Updated: A FORMER York schoolboy is making a remarkable recovery after collapsing on the rugby pitch following a tackle.

Winger Sam Windross, who attended Bootham School and now works for North York Moors country pursuits firm Rievaulx Sporting Ltd near Helmsley, was left fighting for his life when he sustained critical injuries while playing for Northallerton Rugby Club’s first team against Halifax Vandals on Saturday.

Shocked spectators said the player, understood to be 19, got up after a tackle and ran about ten yards before falling down.

The game was immediately halted as a medical student in the Northallerton team, along with a theatre matron and an ambulance responder who were watching the Yorkshire Division Three match, tried to resuscitate him.

An ambulance arrived at the ground in Warley, West Yorkshire, and he was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to the intensive care unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where his family has been at his side.

A club spokesman said yesterday that Sam’s family had told him he was now awake, breathing and talking, and a hospital spokesman said Sam, who was formerly in a critical condition, was now stable.

Justin Birkett, owner of Rievaulx Sporting Ltd, said everyone at the estate wanted to give Sam their best wishes, and said he had been given promising news about Sam’s condition from his family yesterday.

Sam’s former headteacher at Bootham, Jonathan Taylor, said everyone’s thoughts were with Sam and his family at a very worrying time, and paid tribute to the former pupil.

“During his time at Bootham, Sam was a first class athlete, winning county recognition as a cross-country champion and in league-winning basketball teams,” he said.

“He was a lively member of the school community and devoted to his sport – we send every possible good wish for a full and speedy recovery.”

A spokesman for the Rugby Football Union said a report detailing the incident had been sent to its medical department.