Former England rugby star Tom Youngs joined in with the celebrations of his old side Leicester Tigers after they won the Premiership title, just over a week after the tragic death of his wife Tiffany following a lengthy battle with cancer.
Tiffany was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, shortly after the birth of daughter Maisie in 2014, and sadly lost her fight with the disease.
It was announced in April that Youngs had retired from the sport with immediate effect, after he took indefinite leave from the Tigers to care for his partner.
Three years after her diagnosis, she was told her illness would be terminal and, despite being informed she was in remission in 2018, passed away this month.
Youngs, however, was seen with a smile on his face at Twickenham this afternoon while helping his old team-mates toast their 15-12 victory over Saracens.
Heart-warming videos shared across social media showed him congratulating players and staff members, and he also joined the squad for their trophy lift.
Tom Youngs joined in with the Leicester Tigers’ celebrations after their Premiership victory
Youngs’ wife Tiffany (right) tragically passed away just over a week ago after her cancer fight
In a tear-jerking gesture, Tigers captain Ellis Genge allowed Youngs to hold one side of the cup and hoist it into the air, capping off the team’s first league title since 2013.
The 35-year-old was shown on the big screen at the stadium shortly after the whistle sounded for full-time, sparking a rapturous response from the crowd.
Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick said the club were ‘still hurting’ for Youngs and his family’s loss, and described the moment he picked up the trophy as ‘classy’.
‘I think everyone at the club is still hurting for the Youngs family,’ he said. ‘It was very classy there at the end, when Ellis and Tom picked up the trophy together.
‘It shows just how tight the players are.’
But he was seen with a smile on his face at Twickenham and helped his old side lift their trophy
Tiffany was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014, and Youngs retired to take care of her
A Premiership winner in 2012-13 and Anglo-Cup winner in 2016-17, Youngs retired in second spot on Leicester’s all-time list for appearances as captain with 98.
His most recent club had confirmed the Tiffany’s tragic death on their website.
A statement read: ‘Leicester Tigers are deeply saddened by the news that Tiffany Youngs has passed away after her heroic battle with illness.
‘On behalf of everybody at the club, we send our condolences to the Youngs and Sands families.
‘The club will be providing no further details and asks that the Youngs and Sands families have their privacy respected at this time.’
Before the Premiership semi-final this month, both sets of players held a minute’s applause
Fan favorite Youngs sparked a tearful reaction on social media during the Twickenham party
Social media users have reacted with joy to seeing Youngs involved in the triumph.
‘How many big burly rugby players got something in their eye when Tom Youngs lifted that trophy?’ one account asked.
‘Whatever the outcome of the game, no-one can deny that Tom Youngs lifting that trophy and enjoying a small glimpse of happiness in what has been a dark time for him is the highlight of today,’ another said. ‘Great man. Well played Tigers.’
A third added: ‘Don’t mind admitting that I shed a tear when Tom Youngs lifted the trophy alongside Ellis Genge. FairplayLeicester. See you next year folks.’
Meanwhile, a fourth wrote: ‘I love that Tom Youngs and Ellis Genge lifted the trophy. So heart-warming.’
Youngs also hung up his boots after making 215 appearances for Leicester and winning 28 caps for England, as well as three for the British & Irish Lions.
Thanking those that had supported him, he said: ‘I am so grateful to all of the team-mates that have helped me along the way, coaches who have taught me so much, and fans who have been there for me cheering us on.
‘I had always planned around this season being my last and I am comfortable with the timing of it now.
‘I have no regrets and, looking back, am proud of what I have achieved at the only club I ever wanted to play for.’