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Rugby fraternity shines through at Sidcup

28 November 2013

  • Danny Mizen wins 350th cap for Sidcup RFC
  • Mizen family pay tribute to Sidcup members who have raised over £60,000 for the Jimmy Mizen Foundation
Sidcup RFC members fundraising for the Jimmy Mizen Foundation. Danny Mizen is second from the left wearing the red headband.

Photo: RFU Archive

This month Danny Mizen became only the second player in Sidcup’s 130 year history to reach 350 appearances for his 1st XV.

The popular second-row dedicated this remarkable achievement to Sidcup members whose unwavering support has helped him and his family through the heartache of losing his younger brother Jimmy.

In May 2008, Jimmy was murdered in a South East London bakery and the Jimmy Mizen Foundation has been established in his memory, helping to fund projects for young people in the community.  

“I’ve played at Sidcup since I was 15,” said Danny “I’m now 35 and the rugby club has become like a family over the years, it’s a proper community. At every away game we have 20-30 people watching us come rain or shine, sometimes travelling three hours to get there. It’s that kind of support that makes the club.

“I’m the second oldest of nine children and Jimmy was the second youngest. He played for a few years at the club and absolutely loved the social side and mixing with the players after the game. He was such a good, fun lad, everyone liked him. After he died it was difficult for people to know what to say to help, so they rallied around by fundraising for his foundation.”

So far Sidcup members have raised £60,000 by completing various challenges including a 12 mile assault course and the London to Brighton and London to Paris bike rides, which involved cycling 140 miles a day for four days.

Mizen continued: “We also have an annual Boxing Day match where we split the proceeds between the Jimmy Mizen Foundation and the Royal Marsden. Phil West, the only player who has more caps than me, lost his wife to cancer four years ago, so it’s another example of Sidcup wanting to support its members.”

Danny’s father Barry, a Sidcup member for over 20 years, has written to chairman Ian Anderson expressing his family’s heartfelt and sincere thanks.

“People often ask us what Jimmy was like and the easiest way to describe him is that he was an amalgam of all his older brothers who he looked up to,” he wrote. “Whatever any of them were doing he would also want to do.

“Following his death, we as a family were determined not to be beaten by what had happened and that something good would come from it as a legacy of a fine young lad.

“Of all the support we have received the greatest and most effective has been the support of the members and their families and friends of Sidcup RFC. The reality of the support and encouragement we have been given cannot be done justice in words alone.

“It is a testament to the character and culture of the rugby fraternity that we are managing to make a difference. We will always be thankful and look forward to many years ahead of being associated with such a great club and people.”

Sidcup RFC Chairman Ian Anderson added: “When I opened the email and read Barry’s letter, I felt an enormous sense of pride. The Mizen family are the kindest and most compassionate people that you could ever wish to meet. Their generosity of spirit and determination that good should come out of the awful tragedy that befell them is an inspiration to everyone at our club.”

 

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