Both New Milton RFC and New Milton ‘army’ scored 30 points each in the Boxing Day memorial match held to remember winger Stuart Wilson who died aged 19 while serving with the army in Bosnia.
His brothers Bob, and Jim – who lost his legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, and dad Wally watched the game along with hundreds of spectators.
Officiated by the ever-festive Ian Britton, try scorers included Ben Russell, Sam Bew, Will Machin, Dalton Thomas, Matt Colein, Dan Mallard, Ryan Morrell and Rhys Frampton.
Forwards Russ Early, Eddy Hynd and Yan Kaspers enjoyed some space and almost looked like backs.
Lee Peart, Steve Fisher, Ed and Bill Baker were among the veterans parading their skills and Nathan Smith and Jack Evemy entertained the crowd with their pace.
Club chairman Andy Frend rolled back the years and put in a bravura performance. He had lost his dad and club stalwart Ivan shortly before Christmas.
After the match, a raffle and auction organised by comedy duo Paul Horscroft and Phil Hoyle raised £1,620 for Pilgrims Bandits Charity. Formed to assist servicemen with injuries, the charity now extends its help to injured civilians.
Wally Wilson said, “It is a wonderful club that came together after we lost Stuart 20 years ago and still remembers him every Boxing Day.
“Players from all the teams, both young and old, have a really fun game. Some weren’t even born when Stuart died but they still turn out and raise money.
“Over the years the club has raised many thousands of pounds for a number of military charities and we’re very grateful.
“Pilgrim Bandits Charity is New Milton-based and does remarkable things for people who have been injured and the money will go to great use.”
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