Sue Ryder Wheatfield Hospice, which has been supported by Hunslet Rugby League club for a number of years, is £110 better off – thanks to the Parksiders’ threequarter Tom Ashton and supporters Gareth Evans and Paul Johnson.
Ashton put his 2019 away shirt up for auction on Facebook before Christmas, with the north Leeds hospice set to benefit from the proceeds. And he admits to being delighted by the response.
The Lancastrian – who, despite playing in what for him is the `foreign’ county of Yorkshire, is very active behind the scenes at Hunslet – revealed: “The older you get the more shirts you seem to collect! With the missus rolling her eyes as I bring yet another one home to add to the ever-growing collection I thought there must be a better way to put them to use.
“That’s when the idea of raising a bit of money for a special charity that Hunslet is heavily involved with came in to play.”
Ashton continued: “I listed the shirt on the old faithful Hunslet supporters page on Facebook as an auction format, and for a bit of fun.
“Initially my thought was that if I raised £40 I would be happy. The bidding ended on £100 though, and the shirt went to Gareth Evans, while Paul Johnson very kindly added another £10.
“So £110 was raised for our great local charity – and the shirt is in the hands of someone who loves the club and who will cherish it for years to come.”
He concluded: “I’m overwhelmed by the money that’s been raised, and I am delighted it will go to great use at the hospice
“Thanks to everyone for their bids and support – I can’t wait to see all our fans back down at the South Leeds Stadium!”
Evans said: “As soon as I saw the auction on Facebook I was determined to try and win that shirt.
“Tom has been a favourite player of mine since he signed for Hunslet. The fact that the shirt also incorporated the 20-year anniversary of the 1999 Division One Grand Final, which was probably the best day I’ve had supporting the club, meant I wasn’t going to let it go.
“Tom has kindly signed the back of the shirt and my plan is to get it framed and put up in my man-shed.”
Hunslet wore pre-match warm-up shirts bearing the Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice logo in 2020, and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming campaign.