Standing ovation at RTS Sportsman’s Dinner

On October 13th over 130 people attended the 12th RTS Sportsman’s Dinner once again held at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in Leeds, home of the Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.  As most of you will know, the Dinner has been a regular feature of our fundraising event calendar.  Always a successful and enjoyable evening, this year was no exception. The Dinner (as well as the RTS Golf Day) has been organised for the 12 years by our very own John Peat. John is our RTS Ambassador and Fundraiser.

Following a super 3-course dinner, Malcolm Lord, well known after dinner speaker and MC took to the floor to make sure the evening was a true Sportsman’s Dinner!  The comedian kept the laughs coming, the alcohol flowed and everyone supported the auction of sports memorabilia and raffle.  Big thank you to everyone that donated prizes and auction goods.  The evening was a roaring success and was quoted as being “the best ever”. 

During the evening, a true supporter of the RTS Support Group, Rob Burrow, announced that he was auctioning his signed rugby boots on Ebay (those that he wore for his final professional game). After 492 games and 8 grand finals Rob has retired as a player, although not retired from the sports arena. See his interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post below. That very kind gesture has added another £760 to our funds and we are very grateful to Rob, not only for this but for his never-ending support of the RTS Support Group and John and his family. 

However, at the end of the evening John announced that he was standing down from organising the fundraising events due to personal reasons and this would be the final Sportsman’s Dinner.  He was given a very well deserved standing ovation and was overwhelmed by the support.  He asked those in attendance whether they wanted it to continue and in John’s words; ‘I was blown away by the offers of support in the room on announcing my ‘retirement’ and people were determined that this event should and would continue in its current format but with others taking on the organization.’  So the Sportsman’s Dinner continues and we would like to thank those taking over the organisation of the evening.  We are also pleased to say that John will remain in the background helping with the details.

As well as a huge thank you to John for all his work putting on the RTS events over the years, we would also like to thank those that have been firm supporters; local businesses, friends and family.  Over the 12 years, the Sportsman’s Dinner has raised in the region of £50,000 which has helped the RTS Support Group to continually provide support our member families.