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The incredible contribution result from an extraordinary fundraising effort from SPF supporters and sponsors throughout 2022. SPF have also donated £50,000 to the Christie Charitable Fund.
SPF General Manager Martin Blondel declared the Foundation “eternally grateful and thankful to everyone for their magnificent efforts whilst battling against the aftermath of Covid.”
RL Benevolent Fund General Manager Steve Ball outlined the continued importance of the SPF in facilitating its life-changing work.
“We are elated to receive another fantastic donation of £50,000 from the Steve Prescott Foundation,” said Steve.
“This continued support from their amazing supporters allow us to help those whose lives have been seriously affected by playing the game we love. The SPF are our largest donors and really do make a difference to the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.”
A cheque presentation to the RL Benevolent Fund will be made at the RFL President’s Ball in Leeds on January 14.
In another year which saw so many charities stretched to their limits by the continued impact of Covid, the SPF were able to organise the annual GPW Recruitment St Helens 10k in March.
One of the biggest fundraisers again proved to be the SPF 1,000 Mile Walk Challenge which started in January: this has just passed £20,000 in donations. Nearly 200 people of all ages registered for the event and submitted their mileage weekly in a true team effort which became a global event with participants from all over the world taking part.
Each participant who completed the challenge received a special commemorative medal, a certificate of achievement and a 1000 mile challenge T-shirt.
Other events included the Cara Brickwork Yorkshire Three Peaks event in May, the Bott & Co Race Around Wales Cycle Ride, the annual Barton’s Pickles Johnny Vegas Bowls event in August, the Frame Works Recruitment Golf weekend at Vilamoura in November, the Cleanhire Ruskin Christmas Markets and Alex Walmsley St Helens RFC Legends Rugby match in December.
Donations to the SPF are inspired by Steve Prescott MBE who passed away in November 2013 and next year will be the 10th anniversary of his death.
Martin Blondel said: “2023 is a big year, we would like old friends and new to be inspired by the great man, wear his colours with pride!
“Steve’s legacy is as strong as ever and more and more people are benefiting from his selfless acts of bravery, fighting and beating cancer. We have some phenomenal inclusive events lined up for all charitable people to join in and improve their health and well-being.”
Steve played rugby league for St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, and was a Great Britain and Ireland international.
He was diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in 2006 and formed the SPF in 2007 to raise awareness and funds for the RL Benevolent Fund and The Christie hospital in Manchester.
Steve undertook many physically and mentally exhausting challenges during his illness to raise funds and awareness of the charities close to his heart. In October 2013 he underwent a pioneering multi-visceral transplant of the small bowel, pancreas, stomach, duodenum and abdominal wall at the Oxford Transplant Unit and although this procedure eradicated the cancer, Steve passed away a few weeks later due to complications of surgery.