Memorial match raises over £1,400 for two charities he supported
Less than a year after his sudden death aged 41 and after playing in a Prison Service Rugby match, the first Lawrence Sherriffs Memorial Match was upon us, writes Ray Todd.
Despite the dismal weather on Wednesday evening, a good-sized crowd turned up at the Prison Service College near Rugby, to watch the first of what will be an annual game between a Prison Service squad, who had travelled from all over the country and a ‘4-Loz’ team, made up of his former playing partners from Old Laurentians RFC and Lutterworth RFC.
Over 60 players arrived to honour Loz on the rugby pitch and so it was decided that the match would be split into four 20-minute sessions to ensure that everyone got a reasonable run-out.
The teams lined up for a minute’s applause before kick-off and an appropriate space was left for Loz.
The game was played in a manner that Loz would have been proud of – competitive but fair and it was the ‘4-Loz’ team who dominated the opening session, building up a healthy lead.
The rain wasn’t going to stop both sides from playing entertaining rugby, with every penalty ‘tap started’ rather than going for the points and both sides having good chances but being frustrating when, on more than one occasion, the slippery ball won!
The crowd, who were grateful for the supply of pork and stuffing rolls and tea and coffee, with Loz’s sister Sam at the centre of things, cheered both sides on, to eventually see a famous 43-17 win to the ‘4-Loz’ side.
Skipper and lifetime friend Tim Chambers was presented with a magnificent specially sculptured trophy designed by David Hesketh (and too heavy for one person to raise aloft!) by Loz’s mum Lesley, who was clearly touched by the event that had been arranged.
Sales of raffle tickets, souvenir programmes and food sales have so far raised over £1,400 with the final total being split between two charities whom Loz was involved with – The Woodlands Trust and a children’s heart charity called Heart Link.
Thanks must go to all those who organised this event, to the volunteer helpers on the day and to Newbold Revel Estates Department for pitch preparation; a special thanks to Nick Goodison who did so much ‘fetching, carrying and tidying’ on the day; to Mark Dixon and Helen Mills for selling programmes and braving the rain.
A special thanks to those who donated raffle prizes and sponsored the souvenir programme including:-
Cottons Accountants – advertisement; Dave Hesketh – the Loz Trophy, signed Rugby ball, limited edition match football; Dunlop James Flowers – donation of a beautiful bouquet; Touchline Sports – advertisement, match ball and 2 Loz playing tops; Various friends and colleagues who acquired and donated some lovely prizes – Bob Davies, Andy Mason, Ollie Wintle and Tim Chambers to name but a few.
And to The Huntsman Carvery & Restaurant for their generous pricing of the pork.
Everyone attending commented on the organisation of the event and made reference to ……“Same time next year?” We certainly hope so!