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Armed Forces Day draws huge crowds for its 10th year

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Thousands of rugby league fans basked in glorious sunshine for this year’s Tom Sephton Memorial Trophy, the highlight of Armed Forces Day at Crosfields ARLFC

In what has become the largest sporting event in the amateur rugby league calendar, happy match-goers enjoyed a feast of sport and fun with temperatures topping a sweltering 30 degrees.

Starting out as a charity match to raise money in memory of former Soap star Private Tom Sephton the size of this event has grown immensely in it’s ten year history. It is now the biggest amateur rugby league event in Britain attracting massive crowds.

The event has been held every year at The Webb Security Rec on Hood Lane to raise money for Armed Forces charities in memory of the Great Sankey soldier who was sadly killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

Tony Parker, Club Secretary said “The event has grown beyond recognition and every year I am amazed at the sheer number of people who come along. Long may it continue!”

The free day out started with a junior rugby curtain raiser with Crosfields Under 11s taking on Rylands Sharks Under 11’s for the Hilary Steel MBE Memorial Plate.

A rematch from 2018 saw the Royal Marines Rugby League take on Army Rugby League Academy for the honour of lifting the ‘Birdsall Bowl’.

The ‘Coleridge Cup’ clash of the titans between the Mercian Regiment and Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment returned with the two regiments, who recruit their soldiers from Warrington going head to head.

The main event of the Armed Forces Day and the Tom Sephton memorial Trophy Festival saw a fierce rivalry rekindled with Crosfields ARLFC Select XIII taking on the Army Rugby League Senior XIII.

The free festival also had something for the many children attending this family day with inflatable obstacle courses, paintball and airsoft rifle ranges, fairground rides and stalls, face painting, LazerQuest, zorbs and military vehicles on display.

A highlight for many of the excited youngsters was the chance to operate a military digger, shoot targets at a mini firing range and to sit in military vehicles.

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