WillPower Fest looms nearer!

A National Conference League All Stars side comprising players who played in the competition between 1998 and 2014 will take on an Oulton Raiders Select team from the same period on Sunday (2 July, 3.00pm).


The game, at Raider Park, will be preceded by a Rocky’s Tots (Mascots) session with the legendary Rocky Whitehead and several junior matches involving Oulton and teams from Skirlaugh, West Hull, Milford and Methley Warriors, and is the highlight of the Willpower RugbyFest, which has been organised in aid of the Candlelighters Charity, which supports children in Yorkshire and beyond who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families.


The free-to-enter event has been organised by a team of volunteers headed by Oulton stalwart Sasch Brook whose nine-year-old nephew, Will Coley, was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.


Brook, who is Player Welfare Manager at Hull FC, is fetching the Challenge Cup along for public display; Hull coach Lee Radford and the Airlie Bird and Ronnie the Rhino, together with Ryan Hall, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Kelvin Skerrett, will all be in attendance and will no doubt be casting covetous eyes on the famous piece of silverware, while Castleford Tigers dance team ‘Claws’ will be going through their paces.


Candlelighters’ work at Leeds Children’s Hospital involves the provision of a console, laptop and TV at each hospital bed, a playroom and an outside pavilion and direct emotional and physical support.


Will and his family were, with other families, treated to a trip to the pantomime and to the Royal Armouries at Christmas in another example of Candlelighters’ vital impact.


The charity is currently renovating a cottage near Leeds General Infirmary, to provide a base for families from further afield.


Will is now in remission and returned to Carlton Primary School, near Rothwell, for the summer term, where he is enjoying seeing his friends; and, thanks to Candlelighters, he and his family were recently treated to a few days at Centerparcs.


The 24-player All Stars squad is likely to comprise Michael Beadle (Lock Lane), Jamie Benn (Castleford Panthers), Lee Brown (East Hull), Nicky Caldwell (York Acorn and Hull Dockers), Matt Calland, Ryan Douglas (Rochdale Mayfield), Gavin Corfield (Wigan St Jude’s), James Crawford (East Leeds), Allan Dunham (Myton Warriors), Dave Dunwell (Normanton Knights), Luke Haigh (Thornhill Trojans), Phil Hasty (East Leeds and East Hull), Glyn Jones (West Hull and Hull Dockers), Jon Liddell (York Acorn), Andrew Rasburn (Wigan St Patrick’s), Carl Redford (Leigh East), Carl Roden (Ince Rose Bridge), Paul Sebine (Hunslet Warriors), Chris Smith (Eccles), Chris Stephenson (Hull Dockers), Dave Sutton (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Danny Ulyatt (Ideal Isberg/Hull Dockers), Danny Wilson (Skirlaugh), Steve Woodburn (Millom).


Oulton’s squad is Ian Booth, Danny Burton, Danny Coward, Mick Coyle, James Cruickshank, Danny Elston, Dom Flanagan, Dave Furness, Tommy Griffiths, Matty Handforth, Dan Hardy, Joe Hawley, Junior Henderson, Ian Hiddleston, Stephen Jakeman, Billy Kershaw, Nathan Larvin, Nicky Leckenby, Sammy Longley, Scott MacDonald, Eddie North, Carlos Sanchez, Danny Stanley, Phil Swallow, Andy Williamson.


The Willpower Fest starts at 11.00am and will run through the day, with the evening entertainment involving a raffle and with Michael `Braddy’ Bradshaw as Master of Ceremonies, closing at around 10.30pm.