A special Rugby League legends game will be staged at the Select Security Stadium, Widnes, on Sunday, October 16, in aid of the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation.
A team of St Helens legends will take on their Viking’ counterparts in an event that also includes an amateur select match from both towns and Blackbrook under 9s facing West Bank Bears.
Paul Atcheson, Chris Smith, Andy Northey, Mike Riley, Keiron Pickavance, Jason Roach, Tommy Hodgkinson, Paul Loughlin and Anthony Stewart have all confirmed they will be pulling on a Saints’ shirt once more.
The event has been organised in memory of the mother of John Stankevitch - twice a Super League winner during his playing days at Knowsley Road and a member of the squad which won the World Club Challenge in 2001.
Cathie tragically lost her life last year in a road traffic accident.
John said: “We wanted to do something positive and at first, as a family, we were just going to donate a trophy, The Cathie Stankevitch Memorial Trophy, to a local competition.
“But in early 2016, I began discussing the organisation of a rugby event where we could raise funds in mum’s name for local disadvantaged children and young people, and we gained lots of support for organising this event.
“Mum doted on my three children and always wanted the best for them, and she would always sacrifice what she wanted to benefit them. She would always pass comment when she saw children and young people living in poverty and say that it shouldn’t happen.
“Locally, there are families living in poverty and unfortunately it means that some children and young people aren’t able to do what the ‘other kids’ do. In 2016, that’s very sad.
“All funds generated from the event will be used to create community projects where these children and young people can take part, learn new skills and have fun.
“When you see a young person come to rugby training and they haven’t got a pair of boots, or holes in their socks, or cannot afford to pay subs, it really hits home. It’s a question that I always ask myself. What sort of life are these local children and young people living?
“Deprivation and poverty is very high in Widnes and St Helens and by holding this event we hope to go some way to alleviating some issues and offering some new opportunities.
“On the day, we will begin at 11.30am with a friendly between West Bank Bears U9s and Blackbrook U9s. Following this will be the Amateur Select game, with Widnes taking on St Helens, and finally at 3pm we will see the Widnes RL Legends play against the St Helens RL Legends.
“Between the games we will have games and competitions on the pitch as well as some sports exhibitions. Off the field we will have face painting, stalls, mascots etc.
“At 5pm the Bridge Suite will be opened and the fans can mingle with the players and enjoy a disco. Admission is included in the ticket price. We will also have some raffles and auctions for some fantastic prizes such as signed sports memorabilia.
“The target is to raise £10,000 from the event, and to reach that figure we are urging fans to come along and show their support for the event which we hope will be an annual event.”
“All three matches will be played for a Cathie Stankevitch Memorial Trophy.”
Entry is £10 for adults, OAPs £5 with under 16s going free.
To find out more concerning the match log on to www.rllegendsevent.co.uk