Loughor Rugby Club will stage a second annual touch rugby tournament to raise money in the memory of former player Richard Thomas who died last June aged just 29.
Former soldier Richard, known to his many friends at rugby clubs across South Wales as Decky, represented the army at rugby and running. He was diagnosed with a form of cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle condition, in 2011 after breaking his sternum playing rugby.
Tournament organiser and Decky’s close friend County Councillor Andrew Stevens helped to raise more than £10,000 for cardiac patients at Morriston and Singleton hospitals during his year as Gorseinon Mayor. He says he has been overwhelmed with donations ahead of the second touch rugby tournament in Decky’s memory being held on Sunday, August 26th, starting at 11am.
Fellow County Councillor Robert Smith (Upper Loughor), Llwchwr Mayor Irene James and Loughor RFC have all donated £300 each to help with the organisation of the event.
Loughor captain Jonathan Bowen said: “I would like thank Cllr Robert Smith and Llwchwr Town Council for their very generous donations towards running costs that will enable us to put on this fantastic event for a very worthwhile cause. It’s great to see local politicians and town councils showing support for the local sporting clubs.”
Cllr Stevens said: “Last year’s tournament was the first and we were unsure of how it would work out it, funds were raised by members of Loughor RFC, my own Mayor’s allowance and business donations. With the donations and support that Cllr Smith and Llwchwr Town Council have given this year it will enable us to purchase, medals, trophies, marquees, referees, children’s entertainment and live music without having to use the charitable funds raised.”
“We will continue to support the cardiac unit in Morriston with the tournament each year. While I truly wish it was under different circumstances, this choice of charity proved an easy decision to make, not only to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy, but to keep people talking about the kind of guy Decky was, to raise awareness to others of the implications of his condition, to help support the department so that we may be able to help others and to provide a long-lasting legacy to one of the most honest, kindest and bravest friends to all.”
Added Andrew: “Last year’s tournament proved a resounding success and not only did we succeed in providing a fantastic family fun day at Loughor Rugby Club but we raised over £5200 for the cardiac unit.”
Irene James, Mayor of Loughor, said: “We are delighted to be able to donate some money to such a great cause and I’m sure the event will be another great success.”
Cllr Robert Smith: “I had no hesitation in donating some of my community budget. It was such a great event last year with so many families attending and bringing the whole community together.”
The tournament, which includes a cup and plate competition comprising group and knockout stages, currently has 17 teams signed up out of a possible 20.
There will also be a variety of auction items on the day including a signed Wales rubgy jersey signed by the whole squad including Warren Gatland, a Swansea City signed shirt, a signed Ospreys jersey and many more.
CAPTION: Loughor RFC senior and youth players with (L-R) Cllr Robert Smith, Mayor of Loughor Irene James presenting club captain Jonathan Bowen with a cheque next to Cllr Andrew Stevens.