Danny Cipriani and Gloucester team in touching tribute to Caroline Flack

Danny Cipriani and his Gloucester teammates paid an emotional tribute to the late Caroline Flack in their Gallagher Premiership match against the Sale Sharks on Friday night.

The rugby ace said last week he was 'grieving hard' following the death of his ex-partner, who took her own life at the age of 40 earlier this month.

Cipriani and the Gloucester team wore shirts for Friday’s game with the words 'be kind' on the back to raise awareness of mental health through the #BeKind campaign.

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.”

England international Cipriani, 32, spoke emotionally on social media last week about his own mental health, including how he had suffered from thoughts about taking his own life in the past.

He said: “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.

“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.”

CEO of Premiership Rugby, Darren Childs, said: "Rugby is a tough game and although the players can put up with a lot of physical knocks, sometimes, the levels of inner hurt can go unnoticed.

"The sport has been making great strides in breaking down the barriers about discussing mental health challenges.

"But we all need to be more understanding about the struggles people are going through and being kind to one another is a start. We had no hesitation in agreeing to highlight this simple but important gesture."

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

They will donate £5 from every ticket purchased for Friday's match to the Gloucester and District Samaritans.

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]

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