The RFL Benevolent Fund have created a Just Giving Page aimed at leaving a lasting legacy in the name of Archie Bruce who passed away this morning at just 20 years of age.
Archie has been training with The Bulldogs for the 2019 season with a view to the 2020 campaign. Due to his energy and enthusiasm head coach Matt Diskin handed him a first professional outing, against Toulouse Olympique, yesterday evening. Playing the final 30 minutes of the game he made a great impact with darting runs, and his excitement was clear for all to see post match.
A smart, polite, funny and extremely liekable young man, his death is an absolute tragedy. Arhcie’s family have requested privacy at this difficult time and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
The RFL Benevolent Fund provides relief for people who have been injured whilst playing or training for rugby football league.
The Bulldogs saw out a nervous closing quarter against neighbours Dewsbury Rams to take the Pink Weekend points in a mistake ridden affair at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
A try in the corner from Wayne Reittie, superbly converted by Brambani, gave us the only points in an edgy first half. When Smeaton and then Reittie again crossed midway through the 2nd half it looked as though the game was won until a Walshaw Try gave the visitors a hope. Morton collected a Finn kick to score shortly after and, at 14-10, the visitors were within a try of their hosts.
A Brambani penalty edged Batley further ahead and despite a series of mistakes from both sides late on, The Bulldogs held out to register a crucial victory.
As we celebrate Beverley’s Pink Weekend and aim for that magic target. here are Kevin’s notes from today’s Matchday Magazine
I thought it appropriate to say something about my wife Beverley on the 6th Pink Weekend and the first one since her passing.
I met Beverley in March 1993 when she lived and worked as a detective in Manchester where she was born. She was 34 years old and had never been to a rugby league game but I soon rectified that! Almost as soon as we met she accepted my invitation to a game and immediately took to the sport. At that time there was no Bede Family Stand but instead some terracing at the top end and a Pie hut run by Nellie Earnshaw and Kath Harwood. At her first game I treated her to pork pie and peas with mint sauce as even then I was generous to a fault. She had never had a heated pork pie and thought mint sauce was only to put on lamb in a Sunday roast so this made a lasting impression on her as over the years she told this tale many times. The game also made an impression as straight away she began coming with me to all games home and away unless she was working. She has therefore been a Bulldogs supporter for over 25 years in fact before we were known as the Bulldogs.
We got on well together immediately and I knew she was the one so I proposed and we set our wedding date as 26th May 1995. We could not decide on a honeymoon destination between a Safari ( my choice) and a Caribbean Cruise ( her choice) so at the following home game on the then Long Stand terrace our bestman Paul Harrington tossed a coin at halftime and a Cruise it was. Lost again! I don’t believe we missed a game due to our honeymoon as summer rugby had not arrived. Result.
In 1996 Trevor Hobson had taken over as Chairman and the Club was going downhill very fast in my eyes. I believed we were being run down to merge with Dewsbury and something had to be done. I was on friendly terms with Ron and Andy who had shares and I heard another director Trevor Heylings was planning emigrating to Australia and selling his shares in the Club so with his shares we could get a majority to take over. Beverley did not really want me to get that involved with the Club as we now had a 1 year old daughter and a solicitors business to run but she said that if I didn’t try to do something I would regret it all my life and as she couldn’t face me constantly moaning she reluctantly encouraged me. I met with Trevor and verbally agreed to buy his shares then I read in the League Express he was selling to Trevor Hobson which I thought was just gossip and wrong. This was a pivotal moment as that night Beverley pestered me relentlessly to ring Martin Sadler to check the story which I refused to believe. I eventually did as I was told only to have it confirmed indeed that Trevor had changed his mind and told Martin he was selling to Hobson. Beverley stepped up again and insisted I immediately ring Trevor Heylings and arrange to meet him the next day with cash and a document to sign so he couldn’t again change his mind. Again I did as I was told by her and the deal was done. Without Beverley pressuring me on that crucial day I would have failed and I believe the Club would not be here as we were soon to find out the club had £440,000 debts and 23 court proceedings against it. Then over the next few years it took to resolve Beverley was always there to support me although she also did moan a lot with me due to the intense pressures involved.
Once we took over then included in ground improvements was the creation of the Bulldog Bar under the now Glen Tomlinson Stand. Initially we had bar staff but then after a couple of years we did not and I asked Beverley if she would step in and run the bar only until we got a replacement which I said maybe for 2 games at the most. She had never worked behind a bar and wasn’t that enthusiastic but as Alexandra was now a toddler and played with other kids at games she agreed. Also I think she liked the idea of being in charge! Anyway she took to it immediately and loved it as she loved talking to people and continued with Brian and Kath to run the bar for the next 18 or so years and not once took a wage. She loved working with Brian and Kath and said they were a great team which they are. She wanted players, their families , supporters both home and away along with officials to all feel welcome at the Club and that is what she successfully achieved. I should also add that over the last almost 22years that we have run the Club our wives including of course Beverley have been instrumental in every way in achieving our successes and helping us through our failures. The directors appear to run the Club on paper but without our wives input we would have failed and for that I am truly grateful as indeed supporters should be. Having said that Beverley did not need telling as she knew that and occasionally reminded me!
Beverley first got Breast Cancer in 2008 and went through gruelling treatment especially in 2008 and 2009 before being given the all clear. During this time apart from the odd occasion she never missed work at my office or behind the bar which was truly remarkable. In January 2014 we were watching cricket on tv when it was the last test of the Ashes when we got whitewashed. It was played in Sydney and it was the test where Glen McGrath has a Pink Day to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer as his wife died from the disease. Spectators were wearing Pink. Beverley suddenly said we need to have a Pink match at Batley. I said that people in Batley wouldn’t wear Pink and how could we raise money as a bucket collection would be lucky if it raised a couple of hundred quid. That was the challenge she needed and thrived on. Without any hesitation she said” Well we’re doing it. Have you any objection?” Clearly I couldn’t say no but probably said “ Whatever!” Then I think I turned the tv off as we were so bad at cricket that day. Over the next few months she started to put everything into place and it wasn’t about a bucket collection but was about getting everybody at the Club involved in an event. Before you knew it we had a special pink playing kit fully sponsored and other fundraisers happening. The secret seemed to be bits of money here and there which all added up. In the first year in 2014 the Pink Weekend raised a mind boggling £9000. It was here to stay and Beverley had proved me wrong and sadly not for the first or last time.
In March 2017 totally out of the blue we learnt that her Breast Cancer had returned now in her liver. She was not ill at the time but now we were told it could not be cured but could be controlled but with chemotherapy. She then had almost 2 years of almost constant chemotherapy but just got on with it despite the difficulties which I can assure you were considerable. She did not seek sympathy but just valued life and tried to remain positive which certainly helped her keep it at bay for so long. Sadly on our 24th wedding anniversary on 26th May this cruel disease finally conquered her body but it never conquered her spirit.
Beverley was ill in hospital in February with an infection but her Pink Ball was on the Friday of that week. She told the doctors in no uncertain terms she was going to the Ball. Her immune system was dangerously low and being in any group of people was a big risk but she promised them that if she felt in anyway unwell she would return to the hospital that same night. She went to the Ball and did not have to go back to hospital although like Cinderella she had to get home before the clock struck 12. She witnessed a complete success when we raised over £7,000 followed by Alexandra raising over £4,000 in a Pink Erg( rowing machine) 100 k Challenge which she also went to Durham to witness again despite her faltering health . These along with other fundraisers made her feel confident we could raise a record £29,000 this year to reach our £100,000 target. I am equally confident we can do it. Beverley would be overwhelmed at such a result as her favourite saying was “ people are so kind” and this would yet again prove her right.
Of everything she has done in her life other than looking after me for 26 years this is undoubtedly her great legacy and as Alexandra takes over the organisation from her mother I would like our event from now on to be known as “ Beverley’s Pink Weekend” as that would be a great honour to her and indeed our family who are so proud of her.
Today will be an emotional day for Alexandra, myself and our family but it will also be a joyful one when we reach our target and in memory of Beverley.
Enjoy the day
Proud husband of Beverley Nicholas
Matt Diskin’s men secured a vital win at struggling Rochdale Hornets, after going behind in a nervous opening quarter. Two Tries each for Louis Jouffret and Jack Broadbent were trumped by a Hat Trick for Wayne Reittie, on his 150th appearance for The Bulldogs. James Brown and Paul Brearley added a Try each.
Highlights to follow.
As promised our very own Michael Ward braved the shave yesterday in memory of Beverley Nicholas.
In front of a packed crowd, Wardy auctioned off chances to help cut his hair and shave his head and beard. Thanks to the incredible generosity of of those present, including visitors and players from York City Knights, he raised over £1195 DURING THE SHAVE!
Add this to the monies raised on JustGiving, which including gift aid now stands at just over £3000.
The total figure as we stand on Monday morning is an unbelievable £4195
A huge thank you goes to Lauren from The Look for helping prepare Michael’s hair…..and then tidy it afterwards!!
And of course to our own Neville Wright for the fantastic photographs once again.
Beverley recently lost a long battle with cancer and “Wardy” immediately spoke to Chairman Kevin Nicholas to discuss the plan.
Michael set up a Just Giving page to raise sponsorship, with monies donated to Breast Cancer Charities as part of Beverley’s Pink Weekend fundraiser, which will go ahead in August this year. The hair will be donated to The Little Princess Trust charity, an organisation that aim to provide real hair wigs to children and young people that have lost theirs due to cancer treatments and other conditions.
The JustGiving Page will stay open for a few more days as we move towards the Pink Weekend in early August.
Read Michael’s story and donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pinkweekendheadshave
A nailbiting tie at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium ended in a draw as the visitors came from behind late on.
A fabulous individual Try from Jack Broadbent, who then set up Jouffret for a second, put Batley in front before The Knights twice hit back.
A Connor Robinson penalty after the final hooter could have sealed a York win but the ambitious effort fell wide and The Bulldogs claimed a well deserved point.
Highlight to follow
The Bulldogs crashed to defeat at Swinton Lions despite having come from behind to hold an 18-8 lead going into the final quarter.
Highlights to follow.
Unfortunately we have to announce that Bulldogs Utility back Tom Hemingway, on medical advice, has decided to retire from the game with immediate effect.
Currently in his 3rd spell with Batley, he has has made 5 appearances this season, scoring one Try. An extremely versatile player with a brilliant kicking game, Tom has had a fantastic career with a number of clubs, including both Heavy Woollen sides, and is a hugely popular figure amongst team mates and club staff alike.
Everyone at Batley Bulldogs would like to thank Tom for his efforts at the club, and wish him the very best of luck for the future.
We’re certain he’ll still be around the club on matchdays for the remainder of this campaign at least.
Matt Diskin’s Batley side secured their place in Round 3 of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup with a 38-18 victory over Rochdale Hornets in a scrappy affair at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
The Rugby Football League (RFL) is delighted to unveil AB Sundecks Limited as the title partner of the 1895 Cup, the final of which will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 24 August.
AB Sundecks has established itself as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and installers of complete PVCu decking solutions to the leisure and domestic markets. The sponsorship announcement comes as the last 16 teams in the competition prepare to go head-to-head in the coming days.
The RFL introduced the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup as part of new-look Wembley line-up which also includes the Coral Challenge Cup Final and the traditional Champions Schools Year 7 curtain-raiser.
RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, says:
“We’re delighted to announce this partnership with AB Sundecks and look forward to working with our new partners in the coming weeks and months. Rugby League is a summer sport and ‘sundecks’ says ‘sunshine’ so this is a perfect match.
“Wembley Stadium has been the setting for many of the game’s greatest matches and I’m hopeful that the 1895 Cup Final will create even more magical memories for players and fans alike.”
Laura Beaumont, Marketing Director at AB Sundecks, adds:
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the 1895 Cup in its inaugural year. AB Sundecks have been associated with Rugby League for more than a decade, and we are very passionate about the sport sponsoring grassroots, amateur, women’s and professional teams.
“I personally feel it’s important for the children’s and women’s sections of the sport to be well supported to increase the spread of the game. We are now looking forward to growing our involvement by expanding our support of the game through the RFL, working with them to grow our relationship further, assist the Championship and League 1 level as a whole, and engage our leisure industry partners.
“We shall be looking to make our involvement fun for the fans with an exciting competition we will be running in conjunction with the launch of our sponsorship.”
The introduction of AB Sundecks 1895 Cup gives Championship and League 1 clubs – and their fans – an additional opportunity to reach Wembley, on top of the established Challenge Cup route. 12 Championship clubs feature in the last 16, alongside four from League 1. Among them only Sheffield Eagles and Bradford Bulls have played in a Challenge Cup Final at Wembley during the Super League era (i.e. since 1996), and none since the Challenge Cup Final returned to its spiritual home in 2007. Details of AB Sundecks products and nations services can be found by visiting www.absundecks.co.uk or by calling 01204 709029.
There are five ties this Sunday (2 June).
- Leigh Centurions v Workington Town
- Oldham v Doncaster
- Dewsbury Rams v Swinton Lions
- York City Knights v Newcastle Thunder
- Batley Bulldogs v Rochdale Hornets
The remaining fixtures take place on Wednesday 5 June.
- Barrow Raiders v Bradford Bulls
- Widnes Vikings v Featherstone Rovers
- Halifax v Sheffield Eagles
RFL Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer and AB Sundecks MD Laura Beaumont are pictured with the 1895 Cup at Wembley Stadium