'Very difficult to see him decline': Hunslet legend Steve Pryce set for charity walk in Alzheimer's battle

The rugby league community will rally round a Hunslet legend on Saturday when a 100-strong group takes on a 16-mile charity walk to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

A member of Hunslet's Hall of Fame, Steve Pryce was diagnosed with the disease in late 2023 after struggling with dementia in recent years.

Chris Minchella, whose son Elliot captains Hull KR, has been with Pryce every step of the way and is now ready to help the 54-year-old tackle the route from Saltaire to Skipton.

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"Going back a couple of years, he was told he was in the early stages of dementia," said Minchella.

"He's lived with me for about three years now since he started being ill and he put up a lot of resistance to start with saying there was nothing wrong with him, he was OK and the doctors were wrong.

"I became his power of attorney in the middle of last year so we could finally get things moving. He got diagnosed with Alzheimer's in November and has deteriorated quite rapidly.

"We did a couple of walks for Dementia UK two years ago but thought we'd get as many people as possible to do one for Alzheimer's. Initially I was hoping for about 50 people but we've managed to get 103.

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"Steve is coming with us. I thought he might be able to only do part of it but there are a few of his ex-Hunslet team-mates coming over and he says he's OK to do it."

Steve Pryce is remembered fondly at South Leeds Stadium. (Photo: Hunslet RLFC)Steve Pryce is remembered fondly at South Leeds Stadium. (Photo: Hunslet RLFC)
Steve Pryce is remembered fondly at South Leeds Stadium. (Photo: Hunslet RLFC)

Pryce, who also played for Ryedale-York and amateur clubs Queensbury, Dudley Hill, West Bowling and Wortley Dragons, made 255 appearances for Hunslet, including their Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final win in 1999.

Minchella hopes to raise more than £3,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society while putting a smile back on his old friend's face.

"We've been the best of mates for 35 years," added Minchella.

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"It's hard seeing the changes in his memory. If you talk about rugby from 30 years ago, he'll talk all day long but his everyday memory is really poor now.

Steve Pryce pictured alongside good friend Chris Minchella.Steve Pryce pictured alongside good friend Chris Minchella.
Steve Pryce pictured alongside good friend Chris Minchella.

"It does have an impact on me, without a doubt. I'm used to seeing him with a big smiley face and you don't tend to see that anymore.

"He's so well-liked and so popular with so many people. He has friends everywhere. It's very difficult to see him on the decline like he is now.

"It'd be nice to see him smiling along the way and reminiscing. That's one of the aims of this walk."

Anybody wishing to donate can do so here.

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