A TITLE-WINNING rugby team will take to the field in style when they kick off next season in a higher division thanks to a Wrexham finance firm’s £2,000 sponsorship boost.
Chester RUFC 3rd XV will finally be competing in their very own kit for the first time after using cash from sponsors Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management Ltd, based in the former Wrexham Lager brewery building in the heart of the town, to purchase a brand new strip.
Usually the team are kitted out in hand-me-downs from the second team but next season the promotion-winning squad will look the part when they embark on a first ever campaign in Sale Sharks Division One of the North West Leagues.
Hadlow Edwards Director Tom Hadlow, who plays for the 3rds as a second row, secured the sponsorship for the team to reward them for their Sale Sharks Division Two South title triumph.
The 29-year-old said: “We usually get hand-me-down kits but after the season we’ve had I felt we deserved our own.
“We’ve just won the division and been promoted which was a really big achievement. The new kit looks great so it feels like a bit of a pat on the back for all the hard work.
“The league we’ve just been in we were mainly playing clubs’ first and second teams. We may be the first thirds team to have got promoted from the division.”
Hadlow Edwards Founder Director Warren Hadlow, who is Tom’s father, said: “We have a track record of supporting sporting teams in the community because we believe it is important to play our part in helping great causes in the region where our successful business has grown.
“Tom is passionate about his rugby and the team itself and we are pleased to be able to do our bit to support them, particularly as they have had such a brilliant season and they should be extremely proud of their success. It’s great to see such ambition and we wish them the best of luck for the future.”
Tom added: “For the team the aim next season will be to secure our place in the division. It’s going to be tough playing a lot of top second teams but it’ll be interesting.
“There are a lot of very good teams in the division but I think we’ll do OK against a lot of them. We have to make sure we step it up in that league.”
Tom, who lives in Chester and has been with Hadlow Edwards for nearly eight years, missed a big chunk of the title-winning season so is champing at the bit for the new campaign to start.
He said: “Personally I just want to start playing again and get into the team for the new season.”I’ve been out since November last year with a broken collar bone so I played about a third of the season in total. I went down as much as I could to cheer the lads on.
“I played rugby at school but stopped between the age of 16 and 27. I don’t know what got me playing again, I just fancied it.
“I thought if I want to get back into it I need to do it now otherwise it’s going to get too late for me. The club is just down the road from me and I thought let’s give it a go.”
Chester RUFC Chairman David Maloney said: “Sponsorship from firms like Hadlow Edwards is very important to the financial well-being of clubs like Chester.
“Full kit for 24 players comes at a substantial cost and it’s unlikely the club would have been able to provide this for the 3rd team without such assistance.
“The club and the players in particular are extremely grateful for this contribution from Hadlow Edwards – in fact the lads were so pleased they went on to win the league!”