At the time, he was recovering from leg-lengthening surgery he had to correct a 4.5cm height difference in his legs due to a cyst on his femur.
Chae received radiotherapy and chemotherapy and continues to be monitored with regular scans.
The tumour left him with life-changing injuries, including impaired vision and limited mobility, which shattered his dream of a career in the sport.
The inaugural rugby match, which saw Chae XV win 32/5 against Launceston XV, has so far raised more than £4,500 for Brain Tumour Research.
Team members included Chae’s younger brother Tage Jenkins and childhood friend Alfie Petch who plays prop at Northampton Saints.
School friend, Exeter Chief and Cornish Pirates lock, Cory Teague was also there, cheering on from the sidelines.
Chae added: “Since I was diagnosed with a brain tumour I have campaigned alongside Brain Tumour Research whose mission is to increase national investment into research of this disease.
“This event was very special with players and fans overcome with emotion. It was surreal to see players wear a kit which I designed and I’m hoping to make the Boxing Day charity match annual.”