Local rugby clubs join forces for charity at Twickenham

Toby Perkins MP captains winning team at Twickenham

Ahead of the 2013/2014 rugby season, six Chesterfield Panthers’ veterans joined forces with players from three local clubs to take on the combined might of a Houses of Lords and Commons team in a charity rugby match at Twickenham Stadium. 

The six Chesterfield Panthers players - Mark Blair, Gary Bates, Mick Gough, Christian Brailsford, Chris Tuckley and Darren Burton – joined with veterans from Dronfield, Sheffield Tigers and Bakewell rugby teams for the once in a lifetime opportunity playing on the hallowed turf at Twickenham.

Gary Bates from Chesterfield Panthers RUFC welcomed the opportunity to play alongside former opponents in the charity match saying: “Having played against the players from Dronfield, Sheffield Tigers and Bakewell at some stage in my career, it was really nice to actually play with them for a change and made the atmosphere that much better.”

The combined Derbyshire/South Yorkshire XV team was captained by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, a former Chesterfield Panthers RUFC second row player. The Toby Perkins XV put in a stunning performance winning by six tries to one and raising £10,000 in the process for the RFU Injured Players Foundation. 

Toby Perkins MP 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.” 

Chesterfield Panthers RUFC player, Mark Blair agreed. He said: “I have had a lot of enjoyment and success from rugby as a player and coach, however playing at Twickenham was by far the greatest thing I’ve personally been involved in.”

Chesterfield Panthers RUFC has recently invested more than £1.5 million in its brand new, purpose-built ground at 2012 Dunston Road in Dunston. The investment follows the club’s move from Stonegravels to the new 24 acre home ground, which comprises three floodlit rugby pitches, a cricket pitch, football pitches, a multi- use games area (MUGA), substantial onsite parking and a clubhouse; all of which will benefit the local community. Opening in August 2013, the facilities will be available for private hire as well as for use by the club’s 400 plus members.




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