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Servicemen from Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and West Midlands Ambulance Service are taking part in a charity rugby match to commemorate former servants of the force.
All proceeds are in aid of the Official Fire Fighters Charity, an organisation which safeguards the physical and mental wellbeing of the Firefighting community, a cause very close to the hearts of many servicemen involved in the event.
The event is in support of Vincent Hogan, a former Firefighter now confined to a wheelchair after suffering life changing injuries in a training accident last year, and his colleague who has been diagnosed with terminal illness. Both these men are highly respected in the service and have young families.
The match takes place on the 12 September at Stafford RUFC. Gates will open at 12pm and the match will commence at 2pm. Entry to the event will be free, although donations will be kindly received in aid of the attributed cause. There will be an auction of rugby memorabilia coinciding with the event, along with food and drink.
Servicemen will play the match against The Combined Services Barbarians, a team which involves members of HM’s armed forces. The two teams will be split into groups of 30, with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue sporting firefighters, five officers from Staffordshire Police and six England fire service players.
Chief Inspector David Wain, an Neighbourhood Policing Team Commander with Staffordshire Police, is the current chairman of Stafford Police RUFC, having played for the club since 1997. Wain said: “I know Vincent Hogan personally and all I can say is he is an inspiration to all of us at the force. The way he has dealt with this injury and his rehabilitation has been amazing and we at Staffordshire Police feel privileged and honoured to be supporting our colleagues at Fire and Rescue”.
Andy Topham, an organiser of the event and manager of the Barbarians, said: “This match will not only bring together members of the fire service, police force, and HM’s armed forces, but will draw the community together in support of a wonderful charity. I hope as many people as possible are able to join us on the day and cheer on both teams”.
The event hopes to recognise the work in which the Hogan family have given to the service. Hogan was a firefighter with the force until a training accident sadly left him permanently disabled. Vincent, or “Vinny” as he is often called, was a former Stafford 1st XV player and clubman prior to his injuries. Dermott Hogan, Vincent’s brother, is a senior firefighter.
For over 75 years, the Official Fire Fighters Charity has provided comprehensive care for thousands of servicemen and women, offering lifelong support in specialist areas of mental health, physical and social wellbeing, nursing, retirement and family support. It has helped various people such as Uroosa Arshid throughout their service, after she realised a lifelong ambition to become the first Hijabi Firefighter in the UK. Arshid is now a Station Rep for the charity.
Aside from the combined services involved, the match is set to be accompanied by special guest rugby legends Apolosi Satala, Akapusi Qera and former England and Leicester Tigers player, Rory Underwood MBE. The event aims to raise important proceeds in-order to commemorate the efforts and impacts that both the Hogan family and the Official Fire Fighters Charity have had on their respective service communities.
To purchase tickets to the event and for related queries, please contact Stafford Rugby Club on 01785 211241.