Peter Stringer started for Sale hours after attending funeral because 'Anthony Foley would have wanted it'
Published 21/10/2016 | 19:47
Peter Stringer mourned the untimely death of his friend Anthony Foley today in Killaloe and took on French giants Toulon in the Champions Cup hours later.
The diminutive scrum-half who hailed Foley as his 'protector' earlier this week started for Sale Sharks just hours after saying farewell to former team mate and friend.
Sale boss Steve Diamond revealed before the game that the 38-year-old was admanant he was not missing the funeral but was equally as adamant not to miss the game with the Top 14 side.
"The tragedy of last weekend everybody knows about. The funeral was today. Strings made it clear that he wouldn't miss the funeral but he also didn't want to miss the game," he told BT Sport.
"Ged Mason, the new owner, put on a private plane and we whipped him in and out.
"He said Anthony Foley would have wanted him to play tonight. He's got his own motivations from his friendship there."
His conduct was the subject of a lot of praise on social media:
Watching Sale v Toulon ; @stringer9 starts first game since September hours after returning from Anthony Foley funeral. Massive respect.— david kelly (@dk3lly) October 21, 2016
A lot of respect for @stringer9 I can't imagine what he is feeling now! Hope he goes well!— will bishop (@wilboBISHOP) October 21, 2016
@stringer9 absolute class. Straight from Anthony Foley's funeral to play against Toulon. Superb.— Ian Taylor (@IanTaylor1501) October 21, 2016
A minute's silence is being observed ahead of each Champions Cup and Challenge Cup game this weekend. At Cardiff Arms Park where the Blues were hosting Pau the silence was to commemorate those lost in the Aberfan disaster 50 years ago today, and to commemorate the loss of Foley. It was impeccably observed: