Charity boost from Knights’ challenge clash

Darren Callaghan

Darren Callaghan

First published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by

PROFITS from York City Knights’ annual charity challenge match against the York Select XIII will be shared between St Leonard’s Hospice and the Knights Foundation, it has been revealed.

The Lee McTigue Memorial match will be staged on Bank Holiday Monday, December 27, at Huntington Stadium (3pm), and will be the Championship new boys’ first pre-season fixture.

The York Select XIII will be coached by former Knights favourite and York Acorn player-coach Darren Callaghan, who met Knights star Chris Thorman at St Leonard’s Hospice, on Tadcaster Road, to help to advertise the encounter.

Janet Morley, director of fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “We are very pleased York City Knights are sharing this special game with the hospice, and that they are committed to helping us throughout 2011, too. “It’s great to know we have such a strong team backing us, and we wish them well in all of their games.”

The hospice will also hold a bucket collection at the match for additional funds.

Knights general manager Ian Wilson said: “We are delighted to be able to support St Leonard’s Hospice.

“The work they do taking care of people with life-threatening illnesses and the support they offer their families is invaluable, and I hope the people of York come out to support the game and pay tribute to Lee McTigue.”

This will be the fifth time the challenge match has taken place and the fourth time it has been held in memory of McTigue, the former Knight and local amateur ace who died of cancer in 2007, aged 29.

The sides shared the Lee McTigue Memorial Trophy after a 22-22 draw in January 2008, while two tries in the last two minutes by Tom Stancliffe saw the Knights win the 2009 clash 22-20.

The amateurs got revenge 12 months ago with a 16-6 win, former Knight Tom Hodgson grabbing two tries.

The first clash between the sides, in January 2007, had been for local favourite Mark Cain’s testimonial and saw the Knights beat Cain’s ‘All Stars’ 38-32.

McTigue died in December 2007, and the challenge match that took place the following month saw profits go to McTigue’s family. The match has had a charitable theme ever since.

Founded in 1985, York’s St Leonard’s Hospice cares for people with life-threatening illnesses in its 20-bed in-patient and daycare units, and through its Hospice@Home service. Each year it needs to meet running costs of £3.3 million, with most of its funds raised through local community support.

For further information, phone the hospice’s fundraising office on 01904 777777.

The Knights Foundation, meanwhile, is the club’s charitable arm which funds its varied work in the community.

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