Ale and rugby event raises £5k

Sabina Ruta, from the Teenage Cancer Trust, receiving a cheque from Leigh Miners Rangers chairman Cliff Littler and Andy Walker, from the Rotary Club of Astley, watched by club members and Rotarians
Sabina Ruta, from the Teenage Cancer Trust, receiving a cheque from Leigh Miners Rangers chairman Cliff Littler and Andy Walker, from the Rotary Club of Astley, watched by club members and Rotarians

Generous Leigh sports enthusiasts and real ale fans raised thousands for charity at a festival of rugby league and beer.

Organisers of the community celebration at Leigh Miners Rangers Academy handed over a cheque for £5,000 to delighted representatives of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

We’re absolutely delighted with how the event went

Trevor Barton

The event brought together the popular Pitstop Beer Festival and a celebration of the 13-man code at the Rangers Academy’s Sutton Park venue, with open-age, senior, ladies and junior teams all in action over the two days.

Organisers say the money will go towards helping young cancer patients experiencing very difficult times in hospital and hailed the community spirit in Leigh which made the weekend such a success.

Leigh Miners Rangers life president Trevor Barton said: “We’re absolutely delighted with how the event went. There was a great atmosphere. We had a lot of fun, played some great rugby league and most importantly raised a lot of money for a very worthy cause.

“We had an absolutely amazing response from our sponsors on both the rugby league and beer festival sides, it was astonishing.

“Something that particularly touched us was that even the young ballboys for the rugby games got together and decided to donate the £5 each which the club gives them for being on the touchline.

“The Teenage Cancer Trust was extremely grateful and commented it was one of the best returns it had received as a non-corporate donation in a long time.

“The trust specialises in equipping specialist wards and areas in hospitals where children who are having treatment for bone marrow cancer and things like that have to spend long periods of time in isolation.

“It’s a dreadful time for them cut off from a lot of human contact but it does work and the trust keeps them as comfortable as possible.”

The senior and junior sections of the Miners Rangers club and the local rotary club, which helped to organise the festival, also received £1,000 each from the fund-raising weekend.

Mr Barton says discussions are well under way about hosting the event again next year, with the Teenage Cancer Trust keen to once again team up as the charity being supported.

Plans are being hatched to make the fund-raiser even bigger next time, including getting local schools involved.