Braintree rugby players have pledged to donate blood in memory of their team mate who lost his two-year battle against cancer this year.

Members of Braintree Rugby Club launched a blood drive on Saturday to encourage residents across town to give blood and save lives.

First-team captain Matthew Wadforth, 42, contracted myeloid leukaemia in July 2012 and needed more than 80 units of blood during his chemotherapy, which left him with very low blood counts.

Known as “Maff” to his friends, the dad-of-one achieved remission by December 2012 but relapsed in May last year.

See this week's Braintree Times for the full story.