LEIGH Miners Rangers will play their Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Oxford at Leigh Sports Village but are seeking help to pay for the rental of the stadium.
Miners had initially presented a strong case to the RFL for the tie to be staged at their Twist Lane ground, but following days of wrangling the governing body upheld Oxford’s reservations and accordingly the alternative venue was sourced at short notice.
High profile former Leigh players such as Tommy Martyn and Bobbie Goulding took to Twitter to condemn the decision. Martyn tweeted: “Why don’t Oxford just suck it up n get on with it. Just a piece of grass at end of day. Not as if they play at Wembley is it.”
Goulding tweeted the RFL: “Please step in now and try to put the spirit back into the best RL cup comp in the world.”
Following an internet appeal from the Miners, businesses and supporters are pledging money to pay for the hire of the LSV which is said to be around £3,000. Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont has offered £1,000 to help the Miners’ cause.
A Miners spokesman said: “We will host the fixture at Leigh Sports Village at considerable cost. All our players pay subs to play and all our fantastic volunteers give their time for free.
“We have been approached by numerous people wishing to help in any way they can so we have launched the ‘Leigh Miners Rangers 100 Club.’
“For £25 each member will get their name, business, club or organisation in our programme, on our website and mentioned via our social media channels as we look to get our 100 club fully subscribed before the game on Saturday.
“Let’s show the RFL we have the backing of Leigh and RL Family.”
If you would like to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or make a payment to: Acc No: 35176660; Sort Code : 77-59-01.
The game takes place on Saturday at 2.30pm. Admission prices are as follows: Adults £6, Concs £3, Juniors £1.