Victim of Linton Weir drowning tragedy in the Yorkshire Dales named as 19-year-old rugby player Ben Marklew

A rugby club has paid tribute to a 19-year-old player who died while swimming in the River Wharfe last week.

Ben Marklew in a photo posted by his rugby club, Wharfedale RUFC

Ben Marklew, from Glusburn near Keighley, got into difficulties at Linton Weir, near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales on July 22.

The keen sportsman was a Bradford City fan and played rugby union for Wharfedale RUFC.

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A tribute posted by the club read: "Ben was a long serving member of the rugby club. Everyone at the club, alongside his family had watched him grow from a wild, cheeky lad into an ever maturing lovely young man (still with a cheeky smile).

"He leaves behind his mum Sue, dad Paul (aka Cabbage) and sister Ella.

"Over the years, under the tutelage of his dad who coached him throughout his playing days at Wharfedale, Ben developed into a fine prop forward also mobile enough to play in the back row too. Having finished his junior playing days Ben was embarking on his senior rugby career.

"All his family were great supporters of Ben and were usually there on a Sunday morning to cheer him and his team on including his nan Pat.

"They were all really proud of him. He leaves a large hole in the lives of a lot of people."

Ben worked as a bricklayer for Keighley building firm RN Wooler, a company he had joined straight from school. He had recently completed his apprenticeship in partnership with Bradford College.

He died at the same spot where Bradford teenager Mohammed Bilal Zeb, 18, drowned while jumping from rocks into the river in July 2020. An inquest held in March found that Bilal, who was newly married, had died in less than a minute after the non-swimmer landed in the middle of the current and was unable to reach the bank.