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  1. The London Broncos are delighted to launch their brand new lottery initiative which will enable fans of the club to support the outstanding Youth Development programme run by the club that has proven so vital in providing players for the first team squad for many years. On top of this the club are pleased to have Community team Brixton Bulls joining us as beneficiaries of the lotto with the option for lotto players to select Brixton as an option for their funding to be used towards. This will see the club receive tickets for the clubs players, coaches and parents, vital equipment, coaching sessions/appearances from Broncos staff and players and free kit! It is hoped that other community clubs and projects will join the lotto in the future. For fans of the Broncos wishing to support our youth programme they can select the clubs name when placing their lines and proceeds from this will go towards the cost of our Academy and Scholarship programmes as well as our community team which aims to help all Rugby League playing Clubs, Schools and Colleges in the South East. The format is simple, based around the same style as the UK National Lottery, and players can select lines of 4 numbers from a possible 32 with a starting jackpot of £500 which will be added to each week when there is no lucky winner. Every week there will be 2 guaranteed Bonus prizes of £10 and a signed Broncos shirt meaning at least 3 people will win a prize each week. Apart from online players will be able to play on a match day once our fixtures commence with agents around the stadium in the build up to kick off and at half time to take cash entries in person. These players will immediately receive a text message or email to confirm their entries. The club will also be looking for volunteer agents moving forward to sell the lotto on none match days in their local area and/or workplace. Broncos Commercial Manager James Milner is keen to point out the benefits of the lotto to the game of Rugby League in London saying “For a long time the Broncos have tried to build relationships with the community clubs in the South East with varying degrees of success. We feel that the Community RL Lotto not only helps us generate much needed revenue for the costs of developing our own players but also gives the community clubs a chance to get behind this project with direct benefits for them right from the very off. In fact after raising only £5 the club will start to receive free tickets that they will hopefully use to bring Kids, Parents and Club Volunteers to games that may not have attended, or being able to attend, Broncos games otherwise. The Broncos first team is perhaps seen as the highest point a player can reach in the South East but we have to remember the hard work that goes on in Primary Schools, Mini’s Rugby League and all of the years after that leading to the Scholarship programme by many hard working volunteers across the game. This is one way we feel we can support the people carrying out this work and help our own system thrive at the same time so we urge our fans to support this in their numbers where they can, it is a vital source of income for the club and the wider RL community.” RL fans around the World can help support the Broncos and Brixton Bulls and the wider community pathway in general by following the link below to our London Broncos Community Rugby League Lotto and playing from as little as £1 per week (minimum 5 weeks at a time online). To play the lotto follow the link here – https://bit.ly/3ggcXRX View the full article
  2. It has been 27 years since I first walked down the road to a wet and windy Copthall Stadium to watch a game of rugby league. As a sports nut growing up in North London, it was only ever about football; Tottenham or Arsenal. I was the former, my two brothers the latter. I clearly needed some respite and some sporting joy in my life. I did not expect to get it that Friday night, but it was short distance from my house and there was nothing else to do that particular evening. The Broncos were known as The London Crusaders at that time. I hadn’t got a clue about the rules of league, there were around 400 people in the swirling rain, in a then hugely exposed stadium (where I had previously appeared in an unsuccessful and short-lived discus career at my school sports day). The opponents were Doncaster who I believe won the game. For some reason, from that day on, I was hooked. The rest, as they say, is history. There have been so many highs (and yes lows) since that fateful day. It has been difficult to think of one particular game that stands out over all others. The Challenge Cup semi is definitely one, but Lesley Boon has already nabbed that one for herself. The game I have chosen was my first overseas trip to see Broncos, Perpignan 2005. The game was not against Catalans, but Leeds. Catalans joined the competition the year after so this was seen as a showcase, even though it was very much a serious league game. The pitch at Griffin Park was being relayed so we were forced to go on our travels for home games, including a game in Bridgend the previous week. Leeds had knocked the Broncos out of the Challenge Cup quarter finals a fortnight prior and the Champions were in cracking form. Part of why I remember this game so well is as much to do with the events in London leading up to the game. The celebrations of London being awarded the 2012 Olympics earlier in the week were short-lived as two days before the game 56 people tragically lost their lives in the attack on London’s tubes and buses. Despite the events of the day before I flew out to Perpignan, in defiant mood, on the Friday. The weekend was to be a preview of what many Super League fans have experienced in the South of France ever since. The sun was shining, the town’s square and bars were packed with hundreds of London and Leeds fans enjoying the local brews and wines. The atmosphere was fantastic and both sets of fans were mingling with each other, as well as the many enthusiastic French fans getting a taste of Super League before it was their turn. 2005 was without doubt one of my favourite Broncos teams. The names roll off the tongue and will bring back wonderful memories; Sykes, Wells, McLinden, Leuluai, Budworth, Dorn and my own particular favourite and Broncos cult legend, hard hitting Prop Mark Tooooookey! As for the game, after the impeccably observed minute’s silence for those who had perished in the London Bombings, Leeds got on with the business going 16-0 up after only 18 minutes. Broncos pulled one back through the diminutive (and challenger to Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook for longest name) Nick Bradley-Qalilawa converting a McLinden kick to the corner. Leeds extended their lead midway into the second half with Keith Senior going over to give Leeds a 24-8 lead. Nobody could have predicted what came next. The Broncos turned the game on its head with 3 tries in quick succession, Dorn, O’Halloran and NBQ for his second. The win was confirmed when Tommy Leuluai went in from close range four minutes from the end. Paul Sykes converted sending the small but perfectly formed Broncos travelling fans into delirium. Leeds were shell-shocked. Celebrations went long into the night and all Broncos fans were invited to join the team in the hospitality area after the game. I even got to chat with my hero Tookey and get a picture taken with the big man. For one reason or another, it was a week in my life that I will never forget. From a Broncos supporting perspective it is still likely my favourite ever away day. #COYB – Adam. View the full article
  3. Self-Isolation – Social Distancing – Lockdown These terms were mostly unfamiliar to us two months ago. Now they are common everyday language. They are terms that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Memories are being forged that we will remember forever: • Some have suffered sickness, loss, and even the death of family and friends. • Some have experienced bouts of depression and anxiety, finding it difficult to get up in the morning and to be motivated. • Some have lost income and/or jobs, in turn losing a sense of their identity and their ability to care for themselves and others. • Some have lost seasons, events, tours, holidays, and weddings. Many have mourned the loss of memories that were to be made but are now postponed or cancelled. • Some have been able to spend more time with family than ever before, with many embracing this opportunity. • Some have experienced a needed sabbatical from the grind of everyday work life, viewing this unique time as a “restart”, like hitting a button on your computer. • Some have been able to serve the vulnerable in their communities by delivering necessities, picking up medicines and groceries, and feeding the homeless. • Some have formed new positive habits of exercise, reading, learning, cooking, taking a quiet stroll, interacting with friends virtually, and playing games with family. These are unique times that we will never forget. I encourage you to take a moment to breathe, to reflect and ponder the words below from Psalm 23 of the Bible: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” May you experience God’s rest and refreshment in the days ahead. “REV” Matt Davis – Chaplain View the full article
  4. As part of its ongoing dialogue and consultation regarding the impact of Coronavirus on the sport, the RFL has liaised with clubs regarding appropriate amends to the Operational Rules for 2020, and has also worked with clubs on arrangements for the Reserves League, (Under-18) Academy Championship and Under-16 Scholarships for the rest of the year. In consultation with clubs, the RFL has determined that the Reserves League should be cancelled for 2020. Clubs will still be encouraged to play friendly matches, and it is envisaged that the competition will resume in 2021 – with all decisions to be taken in line with Government advice. The Reserves League was reinstated for 2020 to strengthen the game’s talent and performance pathway. With all Rugby League activity currently suspended, cancelling the remainder of the Reserves League fixtures scheduled for 2020 is a recognition of the need to focus on re-arranging postponed First Team Matches and to ensure player welfare and competition integrity. The RFL has also consulted with clubs who have Academies regarding the ongoing competition structure for the Academy Championship and Scholarship – again, with any decisions to be made in line with Government advice. Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Chief On-Field Officer, said: “We have had extensive discussions with clubs about how best to amend our schedules for the Reserves League, Academy Championship and Under-16s Scholarship in this unprecedented period, bearing in mind the three pillars of player welfare, competition integrity and financial sustainability. “We regarded the revival of a Reserves League as an important step forward this year, the clubs were supportive of that, and the season had started well until the abrupt suspension of all Rugby League activity last month. “We have to recognise that the priority for clubs whenever activity can resume will be completing the first team season, and that is why we have cancelled the Reserves League for 2020. “But equally, clubs are aware that they have invested in the return of Reserves, and made commitments to players, so we will be encouraging them to be imaginative in finding ways to provide competitive rugby for squad players, by arranging friendly fixtures which could involve pooling players between clubs, or even playing Nines matches or festivals. “We will also need to be flexible in terms of resuming the Academy Championship for Under-18s, and the Under-16s Scholarship programme, and we have already spoken to Heads of Youth about some possible changes to the schedule. “Public health remains the priority for the RFL and the sport, but we are also determined to ensure the game is ready to resume in the strongest possible way whenever that is appropriate, and the talented young players in our clubs’ Academies and scholarship programmes will have a big part to play in our future.” View the full article
  5. When it comes to deciding which day has been my favourite day as a Broncos fan, it’s a tough decision. I’m relatively new to the game of rugby league, having only really got into it in the last three or four years or so. I had always been a fan of rugby in general, but when I was younger, I couldn’t distinguish between the two codes as I had a general obsession with rugby. I haven’t been supporting the Broncos for long. I attended my first game in July 2015 when I went to watch us take on Whitehaven at the Hive. Even though I’ve only been a supporter for five years or so, I’ve made plenty of memories with this wonderful rugby league club. It’s been a hard choice to pick my favourite day as a Broncos fan, however, there’s one that springs to mind more than any others. Hull KR away, last season. Two games to go of the season and the Broncos survival hopes are hanging by a thread. The Broncos knew that nothing but a win would give them a chance of taking the fight for survival to the final weekend. The Broncos came out all guns blazing and went 12-0 up very early on thanks to tries from Matty Gee and Brock Lamb. The sense of mass jubilation was clear amongst all the Broncos faithful, everyone was starting to believe. However, Hull KR mounted a comeback and about 10 minutes or so into the second half went 2 points up at 16-14. All of a sudden, it was biting your fingernails time amongst both sets of fans. The rollercoaster of emotions was so crazy that it would definitely fit in at Thorpe Park. Then, with a few minutes remaining, centre Ryan Morgan makes an incredible scything break through the KR defence. A phrase that comes to mind at this point is “I can’t speyk!”. Then, the ball is worked the left-hand edge of the pitch and Brock Lamb pops a beautiful pass to talismanic captain Jay Pitts who dives over. However, it’s not over, the referee James Child goes to the video referee to check the grounding and gives a try on the field. Broncos fans are biting every single nail as they wait the outcome of the review. What follows is delirium in the away end as the video referee confirms the try. To say the final few seconds after the restart were nervy, would be the biggest understatement of the century. On the hooter Danny Maguire hoists the ball high; Alex Walker knocks on and the ball falls safely into London hands. That was it, James Child blew the final whistle. The Broncos embrace each other in mass celebration, with the knowledge that their fight for survival had been taken to the final weekend. There was mass celebration amongst the Broncos faithful, all collectively breathing a huge sigh of relief. The sense of relief was palpable. What a night! The drama, the tension, the raw emotion. One of the most extraordinary nights I’ve ever experienced in sport. An unforgettable night that will live long in the memory. Although we got relegated on the final day, I think every Broncos will agree with me that we couldn’t be prouder of the players, coaches and everyone connected with the club for what we achieved last season. Last season delivered some amazing moments. View the full article
  6. By December 1993, I think we all knew we were watching something pretty special; a scintillating brand of RL being played by a tight knit Crusaders squad, who were connecting so closely with us fans (especially in the Copthall Stadium bar!) But on the 12th of that month I didn’t think I’d connect quite so closely when our Supporters Club coach left Victoria Station for the Regal Trophy 3rd Round clash away at Ryedale York. It was a bright, sunny, freezing cold glorious day for RL as the beer was flowing en route, but by Leicester the clouds had gathered, by Sheffield the sleet was heavy and York? No chance of snow, it’s in a vale! Yep, an absolute whiteout and a foot deep! “There’s always the Minster to visit” said our beloved Alex Ferguson, “they don’t serve beer there” came the witty reply from the front of the coach. Tucked safely in the Ryedale Stadium bar looking at a blanket of white at 2pm the game looked more than in doubt. I was half cut to be honest, when Club Secretary Neil Robinson strolls in to summon my services, having passed my RFL referees exam just two months previous. “David Campbell is stuck in Leeds….and his two touch judges are in the car with him! We need some officials……..” David Asquith from Easingwold was there as a spectator to step in, Stuart Evans was down as 4th official and yours truly was selected from a panel of one as the other touch judge. While I rustled up kit, volunteers cleared the lines and lent me some gloves, Mr Asquith undertook two pitch inspections before banging on the dressing room doors “Get your boys out there Sammy [Stewart]”!! I’ve never been so cold, but never been more excited, because I ran out behind a set of heroes. Sorry, completely neutral… I was doing anything to keep warm in front of 741 hardy souls in blizzard conditions, sprinting to the corner flag awaiting kick off. At the point at which Abi Ekoku did a double take and said “what the hell are you doing here?” I realised I’d spent too much time in that Copthall bar! Crusaders got off to a flyer with two early tries and John Gallagher kicking well through the snow, good stuff! But minutes later quick hands through Neville Ramsey and Logan Campbell saw Abi flying down the wing and in at the corner, ‘where’s the touchline I thought’ desperately searching for my own boot marks. Up went my flag, no try, and shouts of ‘oh you’re kidding mate’ in Kiwi accents! No matter, we cruised it 42-10 and I recall Mark Johnson not wanting to come off….it was his first ever experience of snow. I remember David Asquith commenting on how Crusaders used dummy runners to brilliant effect and were as well drilled a team as he’d seen. And gave me a view of the game I hadn’t appreciated. I’ll never forget my one and only experience of officiating a professional Rugby League game, the intensity, the skill level and the importance of match officials. Our great game. I loved it despite 80 minutes of ‘banter’ from the Crusaders (and York) fans, including the Go West song adapted to ‘more meat on a chickens legs’. We ran top flight Bradford Northern so close in the quarter finals, what a year, I’ll never forget it. Trigger View the full article
  7. When the club asked me to write a fans piece, I thought which game do I write about? My first thought was Fulham V Australia November 1982. Then thought the semi final game of March 1999 v Castleford for which I apologise now to Andy Liddle. Unfortunately my family and I were unable to attend the game due to various reasons. But were very much engrossed in the TV that day. We went into this game having won both of our League games against Huddersfield 24-18 and Sheffield 26-20. And also beating Doncaster in round Four 64 points to 0 , Hull KR 6 to 0 in round five and then Whitehaven in quarter final 54 to 6. This game is surely one that will live on for many of us. Shaun Edwards wins the toss and off we go. We went into this game as underdogs Cas had a very good side. Luckily for us their 1st try on three minutes was chalked off as he hit the corner flag. But five minutes later John Timu almost went over for our try but spilled the ball. A few minutes later we won a scrum and with some very good passing Karle Hammond eventually went over. To be honest it was hard to see if he grounded the ball, but the video ref gave it. Brett Warton converted. Further 1st half tries from Martin Offiah and Robbie Beazley went unconverted. But we went in at half tme winning 12-14. Cas were definately the stronger side in the last 10 minutes. Second half we were again first on the score board with a drop goal from Robbie Beazley. Ten minutes in and we started to look tired. I remember thinking “that’s it we are going to get slaughtered, is the dream over?” But we got a second wind with Shaun Edwards going over under the sticks, converted by Warton . That Dean Sampson was a battering ram , we were just bouncing off him. Then Darren Rogers went over. and then a 40/20 led to their 4th try. With 15 to go I don’t think I had many finger nails left as we were up 20-21. But I thought it was game over when they went over again to take the lead with only minutes to go. A spilled ball from Castleford led to our big man, Peter Gill, going over. I could not stand it anymore as it was now 26-27!! A minute later Danny Orr scored a drop goal for them to level the scores. Could we cope with extra time ? Surely we were knackered! When the legend Steele Retchless went over after throwing what has to be the best dummy ever that final hooter couldn’t come soon enough. There we were, Dad and I jumping around the living room like lunatics, even the dog was barking! I am so proud to of followed this club through thick and thin for 39 years but on that particular day those boys definitely had pride in the shirt. Lesley View the full article
  8. As sides go the 1997 squad will always be up there in history of London rugby since 1980. A side that went onto finish 2nd in Super League that year behind Bradford, but it was the ill fated World Club Challenge where the Broncos would get a rare win in that competition for British sides. In June of that year London travelled to Australia to play the Brisbane Broncos (42-22), Canberra Raiders (66-20) and Canterbury Bulldogs (34-18) and suffered three defeats including a heavy one versus the Raiders. Then it was back to playing those three Australian sides at the Stoop a month later in July, starting with a Monday evening battle against the Raiders. I was always going to the game and had the added bonus of winning a free ticket behind the temporary seating behind the sticks to left of the one and only lengthy main stand at the time from one of Rupert Murdoch’s News International publications. Canberra were coached by Australian 46 cap legend, Mal Meninga. Meninga was 37 at the time and in his first year of coaching. That night the Raiders had current and past Australian internationals, Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart at half backs London were doing well in the domestic competition but went into the game with Shaun Edwards only on the interchange bench after having issues with an hamstring injury. After 20 minutes it was looking like another heavy win for the Raiders with them 14-0 up and the Broncos having to play with 12 men, after winger Scott Roskell was sent to the sin bin after 2 minutes. Then Edwards came off the bench and suddenly London came to life. Robbie Beazley went back to his regular role at hooker with Edwards at Scrum half. By half time London were level at 14 each (2 tries from Terry Matterson) with Daley in the sin bin just before the hooter. The second half carried on as the first half left off for London with tries from Peter Gill and Tulsen Tollett. At this point Edwards went off. London had scored 26 unanswered points but they didn’t stop with more tries from Greg Barwick and Roskell. 38-14! The home crowd was going bonkers in what they were witnessing and even a late try from Canberra could not stop a crowd of just under 8,000 going home with grins like Cheshire cats. 38-18 for the Broncos. The full house signs were up for the next home game that Sunday against Brisbane. London would not win another game in that competition but that night was one I have never forgotten. View the full article
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