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Thousands raised at charity rugby match
The MS Society charity rugby match organiser Nina Aldrich is pictured among some of the players, including husband Marcus to her right
ABOUT 500 spectators turned up to watch a North Yorkshire veterans’ rugby match - and helped raise more than £19,000 to fund research into multiple sclerosis and respite care.
Nina Aldrich, who suffers from the condition, organised the over 50s match at Terrington Hall School in Ryedale yesterday afternoon, which was followed by a charity auction at the Stone Trough Inn at Kirkham Abbey.
“It was amazing,” said Mrs Aldrich, of Whitwell-on-the-Hill, who believes her MS was sparked by the trauma of witnessing the Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand in 2004. “An enormous number of people -about 500 - turned up to the match and it was a beautiful day. It was incredible.”
Her husband Marcus, who helped organise the event, said a total of £19,200 had been raised so far for the Ryedale branch of the MS Society and, with more money still coming in, the total looked set to top the £20,000 mark.
He said 60 veteran players from across Ryedale and York - and from as far away as London - came out of retirement to take part, and they all survived with nothing more than bruises and grazes.
He said it was a closely fought match, with the Codgers allegedly beating the Relics by a point in a 27-26 thriller, although this was under dispute!
He said about 250 people went on to the Stone Trough Inn afterwards, which was ‘jam-packed’ for the auction, which raised about £6,000 of the total.
He said the top bid was £1,750 for an offer by Andrew Pern, owner and chef at the Star Inn in Harome, to provide a five-course meal for eight people, and Mr Pern - who had earlier organised a hog roast at the rugby match - also accepted the next biggest bid of £1,700 for the same prize.
Mr and Mrs Aldrich thanked sponsors, players, spectators and everyone else who had got behind the events, including Dance Expression from Malton, who provided cheerleading at the match.