Danny Cipriani and rugby teammates pay match tribute to Caroline Flack

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
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Danny Cipriani and rugby teammates pay match tribute to Caroline Flack

Rugby player Danny Cipriani and his Gloucester teammates have paid tribute to Caroline Flack during their Gallagher Premiership Rugby match against Sale.

The team ran out with the words “Be Kind” printed across the back of their shirts, as part of the club’s campaign to raise mental health awareness in partnership with the Samaritans.

Their message referred to a social media post where the former Love Island host had told fans: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

Gloucester Rugby shirts with the words ‘Be Kind’ on the back (Adam Gasson/PA)

Fly-half Cipriani, 32, dated Flack – who took her own life at the age of 40 earlier this month – last year.

He is one of a wave of famous faces who have urged kindness from the public and media following Flack’s death.

Cipriani said ahead of the match: “Caroline was one of the most caring, genuine people I ever met.

“She endured unimaginable criticism during her years in the public eye but through it all, she just wanted people to show a little kindness to each other. And that’s a message that should be her legacy – be kind.

Danny Cipriani’s memorial shirt (Adam Gasson/PA)

“We all have spells of self-doubt, anxiety and low points. Nobody needs other people to point out their flaws and make them feel worse about themselves. A little kindness goes a long way.”

The Gloucester Rugby Foundation teamed up with the Samaritans to heighten the awareness around mental health.

They are donating £5 from every ticket purchased to the Gloucester and District Samaritans.

Off the pitch, Gloucester wore blue training tops featuring the Samaritans logo.

Danny Cipriani wears a Samaritans training top (Adam Gasson/PA)

They had previously planned to wear black armbands in honour of Flack.

Cipriani recently opened up about his own struggles with mental health in an emotional 18-minute video posted on social media.

Following Flack’s death, he also released a screenshot of a recent WhatsApp exchange between the pair, and said he was “grieving hard”.

Flack stepped down from presenting the winter series of Love Island following an alleged assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

Caroline Flack (Ian West/PA)

She pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in December and was released on bail.

But she was ordered to stop having any contact with Mr Burton ahead of a trial, which had been due to begin in March.