‘The tackle of my life’ foils thief

Fylde Rugby Club's fly-half Richard Kenyon.
Fylde Rugby Club's fly-half Richard Kenyon.
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A rugby player was hailed as a ‘superhero’ today after he chased a would-be car thief more than half a mile in his pyjamas before tackling him to the ground.

Plucky Fylde rugby star Richard Kenyon then frogmarched the robber back to waiting police. He said: “It was the tackle of my life, perfect technique, perfect timing. And his unlucky day.”

The 14 stone, semi-pro fly-half is now the toast of Fylde Rugby Club where his pals have nicknamed him ‘superhero’.

Richard was enjoying a weekend break at the Low Briary caravan park in Keswick, Cumbria with wife Johanna and children two-year-old Will and eight-month-old Charlie when the thief targeted his car at the crack of dawn.

Johanna awoke at 6.30am on Sunday to feed Charlie when she spotted the man rummaging through the back of the family Range Rover.

She woke Richard who leapt from bed in his pyjamas and immediately launched an incredible half mile, barefoot chase up a hill, down a disused railway track, along a footpath, by the side of a river, over a fence and into a forest.

Richard, production director at Delway Cheesemakers, in, Garstang, said: “The guy had a 120 metre start on me but my instincts were to protect my family and belongings – the adrenaline kicked in and I wasn’t going to stand by and let this happen.

“I remember chasing him and thinking ‘this is your unlucky day mate’.

“He turned on to a dirt track in a vain attempt to get away but I closed him down, he turned around and I could see the fear in his eyes. This was only going to end one way and he knew it. I think he realised I was a bit bigger than him.

“I executed a textbook rugby tackle and brought him to the ground. It was the best tackle I have ever made.

“I escorted him back to the caravan and the police arrived and arrested him. It was just not his day.”

Richard, who has played semi-pro rugby for 14 years, said his wife’s purse, which the man had tossed into the river, was recovered.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said a 40-year-old man from the Tyne and Wear area had been charged with two offences of theft in connection with the incident and is due to appear at Newcastle Magistrates Court on May 30.

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