Eccles Rugby Club is launching a limited edition heritage shirt as part of their fundraising efforts which will see them look to raise £20,000 in just four weeks.
The shirt, which will commemorate the club playing in their traditional blue and white hooped shirts for 100 years, will be on sale from today (26th February) as part of a covid recovery crowdfunding campaign.
The idea of the heritage shirt has come from the club obtaining new evidence of when the club changed from all green shirts to their now traditional blue and white hooped shirts.
A photo of the Eccles team of 1920/21 appeared on sale on eBay and was alerted to the club, which helped communications officer at the club, Chris Gaffey, in being able to confirm this milestone.
He explains the discovery in the video below.
This gave Gaffey and the club an idea of a way to celebrate this important moment in the clubs history.
He commented: “When we able to identify that it was this year we thought it felt like something to celebrate, give the members of the club and the community something to feel happy about.
“We decided to mark this 100th anniversary of the blue and white hoops by producing this limited edition heritage shirt, it will be long sleeved and will try to match those shirts worn by the club in the early 1920’s.”
The shirts will be on sale as part of the clubs efforts to raise funds for essential works at their Gorton Street home, following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the club hard with effectively all income streams lost for a year.
Works include replacing the floodlights, adding extra security equipment and making the car park safer with the addition of speed humps.
The works though will only go ahead if the club hits the fundraising target of £20,000 , if they miss the target all money will be returned to donors, who if they pledge and the target is hit have the chance to win rewards donated by local businesses.
Gaffey explains: “Its been very difficult for the club to keep going when we’ve not had anyone in the club house and in turn lost all food and bar sales.
“This is the revenue clubs like ours rely on. We’ve also lost the hospitality income from events, and also from match days when our first team play on Saturdays or Sundays, we’ve lost it all.
“We’re now in a position where maintenance that is ordinarily paid for by our revenue streams now needs to come from somewhere else, we can’t leave the club to become in a poor state of maintenance ahead of the new season.
“This is why we’re launching this covid recovery crowdfunding campaign this Friday. Our target is £20,000 in four weeks. If we don’t hit the target we get nothing.
“If we hit our target their is a possibility that Sport England will give their support to our campaign and give us some additional cash but that is all based on us hitting this target.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the club’s covid recovery crowdfunder or order a limited edition heritage shirt can do so here.