For the Players
For the game

Paul ‘The Tank’ Van-Zandvliet: Giving Back

December 21st, 2016

Since being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour earlier this year, Paul ‘The Tank’ Van-Zandvliet has been an inspiration to those around him, showing tremendous spirit battling the disease while raising money for a number of worthy causes, including Restart Rugby.

A member of the 1998 Premiership-winning Newcastle team, Paul made over 160 appearances for the Falcons from 1992 to 1999, until his career was ended prematurely when he was involved in a road traffic accident.

But on facing his greatest challenge, the father of five from North Shields has stated that doing charity work is now his therapy: “My drive is doing charity work. I want to put something back into the game I love.”

Paul’s fundraising for Restart Rugby is all the more poignant, given the support the charity has been able to provide him. After he reached out, Restart Rugby supported him and his family by paying ongoing medical costs and adapting his home so he can remain with his loved ones. This has allowed Paul the best quality of life as he continues his battle.

Paul explained, “When I thought all was lost, there was hope. And that was because of Restart… In my hour of need, I didn’t have any expectations, but Restart have been everything to me and my family. It’s helped us to go on.”

Paul has always loved rugby, and now, reflecting on how both Restart Rugby and the wider rugby community has stepped up for him, Paul acknowledges that, “the game loves me too.”

For more information on how to donate, please visit Paul’s Just Giving page by clicking here.

You can follow Paul on Twitter and Facebook.