For the 4th year running Rugby For Heroes are proud to be supporting the annual Royal Air Force Akrotiri Charity Dinner Night on Friday 22nd April 2016. The Ambassadors representing the Charity this year include Olympian Jamie Baulch, and former professional rugby players Henry Paul and Junior Paramore. All three, who were ‘team-mates’ during the recent high profile Rugby Aid game against the Army Masters, will be chaperoned by Lieutenant Colonel Spike Quant MBE, the Charities appointed Military Liaison.

Jamie Baulch takes contact

Jamie Baulch takes contact

Henry Paul in action

Henry Paul in action

RAF Akrotiri is an operational airfield located on the southernmost tip of the beautiful island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. It will be an exciting place for the Ambassadors to visit because there are a lot of fast jets based there just now, providing support to on-going operations in the Middle East, so the place is literally buzzing with activity.

Junior Paramore feels for a gap

Junior Paramore feels for a gap

The main aim of this event is for the Ambassadors to engage with the wider Service community and meet the military service men, women and their families who are living a long way from home. The Ambassadors will enjoy the rare opportunity of being hosted around an operational airbase and get up close up to the latest Typhoon and Tornado fast jets. They will also get to visit the on-base school and interact with the children, be interviewed by the local British Forces radio station and then help coach the children at the thriving rugby club. The visit will culminate with a live auction dinner night, where our Ambassadors will participate in a Question and Answer session before getting involved in the fun of encouraging those attending to dig deep into their pockets to help raise funds for our own charity and the local charities chosen by RAF Akrotiri.

photoMARTIN Offiah and Thinus Delport will be among a stellar cast of former rugby union and league stars to grace Weston’s pitches next month.

The former Great Britain legend and ex-South Africa international will play in Rugby Aid XV’s match against an Army Masters side, opposite Sixways, on Saturday, March 12 (11.45am).

The special event, which takes place the same day as Warriors’ crunch home clash with Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership, has been put on to raise funds for Rugby for Heroes and will see celebrities such as actor Julian Lewis Jones and sprinter Jamie Baulch take part.

Samoa’s Terry Fanolua and brothers Robbie and Henry Paul are also set to feature, while Warriors’ record appearance-maker Craig Gillies will be dusting off his boots to make a return to action.

Entry to the game costs £5 per person on the gate on matchday, with all funds going to Rugby for Heroes. There will also be refreshments available at the game.

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To support the charity, people are being encouraged to text RUGBY AID to 70700 to donate £5.

For more details, visit

It was a night not just about fund raising for Rugby For Heroes but also an opportunity for rugby fans to visit the Stoop in Twickenham, home of the Harlequins, and have fun in a unique event in the build up to RWC 15. In amongst a cadre of 2003 Rugby World Cup winners including the likes of familiar names such as Cohen, Tindall, Robinson, Hill, Back et al was a generous smattering of renowned sportsmen and celebrities with a point to prove on the rugby field, and that was just the England XV.

Facing them was a Rest of the World (RoW) team managed by Zinzan Brooke and captained by Shane Williams, featuring greats of world rugby including Thorn, Marshall, Betsen, Byrne (Welsh and Irish versions) Kellock and Lawson. Featuring broadcasters, athletes and singers, the RoW were ready to give a full account of themselves.

On both sides were players from the Armed Forces. Asked after the game how much he enjoyed playing with the professionals and celebrities, Royal Navy’s Marsh Cormack said, “To put themselves out there for the military is exceptional.

A number of match rules were in force to safe guard the players as well as provide for an excellent spectacle. Rolling subs were permitted and the scrums were uncontested. Each team had a designated kicker in the form of Andy Cole and Robbie Savage. Perhaps most importantly the clock would not stop for each of the 40 minute halves and this was carefully watched by match referee Tony Spreadbury.

The ladies of Portsmouth Military Wives’ Choir supported by the Band of the Parachute Regiment set the right note in the build up to the game leading a rousing rendition of the National Anthem for the England team. All was in place for the main event.

So to the kick off, with Rugby League’s Man of Steel Paul Sculthorpe lofting the ball for what led to 80 minutes of superb rugby. Within 7 minutes RoW and Marsh Cormack standing at first receiver took the pass from Justin Marshall and via Gethin Jones (broadcaster) and Shane Williams the ball arrived back with Cormack running a loop with 5m to go and with pace to spare crossed the whitewash; it was then a case of you score one, I score one as the scoreboard ticked over.

The ex-pros had not forgotten their silky skills and physicality even if Ugo Monye, Paul Sculthorpe and Martin Offiah were later to tweet of painful recovery time but the celebrities were able to hold their own throughout, no one more so than Jamie Laing (Made in Chelsea) and aforementioned Jones who put on a superb display both in attack and defence for the fans.

On the half hour was potentially the pick of the tries with not 1 but 4 England capped wingers getting in on the action. Sackey, Cueto and Cohen all contributed to Tom May’s try. Following that Louis Spence, all 5ft 6in of him entered the fray. Having entertained the crowd during the warm up with his gymnastics and known more for his dancing and effervescent character he found himself with the ball on the wing before being taken into touch by a strong Shane Williams’ tackle. (Images of Spence fronting up to Williams afterward were much retweeted!) Just before half time a Rory Lawson try was taken upstairs to TMO Austin Healey; ignoring the advice and to make a point Spreadbury awarded the try with the half ending Eng 17 RoW 24.

Speaking at half time, Chairman of the Trustees of Rugby for Heroes and Director of Rugby for Hampshire, Mr Tim Allen said of the event, “It has been a superb evening with a sensational atmosphere with every penny of the ticket sales going straight to the charity. In this type of event rugby and the charity is the winner…but I still want England to win!”

The RoW were ready first as they took their half-time break pitchside and it wasn’t long before Serge Betsen picked up the ball from a ruck and had a simple run in under the posts. The tit-for-tat try scoring continued and among many highlights Dion Dublins touchline conversion was excellent. A moment of pantomime villainy occurred when former All Black Brad Thorn annihilated Jamie Laing, clearly unaccustomed to playing against a more lightweight opposition the upending tackle resulted in a yellow card for the most decorated rugby player in the world. Despite his visit to hospital later for cracked ribs Jamie tweeted that it had been the most amazing day of his life and with Richard Hill unofficially nominating him as Englands Man of the Match we tend to agree.

Following a disallowed try from Mike Tindell and with the score line separated by a penalty kick it was RoW who scored the final try with Terry Fanolua giving and receiving the ball from Daryl Gibson to put the game out of the reach of England. Full time – England 27 RoW 36.

The evening was a superb display of sportsmanship, drive and desire and the 10,461 supporters who attended the event went away with a smile on their face as the many fan-celeb selfies shared demonstrated. Some unlikely friendships were forged with Jason Robinson and Harry Judd (McFly), Dion Dublin and Brian McFadden (Westlife) and Jamie Baulch and Gaz Beadle (Geordie Shore) later tweeting each other.

Rugby For Heroes and associated partners have set the benchmark for subsequent events and all will no doubt look forward to the next instalment of Rugby Aid. Massive thanks to all those who made it possible.

BT Tower Event
Exclusive dinner at BT Tower’s
revolving restaurant.
45 Maple Street , London, W1T 4JZ
26th November 2015


Rugby World Cup Review and a look forward to Rio 2016

An opportunity to review RWC 2015 & look ahead to Rio 2016 with
guests including Colin Jackson, Jamie Baulch & Mark Foster as well
as stars from the world of Rugby.
Spaces are strictly limited so it’s advisable to secure your table early.


Members of the Rugby For Heroes volunteer force recently took part in fund raising events at RAF Northolt and RAF Odiham family days selling Merchandise and raising awareness of our new transition coaching course.

heli-planeThe role of RAF Northolt is primarily to facilitate the handling of military personnel of British and Foreign armed forces also many civilian VIPs and celebrities who enjoy the privacy and first-class passenger handling service available.
At the end of 2011 the Government announced that RAF Northolt was to be the forward base for Typhoon fast jets and other military elements providing security to the London.

heli2RAF Odiham is home to the mighty Chinook helicopter transport fleet providing rapid mobility world-wide for all three British armed forces. It also hosts an elite Army Air Corps Lynx helicopter squadron.

Both events raised a combined total of £837 which will go towards supporting our troops.
Special thanks go out to Sqn Ldr Conrad Steele-Benny, Flt Sgt Glyn Broughton, SSgt Craig Ham in helping it all happen.


RUGBY FOR HEROES the Gloucester based charity which supports military servicemen and women through the sport of Rugby has presented a cheque for £5340.00 to the charity HIRE A HERO. The hand over was made by Rugby For Heroes Chair Of Trustees Tim Allen to Gerry Hill MBE QGM+Bar CEO of the Hire A Hero military charity at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel in Newport Wales.

Hire A Hero which is run by Gerry Hill MBE QGM +Barand a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers, helps past present and future military service leavers with a wide range of support from mentoring and employment to training, housing and assisting injured military service men and women in their transition.

The military charityhas been guided under the steely focus of Gerry, who spent 45 years in the British Army, the last 34 years of which were served in 22 Special Air Service Regiment (SAS). During this time he saw active service in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Balkans, Middle East and Afghanistan. Whilst serving, Gerry received four gallantry medals, two Queen’s Gallantry Medals (QGM) and two Mention In Dispatches (MID). He was also awarded the honour of Member Of The British Empire and a received a Commander In Chief Commendation (CINC) for valuable service.

Hire A Hero CEO Gerry Hill MBE QGM +Bar added; “We are delighted to have been chosen by Rugby For Heroes to help support and continue the valuable work of Hire A Hero. We would like to thank Mike Tindall, Allan Lamb and the Rugby For Heroes team for their support of our work. The money raised will help the charity continue is vital role in helping ex military personnel into civilian employment as well as supporting our mentoring programme.”

Rugby For Heroes was formed by a group of professional rugby players who wanted to show their support and patriotism for our military servicemen and women and to recognise the enormous debt of gratitude we all owe to those who serve Queen and Country. The charity raises funds through the rugby community and wider professional player network to help support servicemen and women both directly and indirectly through other charitable organisations. These charities in turn provide a variety of support roles from training and employment, mentoring and social welfare to helping those on the road to recovery who have been injured in service and who have suffered traumatic times from the effects of operational and post operational service.

Rugby For Heroes Chair Of Trustees Tim Allen said; “On behalf of Rugby For Heroes we are delighted to help and support Hire A Hero as a charity with like minded visions and goals to help offer real practical and valuable support to military servicemen and women. We hope that our support will help those in need through the great work of Gerry Hill and his team at Hire A Hero.”

The rugby community offers a home and purpose to our returning heroes. Through rugby teams, coaching and the wider community the charity is a dependable crutch in a time of transition and a helping hand back into daily life.
The distinctive character, spirit and core values of the military and rugby fit together to create a sense of belonging and make the world an easier place.

Rugby For Heroes Patron Mike Tindall MBE said; “I am delighted that Rugby For Heroes has been able to support the incredible work of Hire A Hero in making this donation to help the charity continue its vital role of supporting service leavers. The work of Hire A Hero is invaluable, providing a wealth of support in mentoring, employment, training housing and injured service men and women. Most importantly it helps all servicemen and women across all three military services at every level, past present and future. There is a perfect fit and synergy between the work of Rugby For Heroes and Hire A Hero both whose aims are united in supporting military service men and women.”  

Hire A Hero is just one of the many organisations and charities that Rugby For Heroes works with to help support our military service men and women.

For more information on the valuable work of these two charities:
Rugby For Heroes – @rugbyforheroes
Hire A Hero @hireaherouk

All press and media enquiries
Gerard Franklin – Rugby For Heroes

The World Club 7s got under way today in London but all eyes were on the Army vs Rugby for Heroes game as some old favourites returned to the stage.

Plenty of new faces and old faces came running onto the pitch at lunchtime for a friendly game of 7s. The new faces wearing the red of the Army and the old faces wearing the camouflage of the Rugby for Heroes Charity. The game very much went the way of the Army young guns but there was plenty of fun to be had by the opposition.

There because they wanted to support the cause were 12 individuals who either originated from the Armed Services themselves or came from the world of rugby.

Rugby for Heroes is a charity set up to help ex-servicemen readjust to civilian life. It gives them the opportunity to play rugby as an outlet and a chance to rejoin the community. Originally set up due to the link between the military and rugby core values, Rugby for Heroes combines the ideas of teamwork and respect with a community built on friendship and a sense of belonging somewhere.

Several players jumped at the opportunity to represent them in the game today. One player was Ex-Gloucester centre Terry Fanoalou.

Terry, who was originally born in Auckland played for Gloucester for ten seasons becoming a member of the then elite ‘100 leagues club’. He was a crowd favourite and an opposition scourge.
Now, however, he dons a different shirt and takes part in a charity game on the big stage at Twickenham.

“It’s a fantastic cause. These guys put their bodies on the line for us to live a free life and it’s the least we can do to try and help them.” he said “I jumped at the opportunity. If they hadn’t asked me I probably would’ve volunteered!”

“Seeing the guys play, you wouldn’t be surprised to see we got a stuffing! [31-12] They’re fit lads and they’ve really embraced the game. Also, 7s is a lot more physical, but it was a lot of fun.”

Terry is a fan of the tournament having come last year as a supporter of both Gloucester and Auckland. “To see both teams in action on the same day was quite an honour. To be part of it this year is even better.”
This year was no different, even though he was playing. “If I heard Gloucester were playing I’d stick my head out. If I heard Auckland were playing I’d stick my head out again.”

When asked where he’d stand on a Gloucester/Auckland final he laughed: “No, no that’s not fair! Could we have a draw? A draw would work nicely for me.”

Unfortunately for Terry and the rest of the West Midlands, Gloucester won’t be in the quarterfinals tomorrow but I don’t think that will stop him and them cheering from the sidelines.

Rugby for Heroes is truly a fantastic programme. If there’s one thing you do tonight, it should be to head over to here and donate.


Please click on the image to see the full poster for the event.

On the 16h July RFH Patron Mike Tindall MBE, Committee Chairman Simon Bailey, Alan Lamb Head Of Fundraising and PR Director Gerard Franklin all attended Hedley Court DMRC (Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre ) Headley Court in Epsom Surrey on behalf of Rugby For Heroes.

The Rugby For Heroes team were welcomed by Commanding Officer DMRC Surgeon Captain Paul Hughes RN (CO DMRC) along with Captain Gary Wallace and Major Ian “Wilki”Wilkins who escorted the team on a guided tour of the facilities at Headley Court.

The RFH team met patients and staff at the centre and were truly overwhelmed and inspired in equal measure by the incredible work taking place.

It was clear to see what an impact the visit had made with many of the staff and patients meeting Patron Mike Tindall, who had the previous day announced his retirement from professional rugby as a player. Mike chatted with staff and patients learning about their individual stories and personal recovery. He also took part in a game of wheelchair basketball along with staff and patients at the centre,

The tour of DMRC Headley Court came about as a result of the intervention of Major Graham “Spike” Quant, a serving Major in the British Army and also military liaison for Rugby For Heroes and a committee member.

RFH Head Of Fundraising Alan Lamb visited the centre as part of the RFH fundraising initiatives for 2014/2015 and to look at ways in which Rugby For Heroes could help raise funds or provide practical help and assistance for the patients and staff at Headley Court.

At the time of Alan’s visit he met a then patient, Major Ian Wilkins, a big rugby fan and former player. Alan learned that Major Wilkins was in rehabilitation at the neurological ward following a major operation to remove a brain tumour. Major Wilkins, like many of the men and women at Headley Court had his own journey of personal recovery and rehabilitation.

Incredibly some weeks later Major Wilkins had made a full recovery and was in military uniform and along with Captain Gary Wallace escorted the team around the facilities.

Commenting on the visit Mike Tindall said: “ I was truly honoured to have been invited to see the staff, patients and facilities at Headley Court and the ground breaking work they are doing there. The patients recovery from terrible trauma and injury is not just down to the incredible work of the Commanding Officer Surgeon Captain Paul Hughes and his amazing team of doctors nurses, therapists and PT instructors, but also the facilities at Headley Court that greatly assist in patients recovery. I was humbled and inspired at meeting the patients, their tenacity, courage and work ethic in their own recovery and rehabilitation is like nothing I have ever seen, they are truly incredible and inspirational men and women. I am very pleased and proud that Rugby For Heroes will be able to support Headley Court as one of our charitable benefactors.”

Rugby For Heroes working in partnership with one of our corporate supporters Forest Garden will be providing practical help for Headley Court and their patients by donating a gardening workshop for the Headley Court patients garden.

Craig Ripper Hawkings the Llanelli scarlets hooker celebrated his testimonial dinner at his old club Dunvant RFC. Craig played over 200 times for Llanelli
And is ending his career by giving something back to the game that he loves. It was announced he is head coach of Dunvant RFC next year and he made an emotional speech about when he represented R4H out in Akatiri Cyprus were he met many soliders and said the things they haft to endure made his transition seem a simple one in comparison. People were very generous on the night and raised lots of money.

We wish craig and kate all the very best for the future.
We salute you.

Inside360 is hosting an ‘old school’ pros against celebs boxing match at St Albans Polo Club to help raise money for Rugby for Heroes and The Irish Guards. Both charities help get ex-service men and women, and their families, back into civilian life after returning from conflicts.

So far, Inside360 has announced the boxers will be former Commonwealth champion Chris Okoh, Paul ‘Silky’ Jones – the first British-born light middleweight world champion – former British and Commonwealth super bantamweight Mike Alldis and Steve Collins Jnr, whose dad was a two-weight world champion and will be in one of the corners. Ben ‘Duracel’ Jones will be in the other.

Across from them will be former All Black Craig Newby, former Scarlets hooker Craig Hawkins and London Welsh full-back Paul Sampson, plus one other to be confirmed.

The whole evening will be under a marquee with DJ Spoony on the decks and London Cheerleaders as the ring girls.

Niki Hobbs, the director of Inside360, said: “It has proved a great concept mixing the rugby players and boxers, bringing the two sporting worlds together, and although we must stress this is a charity event and the basis is on fun, I’m also sure they will all put up some great entertainment in the ring.”

For ticket sales and details, visit To receive information in the run-up to the event, follow @FightFarm or @busygirlalways on Twitter

Inside360 is giving local businesses the chance to get involved with the night. Catering and bar opportunities are available and exhibitors and sponsors are also encouraged from an array of businesses to get involved with the event. For prices for stands and packages, contact George Gros on 07970 804019 or James Crawley on 07825228699.


Update – pictures added of the event, see the news for the next one 🙂


This hotly awaited event is now on and all the fighters have been confirmed and are in full training for this event. As well as the fighters giving their all, we are lucky to have the world famous DJ Spoony providing the music for the event so it will be thumping in more ways than one!

The event will be held at the Polo Club in St Albans starting at 6:30pm where there is plenty of parking also good transport options.

All done in the name of charity so we hope you can come along for what will be a pretty spectacular evening – you can contact Niki on 07787 438218 for further details.


Wednesday, April 16th, The Queen’s Hotel, Cheltenham.

Things got underway with a welcome reception drink and chat prior to the lunch. The guests who attended the Mike Tindall Lunch all had a very enjoyable meal and were entertained by a host of sporting celebrities from the world of Cricket, Horse Racing, Skeleton & Rugby.

Firstly Sam Thomas told us about the experience he had in riding two wonder horses Denman and Kauto Star and the joy he had winning at the Cheltenham festival.

Amy Williams also shared her feelings on what it was like to be on the other side of the camera rather than competing at this years Winter Olympics. She also give an insight as to how the future of the sport is in safe hands with all manor of training facilities available to the British squad.

Mike Powell informed us of his thoughts on why England Cricket Team were having difficulties but assured us they will be back to winnings ways very soon. He also shared a few funny stories which the audience found very hilarious.

Mike Tindall and Stephen Vaughan (MD of Gloucester Rugby Club) gave us their vision on the future of Gloucester Rugby and Mikes transition from player to coach.

Very informative Q&A, great to get an incite into the hearts and minds of true professionals.


Land-Rover-Logo-2013We raised £2500 on the day, many thanks to those who attended the event and also to our sponsor Stratstone Land Rover.

Update – April 2014

Diet going well, just another 13kg to lose to hit my 30kg target – it’s been a tough road, much harder than I thought but the family and friends have commented on how much better I look for all the effort and I feel better within myself. This gives me the encouragement to press on. Another update after the 5 month challenge is completed.

Our head of fundraising, Alan Lamb, is starting the new year with a personal goal of attempting to lose 30kg over the next five months! It seems Alan attended a few too many menu rugby dinners last year and as a result has become a little too rotund for Mrs Lamb’s liking.

Al is using the challenge as an opportunity to raise money for R4H and hopes it might encourage others to do the same.

“New Year’s resolutions and tough goals often slip by the way-side after a short time. I’m hoping that undertaking a challenge such as this for charity will be a great way to stay motivated” says Alan.

Losing almost a stone a month is no mean feat and Alan is looking for sponsors to help him raise money and achieve his goal.

You can support Alan and Rugby for Heroes via his Just Giving page… 

We will be keeping a track of his progress and keeping you updated!