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14 Nov 2021

Steppin’ out to support junior Rugby League

Steppin’ out to support junior Rugby League

Former England Rugby League star Kevin Brown has always put his heart and soul into the community game – now he’s about to put his feet into it too. 

Brown, who retired from the professional game in September, will lead a group of junior team coaches from the Orrell St James club on a gruelling 48-hour fundraising walk next week (Friday 19-Sunday 21 November) from Leeds to Wigan. 

The ex-Salford, Huddersfield, Warrington, Widnes and Wigan stand-off will be joined by fellow under nines coaches Dave Dempsey, Stephen Fairhurst, Ben Hogg and Joe Molyneux. The five are aiming to raise £20,000 to send more than 30 junior players on the trip of a lifetime in 2023 – to take part in a festival of Rugby League in the Catalonian stronghold of Perpignan. 

With logistical support from the RFL’s John McMullen, the five will walk 90 miles along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in just 48 hours. They will set out from Bridge Road, Rodley (LS13 1LN) at 6pm on Friday evening, walking against the clock, the light and the night before arriving at their Orrell St James club at 7.30pm on Sunday. 

Brown, whose own son Harry plays at Orrell St James, explains:
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been paid to play Rugby League and visit Perpignan as a professional player, but my roots are in the community game and this is a way of giving something back. 

“We have 30-odd under nines kids at Orrell St James and we want all of them, regardless of family circumstances, to be able to make that trip to Perpignan. It will be a fantastic experience for them and some of them may even go on to enjoy careers in Rugby League as I have. I hope people out there can find a few pounds or even just a few pence to help them on their way.” 

Anybody wishing to support the Orrell St James walkers can give securely, online, here.

The walkers will be joined by club members, parents, families, friends and even pets at any point on the last leg of their journey on Sunday 21 November, which starts at 1pm from the Top Lock Pub at Wheeton, near Chorley, heading to Orrell St James via Addlington, Aspull and Wigan town centre.