RL Cares video posts get 1.2 million lockdown views!

RL Cares video posts get 1.2 million lockdown views!

Today marks the 100th day since we posted our first ‘lockdown video’ from the Rugby League Cares archive.

To help keep everyone engaged and entertained during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve since posted daily videos featuring some of the greatest and most popular players in the sport’s history.

From historic Test matches and Challenge Cup finals, to classic games from across the decades and TV programmes recording the stories behind the sport’s issues of the day, our Facebook page has been filled with memorable action.

Most of the videos have come from VHS and Betamax tapes that we have converted to digital format to preserve them for future generations: many of those videos were recorded by  lifelong Rugby League fan Andrew Cudbertson, who has donated his collection of over 5,000 matches and programmes to RL Cares.

Andrew, who was one of the founding fathers of Student Rugby League when he helped establish the game at the University of Leeds in the 1970s, has seemingly had his video player recording non-stop for over three decades!

We’d like to place on record our appreciation to Andrew for his efforts and his kind donation, which has kept us busy in the last few months.

We would also like to thank Welsh Charitable RFC for their generous donation of the Apple computers and software that is enabling us to convert thousands of hours of rugby from VHS to digital.

Those efforts have not gone unrecognised during lockdown and we have been absolutely astonished by how popular our daily videos have become: in 100 days, videos posted to Facebook from our archive have been viewed an incredible 1.2 million times!

We’d like to thank each and every one of you for showing such a terrific interest in the sport’s history: one of our important functions is to champion the rich heritage of Rugby League and if the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that there is a huge appetite for our work.

Last week we announced our exciting plans to establish the first national museum of Rugby League at the sport’s historic birthplace, the George Hotel in Huddersfield. Over the coming months we’ll be working with our partners at Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield to deliver a museum that will do the great history of Rugby League justice.

We’ll continue the process of converting thousands of old tapes to digital formats, and will be posting games regularly, if not daily in the next few days, weeks and months.

As the country begins to open up from today with the easing of lockdown restrictions, we would like to thank you for the interest you’ve shown in our important work.

We’d also love your support to help us continue that work: we have recently launched a new lottery, Care4Cares which for just £1 a week gives you the opportunity to win a weekly cash prize of £1,000, plus other fantastic prizes.

Please sign up: we’d love to see you win a grand! Full details are here