LYMM Rugby club has helped raise more than £17,000 for former player Adam Cox who tragically died from a rare form of cancer.
Dad-of-two Adam had been battling with sarcoma around his spine and sadly died just before a fund-raising game being organised at the club.
Affectionately known as Beefy, the 37-year-old was a stalwart of the club – the former prop having first joined its junior section around 30 years ago.
The idea for a fund raising match came from a beach conversation in Abersoch between Guy Larkin and Chris Kinsey.
Chris explained: “Such was the respect and support for Adam, once it had been proposed on social media we had over 25 players committed within 24 hours.
“Police Officer and ex Lymm player Mark Berry, mentioned that the police may want to be involved. Within a week a date and fixture had been arranged.
“Dave Strettle provided some outstanding rugby related prizes for the auction along with Chris Naylor and other generous contributors. Stuart Wraith, John Millington, Adam Fletcher and Rob Griffiths all helped with the logistics of the event and auction. Sadly, Adam passed away before the match could take place but Steph and the family wanted it to take place in his memory.
A large crowd assembled and over 50 players took to the pitch, on what was an emotional evening for all involved. Once the whistle blew after a truly warming and incredibly moving minute’s applause, players did not hold back. It soon became evident that, although many of the Lymm players bore a few more wrinkles and grey hairs, and may have moved up a couple of inches in waist size, they had lost none of their guile, tenacity or zeal to play an entertaining brand of rugby. Adam may have been disappointed that there weren’t more set plays and scrums!!
With Kinsey and Fletcher dictating the direction of play and strong runs from Lymm’s forwards, particularly Oakes, Williams and Darbyshire, it wasn’t long before Lymm were a handful of tries ahead. Prominent yardage gains from further forays into police territory set the foundation for some dazzling work from Lymm’s backs, notably Dave Williamson and Danny Naylor. Evergreen, Martin Bower, now at least 63, continued to demonstrate his surging powerful runs. He even managed to tackle his own fly-half, Fletcher, as the Lymm coach slid in to finish another fine Lymm move. Much to what would have been to Adam’s disapproval, Lymm continued to play an expansive game. Rotated half backs Martin Henderson and Andy Roberts continued to pull the strings and drive both backs and forwards to further scores.
Merseyside Police play in the North West Intermediate, Halbro Leagues and play their matches at the Police Sports & Social Association Club at Riversdale in Aigburth, Liverpool. Despite the momentum created by Lymm, the Police XV continued to battle valiantly and drove Into Lymm territory effectively on a number of occasions, only to be denied after multiple phases by a resolute Lymm defence or a misplaced pass.
With numerous rotations for both teams, the game never lost its shape and a healthy crowd was entertained over the two 30 minute halves. As players tired and the light faded, more gaps appeared in both defences. Despite the rousing team talk from Skipper Tim Oakes, the Police got on the scoreboard after a loose ball was hacked forward and touched down over the try line. Lymm responded with some hard work at the chalk face by Girdlestone, Brown, Norcott and Sutton, and further tries were secured after particularly impressive ball carrying from returning Lymm players Mike Swetman and Matt Rockey.
The referee, Mr Edward Barlow, allowed the game to flow freely and ensured a safe and enjoyable game. A big thank you for his time and effort on the evening.
Lymm ran out resounding winners but the score line was a minor detail. Regardless of which team players represented, the end of the match saw Adam’s team mates, police colleagues, friends and family come together to remember him with some short speeches and anecdotes of Adam’s career and character by Club Chairman John Cartwright; Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Andy Cooke and ex-Lymm coach Chris Kinsey. Spectators and players returned to the clubhouse to take part in a charity auction and to raise a glass in Adam’s memory.
Chris added: “To date, including money raised from the just-giving page, the charity auction and the match in Adam’s memory, the total has comfortably surpassed £17,000 in a short number of weeks. This is testament to the respect and love for a great man. Adams funeral took place at St Wilfrid’s Church, Grappenhall on Thursday, August 29.
The Lymm Squad:
Jez Ure, Martin Henderson, Rob Griffiths, Tom Graham, Chris Kinsey, Keith Broadbent, Adam Fletcher, John Millington, Matt Lofthouse, Paul Maguire, Tim Oaks, Pete Allen,, Dan Naylor, Simon Harrison, Andy Norcott, Dave Williamson, Andy Roberts, Scott Harrison, Oli Brown, Tom Darbyshire, Nick Girdlestone, Mark Sutton, Martin Bower, Michael Swetman, Matt Rockey, Jim France, Chris Holmes, Sion Williams