#rugbyfair follow up!!

Now that the dust has settled on what was, I am led to believe, the best event #rugbyunited have put on so far, I have the time, and mental capacity to write a follow up blog.

Firstly, I have a few thank you’s to dish out:

  • Di, Ivan, Spencer and EVERYONE at Hereford Rugby Club for letting me pretty much do what I want for the day, putting up with my many requests and generally being EXCELLENT hosts! I hope that it raised your profile & helps your door this season…good luck guys, hope to be down for a game at some point.
  • All the amazing raffle donations, I definitely missed some out on the draw day…I realised on about Wednesday! I WILL use them all at some point if they are still on offer!!!
  • The fabulous man from Bouncy Business for providing the bouncy castle
  • Emma Hunt for your insane facepainting skills
  • Jo from Cakes & Makes for your cakes
  • Forces Support Exiles for putting out a team to play for #rugbyunited.  Full team list to follow!
  • Trevor Large, Sarah Kemmet, Mark Hornbury, Mark & Karen Knutt, Kathy, Ninn & Jim, Anthony & Ollie, Phil & Family, Sarah & Family, Stephen Engle and Rich Church Keen for your amazing help, support and for putting up with my mood swings on the day.
  • Chris Hill for supporting me and putting up with the horrible stressy Gemma that I became in the run up to this event!
  • Rugby for Heroes & Ryan Lamb for your support and attending on the day!
  • Ben White & his 2 assistants who reffed the game for free!
  • The Beefy Boys who made THE best burgers for attendees!
  • ALL of you who came!

I am SO sorry if I have missed anyone out…It is possible, probable and even inevitable that I have!!!

Now, on to the day itself…  We battled rain to set up, 1 downpour in particular had me stressing beyond normal levels but we did it and the venue looked GREAT and the sun shone for the remainder of the day!  The beer was flowing, the BBQ was fired up and the teams were getting ready to go!  Seeing people stroll through the gate from 2pm and not the expected 3pm made me swell with pride…look what little #rugbyunited have done, we put on an event and people showed up! People who were not, that we knew, connected with our little hashtag at all!

Rugby for Heroes seemed to pull in a crowd and Ryan Lamb was happy to pose for pics and sign some stash for us all. (I MAY have misplaced my signed shirt…) with the crowds gathering and the kids loving the lucky dip and hoopla options it was time for the main event…the game.

Now, I have to be honest…I watched about 30 seconds of the game, I was SO busy making sure everyone was ok and that we were making money…we were! If you want a match report speak to someone else (maybe Rich?!) all I know is that #rugbyunited unfortunately lost by 2 points. But a HUGE well done and thank you to the team:

1.Ben Lee
2.Jay Ronan
3. Dean Ronan
4. Mike Collins
5. Mike Angove
6.Leon Ford
7. Luke O'Driscoll
8. Neil Griffiths
9. Derrick Tredray
10. Tom Lowe
11. John Britton
12. Chris Howe
13. Richard Cork
14. Shaun Cooper
15. Leigh Davies
16. Ben Such
17. Chris Hann
18. James Tredray
19. Carl Roberts
20. Leigh Horne
21. Aled Jones
22. Xavier Manaseitava
23. Dan O'Rouke (yep THE Dan O’Rouke)
24. Chicken Legs (AKA Scott Aherne)
25. James Grainger

And their team “manager” Jay,  You lot are awesome, hope to get you to play for us again!!

Once the game was over, the beers started to REALLY flow, raffle tickets were being sold by the strip and I was handing out prizes by the handful!  Thankfully the sun was beaming down on us all day!

HUGE congrats to those of you who won prizes in the raffle, I know they will be put to good use where applicable!

With everything that was going on during the day, and with a lack of microphone (someone told me Trev wasn’t loud enough!!!) we had a little trouble promoting the Blind Auction…with that in mind, and in order to raise as much money as possible, we will be RE RUNNING the auction online in a few weeks.  I will post details asap (we don’t want it to draw any attention from the wonderful #rugbyauction that Lisa is running)


Ok , you have al read this far (nutters) and I haven’t told you what we raised or where it is going!!!

The GRAND TOTAL from the day was an INSANE £658.40.  I am overwhelmed by this amount, THANK YOU all so so so so so much, you made my day.

Now, to where it is going to go….

Most of you will know that earlier in the year we lost a good friend, a family member and one of our team, the AMAZING Jamie Cockburn or Big JC to some.  He was a huge rugby fan and part of our little bubble and we all miss him each & every day.  We would like to donate £250 of this money to a charity of his wife’s choosing, in his memory.  RIP JC, you will never be forgotten.

The remainder of the pennies (£408.40) will be donated to the #rugbyaid charity as part of the event next year.  The 2 charities who are currently involved in this event are Rugby for Heroes and The Matt Hampson Foundation so this money is theirs!

I have no more to say other than THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.  I have never been so humbled by people in my life!  You are all awesome!

Now…on to the next one!!!

If you were there and want to let us know what you thought please comment below or email me at gemma@rugbyunited.info.  I love reading your comments, they make me realise what we do this for!!!

PS a gallery of images will be published soon, I am just gathering them together, if you have any you want to share please email them in