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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Support for flood-hit Cumbria sports clubs

SUPPORT has been pouring in for sports clubs hit by last month’s devastating floods.

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RESPECT: Workington Reds players observe a minute’s silence in memory of PC Bill Barker

And West Cumbria’s Sale Shark rugby union stars have also been doing their bit to help.

Sale’s Steve Hanley, who hails from Aspatria, and Workington-born Mark Cueto organised fund-raising at the club’s match against Wasps on Friday night.

Although the game was called off at the last moment, the gathered fans were happy to dip into their pockets for a collection for the Cumbria Community Foundation’s flood fund.

Last night Hanley was to presented the Sale money – just over £3,000 – to the foundation at an Aspatria rugby union club event.

Professional rugby league is also banding together to support the flood appeal.

Super League clubs Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Huddersfield Giants and Salford City Reds have already promised signed shirts that are now being auctioned on eBay.

Workington Town and Haven have also promised signed shirts, and organiser Tony Harrison, deputy sports editor of the News & Star, the Times & Star’s sister daily, said: “I have had a tremendous response from the professional clubs who have been touched by the recent floods in West Cumbria.

“St Helens legend Paul Sculthorpe set the ball rolling and was delighted to donate a signed shirt for the cause.

“This was quickly followed by 10 other clubs from Super League, the Championship and Championship One, and I am expecting the promise of more shirts to come in later this week.

“It’s an ideal opportunity to get something special as a present as we hope to get the shirts to the auction winners by Christmas.”

The auction for the Town signed shirt, kindly donated by chairman Dave Bowden, can be seen by typing auction number 160382581364 in the search bar on eBay.

To view the other auctions, please select ‘see other items’ on the Town shirt page.

Last month’s floods hit several sporting venues, including Keswick and Egremont rugby union clubs and the cricket clubs at Keswick, Cockermouth, Workington, Carlisle and Appleby.

The England and Wales Cricket Trust Limited (EWCT) has begun a relief fund with an initial input of £50,000.

The priority is to provide immediate financial and logistical support that will be focused on work on access roads and services, decontamination, general clearance and clean-up, and hire or purchase of machinery to aid this process.

David Collier, ECB chief executive, said: “We have been advised by the Cumbria Cricket Board that five clubs are in urgent need of assistance and I am pleased to be able to announce the ECB, through the EWCT, has set aside funds to help these clubs.”

Prompt help is also coming from the Rugby Football Union’s emergency action fund.

Keswick is to receive financial support to replace lost equipment and towards the clean-up operation.

Many sporting events have been paying their respects to PC Bill Barker, the officer who died when Northside Bridge was swept away.

These include Workington Reds before the start of last Saturday’s game Eastwood at Borough Park, which is just yards away from where the bridge stood.

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