Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Keira coming ‘home’ to continue her fund-raising

​FAMOUS fund-raiser Keira Arnold, the 10-year-old from Derker who has hit local and national headlines with her amazing work for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, will be cheering for Roughyeds in Sunday’s must-win game against Whitehaven at the Vestacare Stadium.

“She’s a Roughyeds’ fanatic,” said her grandma, Julie Smith, herself a lifelong fan. “She was a babe in arms when she was taken to her first game. And she’s club mascot Roary’s No 1 fan. She thinks he’s great.

“She’s been brought up on Oldham Rugby. She’s raised money for the hospice all over the place, but Sunday will be home-from-home for her. Roughyeds is a big part of her life.”

The family follow Roughyeds to all corners of the country and it was the friendships they’ve forged at Newcastle Thunder that led to Thunder fan Kevin Barlow stepping in to assist Keira in her fund-raising drive.

He arranged with Thunder to offer a prize of two places in their hospitality suite when Oldham play in Newcastle on Sunday week, August 19.

The prize is currently being raffled off among Roughyeds fans and Keira will be selling tickets, priced £2.50, at the Vestacare on Sunday in between cheering on her favourite rugby team . . . and her favourite mascot.

Her mum Stacey may be there, but she will definitely be supported by grandparents Julie and Mark Smith; uncle Dave Thomas, who never misses a match; her little brother Jack; and her 80-year-old great, great uncle Cliff Wroe, all the way from Brisbane, Australia.

Added Julie:

“We’re all Roughyeds mad, apart from Cliff. He’s never been to a rugby league game before, but he’ll probably be hooked after this !”

Amazingly, Keira has raised more than £8,000 in little more than a year — all for Dr Kershaw’s in memory of her dad, Stephen, who died in Dr Kershaw’s from cancer when she was four.

The hospice has now set up a special fund called Keira’s Wishes from which all money she raises helps terminally ill patients to fulfil their final wishes.

A few weeks ago, at a glittering ceremony in London, she won Young Fundraiser of the Year at the National Institute of Fundraising Awards Night.

Then, a few days later at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry she collected from Andy Burnham the Mayor’s Special Contribution Award at the first Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Champions’ Ceremony.

Presenting the award, Andy said: “She’s the pride of Greater Manchester; an inspiration to us all.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s big game at the Vestacare Stadium. grandma Julie said:

“Keira’s fund-raising has just topped £8,000. We are very proud of her.

“She’s shy really. She doesn’t like the limelight, but Oldham Rugby is in her blood, and has been since the day she was born, so she’ll be okay on Sunday.”

Speaking on behalf of the club, Anne Kearns said:

“Keira is a remarkable little girl, clearly, and the club will be proud and privileged to give her and the family all the support we can on Sunday.”


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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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