RUGBY league fans in Cumbria and throughout the game have helped to leave a lasting legacy in memory of the late Garry Purdham after it was revealed that this year's England v Cumbria clash raised over £76,000 for his family.
The game, back in October at the Recreation Ground, exceeded all expectations and this week the committee behind the game has announced that a total of £76,670.40 has been transferred to the Garry Purdham Memorial Trust, which will help his two young children, Cameron, aged nine and three-year-old Flynn. The committee had originally aimed to raise £50,000 from the game and is delighted to have surpassed that target by so much.
Committee vice- chairman, Dave Bowden, said: "As rugby league people in West Cumbria we are immensely proud that we have all been able to come together and act as one sporting family to set up a legacy for Garry's family." Every single person who attended the game or purchased a programme or a shirt has played their part. The committee felt from the outset that if the RFL gave us a high profile game the community would respond, and respond they did in a magnificent manner
And Emma Jackson, a local head teacher and trustee with the Garry Purdham Memorial Trust, added: "On behalf of the Garry Purdham Memorial Trust, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed in any way to the Trust over the last few months.
"In particular we would like to thank all those who contributed to the Cumbria v England match in October and the Egremont/Wath Brow v Hunslet game in August. We recognise and appreciate the support of all the clubs, players, sponsors, spectators and all those individuals who helped.
"Both of these events were a fitting and moving tribute to Garry and we know he would have been humbled by everyone’s efforts.
"The Rugby League Benevolent Fund, spearheaded by Steve Ball has been unwavering in its dedication, commitment and support for both the family and the wider community at this difficult time. Their efforts in ensuring that a trust was established for the future wellbeing of Cameron and Flynn have been outstanding.
"Garry’s boys are his legacy and the money raised for the trust will help ensure that their futures become more secure. No words can adequately express the gratitude of the Trustees and in particular Ros, for all the hard work and endeavour of everyone involved. Thank you all.”