Saturday 24 June 2017

Armed Forces Day

Warrington — 25 June 2016

Armed Forces Day – The ‘Sephton’ Trophy

10:30 am to 6:30 pm
Crosfields RLFC,
Hood Lane North,


The Tom Sephton Memorial Trophy Festival is a FREE day of fun for the whole family! There’s Rugby League, more fun, FREE GIFTS for every child, some drinking, more Rugby League, probably more drinking, more fun, some MORE Rugby League, and even more fun!

There are THREE games of Armed Forces Rugby League held on Armed Forces Day (Saturday June the 25th!) at Crosfields Rugby League Club in Warrington, the Rugby Football League’s 2014 Community Club of the year! There are military displays, Rugby stands and stalls along with Armed Forces and local charities. There are FIVE bars and the famous Crosfields Masters BBQ! There’s a Kidz-Zone with inflatable assault courses, a 30 foot high climbing wall even ZORBS and Lazerquest! For the smaller ones there’s FREE GIFTS, FREE face-painting, Rugby-Minis, The Crafty-Kidz and much, much more coming … watch this space!

The festival is held in memoriam of Private Tom Sephton. Tom was a Soldier from Warrington who served in the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (1 MERCIAN). In 2010 Tom deployed on operations to Afghanistan. On 4th July Tom was seriously wounded in an explosion whilst on patrol, with great sadness Tom tragically succumbed to his injuries the following day.

For many years Tom played Rugby League for Crosfields Rugby League Club, and it was Tom’s ex-team mates who came up with the original idea for a charity fund raising Rugby League match to be held in memory of their friend. With the help of Tom’s family, his friends, his comrades in 1 MERCIAN and the Army Rugby League the match became a reality. Over the past 6 years the Tom Sephton Memorial Trophy has grown into without doubt the BIGGEST amateur Rugby League event in Britain with thousands of people attending and showing their support. In doing so the event has raised thousands of pounds for Armed Forces and local charities… it’s a fantastic day!

The event is, and will always remain, FREE TO ENTER with FREE PARKING! We invite you to please come along and show your support to our Armed Forces on this very special day… You will be made VERY WELCOME.

THE RUGBY!! At Crosfields ARLFC’s Hood Lane Recreation Ground in Great Sankey, Warrington, Crosfields ARLFC are honoured to host 3 games of Extraordinary Armed Forces Rugby League.

The ‘Triple-Header’ starts with The Hilary Steel Invitational Challenge Match and features a Club from outside of the traditional heartlands of the sport The St Albans Centurions. Throughout the Clubs history every year they have hosted and played against an Army representative side, in this their 20th Anniversary year it is the turn of the Army to host them. Kicking off at 11:30 the Hertfordshire team will take on The Army Rugby League Academy in competing for the famous silver salver, ‘The Hilary Steel Memorial Plate’ The trophy is played for in remembrance of Ms Hilary Steel MBE. Hilary was a local Warrington Amateur Rugby League stalwart who held positions as Secretary of Warrington Amateur Rugby League, Chair of the North West Counties Amateur Rugby League and Secretary of North West Counties Youth Amateur Rugby League. The trophy has been very kindly donated by Hilary’s’ family. They alongside the ‘Her Rugby League Association’ director and Sky Sports presenter Angela Powers will make the post-match presentations to the players and officials.

At 1:30 we kick off the Coleridge Cup. For the past 4 years the two Infantry Regiments that have traditionally recruited from the Warrington area, The Mercian Regiment (1 MERCIAN) and The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (1 LANCS), go head to head for ‘The Coleridge Cup’, named after Kingsman Tom Coleridge, Tom Coleridge is a soldier from Warrington who served with 1 LANCS in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 12, and he was a friend of Tom Sephton and his family. Tragically in 2010, just days after Tom Sephton’s untimely passing, Tom Coleridge was very severely injured on Operations and is now unfortunately wheelchair bound. He is another ex-Crosfields boy and is still much involved with the club today and will once again be present at the event in 2016 to proudly present the trophy that bears his name.

The game itself is anything but a friendly and features mate against mate with regimental pride at stake! It’s without doubt one of the hardest fought fixtures in the Rugby League calendar, at any level! The lads from Lancashire will be looking to make it 5 out of 5 in 2016 … but they KNOW that the Mercians have the beating of them!

The main event sees the SEVENTH annual ‘Tom Sephton Memorial Trophy’. At 3:30 The Crosfields ARLFC Select XIII will take on the current Army Rugby League Corps Champions, The Royal Engineer Rugby League. The game is contested for the honour of lifting the trophy itself, a the striking bronze Mortarman statuette which was very proudly donated by Toms friends and comrades in the 1 MERCIAN Mortar Platoon.

The Crosfields Select XIII team comes together once a year from those young men who played alongside Tom Sephton. In addition the team is bolstered by players from the clubs current open age team. It is seen as a great privilege to play in this game and players from the under 18’s squad who have worked extremely hard throughout the season can earn their place in this most prestigious fixture. The Team will take to the field resplendent in their ‘Sephton Trophy Commemorative Strip’. The strip is a military camouflage pattern in Crosfields’ traditional blue and yellow colours and is only ever worn on Armed Forces Day. Replica versions of the strip have been available for supporters of the team and event to buy since 2012, from the sale of each shirt all profits are given as a donation to SSAFA – The Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association.

The Royal Engineer Rugby League will be coming into the event well prepared and very strong. The big game always promises to be passionate, robust and VERY physical! The ‘Engineers have appeared in the main event twice before … and been pipped at the post on both occasions… in this the 300th Anniversary of the founding of the Corps they aim to put that right. It is clear even at this early stage that both teams want to pay homage to their friend and comrade in the best possible way … by winning. Though with Crosfields’ new coach Tony Benson (Junior Kiwis and Oxford RLFC Head Coach) now in charge … our money is on Crosfields to once regain the Sephton Trophy!

It’s going to be a fantastic day, bigger and better than ever! We hope that you can join us remember the festival is 100% FREE TO ENTER with FREE PARKING and there’s so much for all of the family! See you all in June!

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