Well-wishers rally to donate £4,500 to Honiton Rugby Club following devastating blaze

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 April 2018

Firefighters examine the gutted container. Photo: Honiton Fire Station

Firefighters examine the gutted container. Photo: Honiton Fire Station

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Honiton's fire-hit rugby club says it is 'overwhelmed' after well-wishers pulled together to raise nearly £4,500 in donations.

Firefighters examine the gutted container. Photo: Honiton Fire StationFirefighters examine the gutted container. Photo: Honiton Fire Station

Last month, the club revealed historic memorabilia perished in a container blaze, which is thought to be a targeted attack.

The fire also hindered the club’s progress with an ongoing extension at its clubhouse, with building supplies and windows destroyed.

However, after the club’s plight was publicised through the Midweek Herald, Honiton’s community has rallied to raise around £4,400 for the club.

Chris Gould, of Honiton Rugby Football Club (RFC), said: “Honiton RFC is a community club that enables literally hundreds of local people of all ages to play rugby.

The interior of the container, which was destroyed by the blaze. Photo: Honiton Fire StationThe interior of the container, which was destroyed by the blaze. Photo: Honiton Fire Station

“The support of the community following this incident means we can continue to do this without missing a beat we are very grateful to all our supporters.

“The thing that has really staggered us is the breadth of support we have received private individuals, young and old, local business, charities and clubs, and other rugby teams.

“Even the referee at one of our matches donated £20.

“There was in excess of £4,000 worth of equipment, memorabilia and kit destroyed in the fire, including many items such as deep freezers, kit, tables and more, that are used every week.

Paul Blackmore, owner of Amaze Pools, sponsored some shirts at the club. He also donated �150 through the Just Giving fundraising page.Paul Blackmore, owner of Amaze Pools, sponsored some shirts at the club. He also donated �150 through the Just Giving fundraising page.

“Some of this we can replace, but obviously all the old records of the club, and photo, we can’t.”

So far, £2,022 has been donated to the club through an online fundraising page. Businesses, clubs and charities have donated £2,430 in total.

Chris said: “Donations on a JustGiving page were spread across 41 donations, predominantly private individuals.

“This includes a £2 donation from Jessica Goldfinch who is 12-years-old and donated her pocket money, to Justin Nuttall an ex-player of the club who donated £500.

Greg Layzell, of Otter Valley Rotary Club, which donated �500.Greg Layzell, of Otter Valley Rotary Club, which donated �500.

“We have had every size of donation in between.”

A fundraising sled push at B! Health and Fitness in Honiton raised £610 for the club, while company Driveway Transformations donated £500. Both companies have since become new partners for the club.

Other supports include Otter Valley Rotary Club (£500), Honiton Carnival Club (£650), and Tavistock Rugby Club, which donated £160 raised from the raffle at their game with Honiton last week.

Dave ‘Stopper’ Todd, president at Honiton RFC, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the community’s generosity since the incident.

The fundraising sled push at B! Health and Fitness in Honiton. Photo: Callum LawtonThe fundraising sled push at B! Health and Fitness in Honiton. Photo: Callum Lawton

“Thank-you to everybody who has supported us.”

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