Vikings Create Magic For Charity

Vikings Create Magic For Charity widnesvikings.co.uk
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23rd May 2017

As the Widnes Vikings players were warming up in the home dressing room at St James Park, Newcastle, preparing for the opening fixture of the Dacia Magic Weekend, the Club were already in action on the field as Vikings Ambassador and football legend, Peter Beardsley joined its Director Brian O’Connor in a cheque presentation to Sir Bobby Robson’s son, Andrew. The Club made a donation that brought the Vikings fundraising total to over £80,000 during the three year partnership between the Super League Club and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The Vikings have been the driving force behind an initiative named ‘Destination Magic’, which involved corporate businesses playing their part in assisting with the delivery of the Dacia Magic Weekend match ball from Widnes to St James Park.

Betfred, Rhino Rugby and Wilko were just a few of the companies to support the campaign, which concluded with an articulated Stobart Group truck driving in convoy with the Vikings team coach to make the final delivery into the stadium.

Andrew Robson commented on the Vikings efforts:

“What Widnes Vikings have done for the Foundation means a tremendous amount to the family. It is Widnes that have really made it work, which we are very appreciative of. It makes me feel very proud that the Vikings fans have adopted the Foundation in the way that they have.

“The Vikings came up with the concept three years ago and every year they have done something slightly different, which has given us a great amount of exposure whilst raising a staggering amount of money.”

Vikings Ambassador, Peter Beardsley, added:

“The journey I have been on with the Vikings has been amazing. To achieve a total of almost £85,000 in three years is incredible and a monumental achievement. It is very special."

Whilst the Club were celebrating their fundraising achievements on the pitch, and the famous Gallowgate stand was filling up with the black and white of Widnes, the players were also feeling at home in the Newcastle United dressing room. Once again they prepared to take to the field in the traditional black and white stripes of the Magpies, adorned with the Foundation logo on the chest.

Vikings Star, Hep Cahill, has played in the last two Magic Weekend fixtures at St James’ Park and spoke with pride at representing the North East’s adopted Super League Club:

“The atmosphere at St James’ is tremendous and there is a huge buzz around Magic Weekend.

“It has been the best feeling running out in the strip. As players, we know that we are wearing our colours but when you enter the ground and see the statue of Sir Bobby it also made us aware that we were supporting something greater.

“What the Club have done with this initiative has been fantastic and although we didn’t get the result we wanted, as players we are all proud to have been a part of it.

“I went into town the day before the game and I had locals come up to me to say that they had met me three years ago, when I was doing a promotion for Magic Weekend with the Club. They told me that they would be there at the game and that they would be wearing their Widnes colours. We have been lucky to feel like we have not only had the support of our fans but also everyone around town (Newcastle)."

Vikings hooker, Lloyd White, who has played in all three games at St James’ Park, re-iterated those comments, adding:

“To walk around the home dressing room and look at all the pictures of the historic players that have represented the football club, and so many of Sir Bobby, just adds something a little special to the game - knowing that we will run out in our own black and white stripes, supporting his charity. Even if you are not a big football fan, everybody knows about Sir Bobby and he is held in such high regard.

“The Fans are extremely proud of supporting the Foundation and so are the players. It is great to give something back to charity and we obviously have the added bonus of capturing a few more supporters from the North East.

“The atmosphere that the fans have generated has been absolutely fantastic. I feel that it has actually built year on year. To run out of the tunnel and look to your right and see that the stand is packed out with black and white, It gives you that extra bit of a push and a desire to work harder for them and thank them for their support."

Vikings Director, Brian O'Connor, says: "We are very proud to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. To raise £80,000 for the charity in just three years is an incredible achievement, and we are grateful to every supporter and Club partner who has backed this effort. I am also extremely grateful to all the staff at the Club, many of whom have donated their own time to ensure that the initiative was a success. We know that the every penny raised makes a real difference to the lives of people affected by cancer." Liz Luff from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, says: "We really value the support we receive from Widnes Vikings and their supporters. To be offered the opportunity to get involved with a Super League club and a fantastic event like Magic Weekend is just wonderful. Their efforts in raising £80,000 for the Foundation are inspiring." “It’s always such a positive experience working with Widnes, and Destination Magic is another example of the community-minded thinking we associate with the club. We were proud to see our logo on the front of the Vikings’ shirts and very grateful to Widnes and their Primary Partner for making that happen once again."

Vikings Create Magic For Charity widnesvikings.co.uk