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This massive charity event was staged last night at the Queens Hotel in Leeds and was hosted by RFL President Air Cdre Dean Andrew

This annual event highlights the work of the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and by means of an Auction on the night raises valuable funds for the RLBF to continue its work in supporting those who have suffered life changing injuries whilst involved in the sport.

Air Cdre Andrew spoke to the guests about his ambitions for the next year highlighting the centenary of the RAF as well as the work of the Armed Forces and Emergency services. The President’s speech can be viewed via courtesy of Mr Dan Abrahams of RAF Sport News who shot the footage from his seat at the dinner.

Also present were members of the UKAF Exec Committee representing all three of the service arms, Lt Col Rich Naivalurua, Flt Lt Damian Clayton, S/Sgt Jamie Doig and current UKAF and RN Team Captain PO Ben Taylor.

The event was also attended by Connor Lynes who has directly benefited from the RFBF and continues to raise funds for the benefit of people like himself who have had their playing careers cut short through injury. Connor was 14 when he turned out for his local Club Lambworth Lions when during the course of the match he was tackled by two of the opposing team, the tackle although hard was fair and Connor continued to play the match. Tragically the following morning at this home in Hull he suffered a stroke which has changed his life completely.

Remarkably Connor survived not only the initial stroke but a secondary one once he had been transferred to Leeds Genera Infirma. Three years or so down the line Connor has accepted he will never play his beloved sport again but has thrown himself wholeheartedly into raising money for a number of charities related to those who have suffered a stroke. For more on Connor visit his Facebook page at or for his fundraising team site visit

So to the highlight of the evening and the Charity auction which ended with the Presidents prize consisting of a day with the Red Arrows being put up for bids. Such was the interest in the prize that two matching bids were made of £7000 each, to avoid disappointment both bids were accepted effectively raising £14000 for the Charity. The individual bids beat the previous record set some years ago by a £6000 bid for an overnight transit onboard HMS Lancaster and with the joint bids the record has been well and truly smashed. Irrespective of records this, along with the other auction prizes, was a massive boost to the RFL Benevolent fund.

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