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Mumbles Rugby Festival Kicks Off!!!!

The three day event starts tonight at Underhill Park.

Organised by Mumbles Rugby Football Club there'll be a number of matches throughout the bank holiday weekend.

Saturday will see some mighty Welsh legends taking to the field in aid of two charities.

The Hughes and Rockefeller family have called on the likes of Mike Ruddock, Colin Charvis, Ian Gough and Nicky Thomas to help them raise funds and awareness for Mind and Sarcoma UK - following the tragic loss of two loved ones.

William Hughes was 20 years of age, a popular Swansea youngster - carving a name for himself in the world of boxing. 

A former pupil at Bishop Vaughan Comprehensive School, he trained as a youngster with the Maccarinelli's at their gym in Bonymaen.

William  bagged three Welsh titles, the British title and whilst at Queen Mary University of London he secured the Bucks University title.

An economics student - the real reason he was in London was because Enzo Maccarinelli had organised for him to train at the world famous Repton Boxing Club.

His studies were his back-up plan - but his real passion was to make it as a professional boxer. 

William loved being with his family and friends - his home was the ' go to' place before any gathering in Swansea.

Last year his parents got a phone call which would change their lives forever. William had attempted to take his life whilst on holiday with a group of friends in Greece. He was taken to hospital but could not be resuscitated.

His dad Stephen Hughes, chairman of Swansea Rugby Club told us: "We were getting phone calls and pictures throughout his break - they all looked like they were having a great time.

"Then we got the worst phone call of our lives. William took his life the last day before he was due to come back from his holiday.

"I flew out to Greece to bring him home. His friends were unbelievable - the way they helped our son and supported our family. I felt so sorry for them - that they had to deal with the situation.

"We'll never know why William made the decision he did.

"What we're trying to do now is raise awareness to try and help stop this happening to another family."

"We are still grieving. But when we were approached by Alex Rockefeller  - William's good friend who  recently himself lost his sister to Sarcoma - and asked to do a charity event - we couldn't say no.

"The Rockefeller family challenged us to a game of rugby at the Mumbles Crackers' 7's event at Underhill Park.  Our team Sweet William will be supporting Mind and running out in the white Swansea Rugby Club strip. Whilst the Rockefeller's will be getting behind Sarcoma UK in tribute to Abie who sadly passed away in February of this year. They'll be in blue - Mumbles Rugby Club's team colours.

"As soon as I knew the game was on - you can imagine I made full use of my contact book. Colin Charvis was one of the first to sign up. Then  Paul Moriarty came into the fold as  team manager. Tony Clement is our backs coach and playing - with Ian Gough forwards coach and playing. Richard Lancaster is our head coach. Nicky Thomas, David Blyth, Paul John as well as Arwel Thomas are part of our line-up too."

You can LISTEN to full interview with Stephen Hughes here:

This is Abigail Rockefeller... the reason why the charity match idea came to fruition! Her brother Alex says both Abie and William touched the lives of so many people he wanted to create an opportunity for all those who loved and knew them - to come together and do something special in their name.

Abigail was 22 years of age, she loved working with animals - volunteering at Plantasia in Swansea and studied animal behaviour at university. She was sporty too and enjoyed playing football.

Alex told us: "Last year Abie started experiencing tingling sensations in her forearm whilst working at a coffee shop. She was initially misdiagnosed by a GP with carpal tunnel syndrome.

"A few weeks later she started having pains in her hip.  At first she didn't piece them together and think they were related. But after a few sessions of physiotherapy and referral to a doctor - where as they'd previously thought her hip was fractured, it turned out to be a tumour in her hip had spread to her forearm. 

"The disease often affects people between the age of 10 and 20. It accounts for 2 percent of all cancers in young people.

"Abie took good care of herself she was always active, whether it was playing football, netball or going for a run.

"So yeah, it did come as quite a shock. to find out that this had happened.

"I think what we've learnt from other sufferers of sarcoma who play sports is that what initially is played off as a bump or bruise  - turned out to be something else.

"Abie was vibrant, happy girl with a great zest for life. We never really imagined anything like this would happen. She never thought in a million years it was something as serious as it was. Because it was left a few weeks and it had the chance to spread - that is what made it so much worse. These things are hard to detect. 

"As soon as she noticed the pain in her hip was quite severe, I think it was three or four weeks after the pain had first started - once it started getting worse and worse she should have been knocking harder on the NHS door to say something isn't right."

Abie's family are hoping her story will help raise awareness among young people and encourage them to seek medical advice if in pain or feeling unwell saying:  "We want  to emphasise that in Abie's situation, her age and general health made it feasible that these symptoms were common discomforts. If after seeing doctors and/ or physiotherapists, your symptoms worsen, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the more successful the treatment."

You can LISTEN to Alex's full interview here: 

The charity rugby match will take place during Mumbles Crackers' 7's event  at Underhill Park on August the 24th.

Swansea RFC will go head to head with Mumbles RFC 

Friday 23rd Aug, Mumbles first XV v Swansea Uplands XV. Kick off 7 pm

Saturday 24th Aug, Mumbles under 16’s v Swansea Uplands under 16’s.
Kick off 1.30 pm

Mumbles Youth v Swansea Uplands Youth. kick off 3 pm

Charity Game

The Sweet William Invitation XV v Rockefeller Rugby XV in support of Mind & Sarcoma UK Charities. kick off 5 pm

Sunday 25th Aug
Cracker 7’s kicking off at 11 am

Licensed Bar and BBQ

  

Please click links to find out more about the work being done by Mind  and Sarcoma UK

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