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Thunder fan raising mental health issues

​A RUGBY League fan from Middlesbrough will drop into the Vestacare Stadium on Monday afternoon as part of a day-long tour of clubs to raise mental health awareness.

Richard Kirby (54), a Newcastle Thunder fan, will be accompanied by former Thunder coach Chris Hood.

They will attempt to visit 12 professional clubs inside eight hours, starting off at Newcastle and then taking in Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity, Dewsbury Rams, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants, Rochdale Hornets, Oldham, Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors.

Richard, who works in the NHS, has been undertaking various challenges for mental health awareness since 2014.

He himself has had a chronic but relatively mild form of depression for more than 40 years.

As Thunder are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their only season in Super League, as Gateshead, Richard chose to do this latest challenge to link mental health issues with his love of rugby league and Thunder.

Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton:

“I’ve told them I’ll welcome them at the Vestacare Stadium with open arms.

“Everyone at Oldham club will wish Richard good luck with this challenge and with all his efforts to promote such a worthy and important cause.”

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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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