A MEMBER of a local rugby team is captaining Yorkshire in a tournament next weekend.

Nick Bradley, who represents York Rugby Union Football Club (RUFC), is leading a county contingent taking part in Vets Fest on Saturday, September 30 in Birmingham.

Seven hundred players across 16 men’s and 10 women’s veterans teams are competing on the day to raise funds for Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity which, through the sport, raises funds for its vision of giving every vulnerable child and young person access to the best life opportunities.

York Press: Shirt sponsorship contributes to donationsShirt sponsorship contributes to donations (Image: Wooden Spoon)

Nick said: “Most of the veterans rugby players have got kids.

“My boys are now 11 and 13 and therefore doing something that helps kids locally, whilst getting together to play rugby and have a beer or two was a great combination.

“Every pound that’s raised in Yorkshire is spent in Yorkshire.”

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The county’s schools and facilities have received over £2 million in donations which has been distributed across more than 80 projects.

Recent examples in or close to York include:

Riccall Community Primary School – £8,000 towards a sensory space

Hob Moor Oaks Academy – over £11,000 for a stimulation room

Hemingbrough Community Primary School – a £9,000 donation for a sensory room

Ebor Vale Riding for the Disabled Associations - £3,000 donated for the acquisition of a horse

Nick has visited the stimulation room at Hob Moor, on Green Lane in Acomb.

He sat and giggled along with an with an eight-year-old boy with learning difficulties, and said seeing how happy the child was made everything Wooden Spoon does seem worthwhile.

York Press: Players enter the veterans category past the age of 35Players enter the veterans category past the age of 35 (Image: Wooden Spoon)

Counties and the home nations will be represented in the tournament for the over-35s which is taking place at Moseley Rugby Football Club.

Yorkshire are among four teams in Pool 2 including Essex, the combined counties of Bristol, Bath & Somerset before facing off against the unified might of Merseyside & Lancashire.

Nick can call from a squad of 36 volunteers from other clubs in the area with players who put their hands up included Ripon Rugby Club as well as North Yorkshire Fire Service.

He said: “To have the white rose on your chest is a proud moment for everyone.”

Nick said he had no problems recruiting from a pool of regional veteran players where, even if you put an opponent on his backside, you pick them up and have a get together after the game.

He was not concerned about playing four or five bruising twenty-minute games in quick succession, trusting the players to administer their own medication of Ibuprofen and Guinness.

York RUFC is hosting the 2025 tournament at their Shipton Road base and in the absence of a Yorkshire women’s team at this year’s Vets Fest, Nick has issued a call for recruits to join the fun and support the charity.