Rugby match in memory of former player Stuart Wilson raises hundreds of pounds for charity

Bournemouth Echo: IN GOOD SPIRITS: Those who took part in the charity rugby match IN GOOD SPIRITS: Those who took part in the charity rugby match

THE annual charity rugby match at New Milton saw another cleverly contrived draw – and hundreds of pounds.

The game is held in memory of former player and soldier Stuart Wilson, who was killed in Bosnia in 1997, aged 19.

Stuart’s dad Wally and brothers Bob and Jim – who lost his legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2011 – were part of a large crowd at the Normans Way ground in Ashley.

Hundreds of pounds were raised on the day and it will be donated to Pilgrim Bandits, a New Milton-based charity set up in 2007 by special forces veterans to help and inspire wounded soldiers to live life to the full.

After the game Wally addressed the throng in the clubhouse and said how much the charity had helped his son Jim.

The game itself was played in glorious sunshine on a moist surface and with kicking banned the two teams put on an enthusiastic display of running rugby.

A few Christmas hangovers were blown out as players from all the club’s three teams got stuck in – although it was the third XV players who shone brightest.

Veteran Vernon Halligan, aged 58, took the man-of-the-match award as he rolled back the years in a magnificent display.

Phil Hoyle somehow managed to keep his spirits up while Rhys Frampton turned on the magic in front of dad Glyn.

Ben Angell, who organised the match and managed to run around a bit before limping off, said: “It was another great day having a fun game of rugby and raising money for a good cause.”

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