- Toby Perkins MP’s team win 42-7 at Home of England Rugby
- President welcomes fund-raiser for RFU Injured Players Foundation
Photo: RFU Archive
The Commons & Lords rugby union team’s annual charity match at Twickenham Stadium on Thursday (April 11) raised more than £10,000 for the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF).
It was the second successive year that the IPF were the beneficiaries of the all-party Parliamentary team’s fundraising efforts, as the Commons & Lords fielded a squad including seven serving MPs, a Baron and a former MP.
The current MPs who played were Stephen Mosley (City of Chester), Graham Evans (Weaver Vale), Mark Pawsey (Rugby), Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead), Brooks Newmark (Braintree), Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire) and Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West).
Their opposition on the famous pitch was the ‘Gentlemen of Derbyshire’ XV organised and captained by Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield.
Veteran players from four clubs – Chesterfield Panthers, Dronfield, Sheffield Tigers and Bakewell – travelled south for the chance of a lifetime to play at the Home of England Rugby.
The match of four quarters finished in a clear win for Toby Perkins’ XV by six converted tries to one but the result was the last thing on the mind of Alex Murphy, outgoing RFU Council Member for Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire, and RFU President Paul Murphy as they conducted the post-match presentations.
Paul Murphy, who is also a Trustee of the RFU Injured Players Foundation, received a cheque for £10,000 for the charity on behalf of all the participants and said: “This is a tremendous boost to the great work done by the IPF looking after our injured players.”
He also presented a commemorative shield to Toby Perkins MP for the winning team members, who each raised sponsorship individually to play the match.
Perkins said: “It was a tremendous privilege for each and every one of us to play at this amazing venue with all its history, and to support the charity. We promise the fundraising will continue.”
Perkins, who played rugby union in the second row for Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Sheffield Tigers, called the line-outs while he was on the field in the first and fourth quarters.
And he celebrated with his ‘Gentlemen of Derbyshire’ team-mates when their tries were scored by Karl Sockett, Tim Williams, Sam Patel, Robert Chadwick, Matt Root and Luke Fillingham.
The Commons & Lords’ try was scored by Joel Steed, who plays for the Welsh National Assembly rugby team, and converted by Ben Powell.
Perkins also conducted an auction with lots that included bottles of House of Commons and House of Lords whisky to add a six-figure sum to the amount raised.
The RFU IPF supports people who sustain a catastrophic injury while playing rugby. The charity, which has more than 130 clients currently, provides help and support for players and their families, in the early months after the injury and in the long term.
Nicola Sheldon, RFU Public Affairs Manager, said: “As part of the ongoing partnership between the RFU and the Commons & Lords rugby union team we were delighted to host them at Twickenham Stadium again.
“Following on from the success of last year, this was another great occasion in support of the RFU Injured Players Foundation.”