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Rugby giants show their gentle side

Sheffield Eagles players swooped into Rotherham Hospice to bring cheer to patients and staff.

The rugby league giants have named the hospice their 2016 charity of the year – and are already proudly displaying its logo on their playing kit.

A chunk of the proceeds from their April 29 game against Dewsbury Rams will wing its way to the hospice, which needs over £5 million a year to deliver specialist care to those with terminal illness.

A percentage from tickets sold by the hospice, plus corporate sales on the day, will be donated and hospice fundraisers will be staging bucket collections at the match. The charity name is also on all replica kits currently on sale to supporters.

Eagles chief executive John Whaling,  who is also a hospice trustee, is delighted with the club’s charity choice for 2016: “It is an amazing place. I am personally fully aware of the great work it does because my father-in-law was nursed there,” he commented.

Sheffield Eagles adopt a charity every year and I suggested Rotherham Hospice because due to the demise of Don Valley Stadium, this season we are based at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park at Brinsworth. We will be returning to Sheffield to play at The Olympic Legacy Park in 2017 but thought it would be nice to support a Rotherham charity while we are here. I was very pleased with the choice.”

The Broom Road hospice, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in September, has a 14-bed inpatient unit, provides 75 day places every week and a community team which provides care to people in their own homes.

Said hospice chief executive Christopher Duff: “We need over £5 million annually to deliver these services and rely heavily upon local people and organisations for their support.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sheffield Eagles for making us their chosen charity in what is a very special anniversary year for us.”

The April 29 game at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park kicks off at 7.45pm.

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Coach Mark Aston, head of inpatient unit Kelsi Sukumar, hospice operational manager Karen Bartram, Jayne Toplis, Sue Williams, Eagles hooker Matty Fozard, hospice occupational therapist Laura Smith and front, Eagles winger Garry Lo

 

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