Rugby league chiefs yesterday launched the Founders Walk, a venture which aims to raise £120,000 in celebration of the sport’s 120th anniversary.
The Founders Walk takes place over six days from Sunday July 19 to July 24 and takes in the 22 original home stadiums of the 22 clubs that founded the Northern Union on August 29, 1895.
To launch an initiative that will give clubs and individuals the opportunity to raise valuable funds for good causes, RFL chief executive Nigel Wood walked the 1.2 miles from Fartown, the original home of Huddersfield Giants, down to the George Hotel in Huddersfield, the venue for the momentous meeting of breakaway clubs 120 years ago.
He was joined by a host of special guests including two members of the Rugby League Hall of Fame, Alex Murphy OBE and Garry Schofield OBE, Huddersfield Giants chairman Ken Davy and managing director Richard Thewlis, former Halifax and St Helens forward Adam Fogerty and representatives from a host of clubs.
RFL boss Wood said: “Rugby league has a great heritage and tradition and in this, our 120th year, the Founders Walk is a terrific opportunity for the sport to come together and raise as much money as it can for worthy causes.
“Listening to Alex, Garry and Adam on the way down from Fartown was really entertaining and underlined how great it is to spend time with rugby league people on initiatives like this.
“The sport should be very proud of its ability to rally round and do the right thing and the Founders Walk enables the whole rugby league family to do just that.
“It’s an important anniversary and I hope as many people as possible engage with the walk to celebrate a special birthday and a very special sport.”
The Founders Walk takes place over six days but fans can sign up to walk as far as they like on any or all of the route, with each of the days split into smaller stages.
The Northern Union’s 22 founding clubs were Batley, Bradford, Brighouse, Broughton, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull FC, Hunslet, Leeds, Leigh, Liversedge, Manningham, Oldham, Rochdale, Runcorn, St Helens, Stockport, Tyldesley, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington, Widnes and Wigan.
For more details of the route or to register for the Founders Walk please visit www.rugbyleaguecares.org/founders_walk_2015