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12th September 2017, 13:30 | masters

National Masters Festival breaks records

National Masters Festival breaks records

After a nervous morning watching the rain pour down, the Premier Sports National Masters Festival got underway in muddy but fine conditions at Blackpool's Stanley Park.

The reward for Paul and Angela Ogden and their organising team at Blackpool Masters was a record turnout of 245 Masters with representatives from over 20 clubs, including long-distance travellers from South London Storm, Midlands Halcyons, Hull Dockers and West Cumbria. The 16 teams played three 20-minute games across the four active pitches; each with its own lively and enthusiastic set of supporters on the touchline.

"What a wonderful turnout," enthused Masters Chairman, John Wroe: "A credit to all the hard work done by all concerned."

The quality of the Rugby League played and the great spirit in which the games were played drew comment from several casual spectators.

Master of the Festival award went to Hindpool's gold-shorter Les Shaw for his excellent efforts in both defence and attack.

A memorable day for everyone involved

A record 245 Masters Rugby League players turned out


Gaz Hopkins of Leigh East won the Masters Moment Award for his excellent try which culminated in a full-length dive in the water soaked in goal area!

For their consistent play in the true spirit of Masters, coupled with the excellent organisation of the National Festival, the Team of Festival Award went to hosts, Blackpool Masters.

The presentations did not end there!

Kath Wilson of Leeds Masters surprised player, referee and administrator, Paul Field, with a 60th birthday cake - celebrating his change to GOLD shorts! A further surprise lay in store for Paul, as he was presented with the 'Spirit of Masters' Award by Masters Chairman, John Wroe.

A true Masters mix of live music, beer and the telling of great deeds on the pitch continued well into the evening.

To find out more or get involved with Masters Rugby League, email Paul on

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