Another successful year for Leamington’s Rugby4Heroes festival

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
Action from the game between O.L.'s ladies (yellow and blue) and Rugby Lionesses.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. Action from the game between O.L.'s ladies (yellow and blue) and Rugby Lionesses. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-195751009

Organisers of a rugby and music festival are celebrating after another successful festival.

Last weekend Rugby4Heroes returned to the Old Leamingtonians RFC for its ninth year.

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
Action from the game between Badger Rugby (in white) and Lanch Old Boys.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. Action from the game between Badger Rugby (in white) and Lanch Old Boys. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-195906009

The rugby and music festival, which started on Friday evening and ran until Sunday afternoon, helps to raise money in memory of the service men and woman from Warwickshire and the West Midlands who fell during Iraq and Afghanistan.

The festival is also used to remember two soldiers in particular - Private Joe Whittaker from Stratford and Private Conrad Lewis from Claverdon. Both soldiers were killed in action in Afghanistan.

Throughout the weekend there were senior and junior rugby matches, live music performances, stalls, a rugby ball bucking bronco, as well as military vehicles including a tank and helicopters.

Visitors on Sunday also had the chance to see the flyover of the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
Action from the game between O.L.'s first team (yellow and blue) and the colts. First team member Nick Bingham beats the Colts 'AJ' Beasley down the wing.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. Action from the game between O.L.'s first team (yellow and blue) and the colts. First team member Nick Bingham beats the Colts 'AJ' Beasley down the wing. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-200010009

Mike Vallance, project leader for Rugby4Heroes, said: “The reaction to this year’s event has been a very positive one. The event ran very smoothly and there was excellent rugby from both seniors and juniors.

“It was a very busy weekend overall and the weather was certainly against us on Saturday but rugby folk are hardy folk so they still came out.

“It was great to see a real nice mix of ages from babies to 94-year-old war veteran Rusty Waughman, who used to fly the Lancaster Bombers. His attendance allowed us to pay tribute to him. The Lancaster Bomber was due to flyover on Sunday but couldn’t fly because of further engineering work.”

The Rugby4Heroes team are already looking at next year’s event, which will be the 10th and final festival.

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
O.L.'s ladies picured in front of an Army helicopter.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. O.L.'s ladies picured in front of an Army helicopter. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-195648009

Mike said: “We are currently fixing the date for 2018, which will be the 10th year. It is a lot of hard work to do the event but we love it.

“Local people give their time and hard work. We want to make next year very special to raise money for the charities but to also thank the volunteers by putting on a great show.

“Next year will be the grand finale for the festival.

“My team and I would like to thank everyone for their support, thank everyone who came and thank all who volunteered as well as all the teams and all of our sponsors. We couldn’t do this without them.”

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
Chris White M.P. had his nails painted by Katie Barnes in aid of 'Nails4Heroes'.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. Chris White M.P. had his nails painted by Katie Barnes in aid of 'Nails4Heroes'. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-200318009

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
Event organiser Mike Vallance welcomes Vince Watson, Chairman of the Leamington Spa branch of the Royal British Legion.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. Event organiser Mike Vallance welcomes Vince Watson, Chairman of the Leamington Spa branch of the Royal British Legion. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-200355009

Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival.
Lucy Stanley, who is the Royal British Legion's County Standardbearer, shows her 18 month old son Jesse Garland the Army helicopter.
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Photos of the Rugby4Heroes rugby and Music festival. Lucy Stanley, who is the Royal British Legion's County Standardbearer, shows her 18 month old son Jesse Garland the Army helicopter. MHLC-13-05-16-Rugby4Heroes NNL-170513-200421009

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.