Oscar typifies rugby club’s ‘superb spirit’

Rugby player Oscar Duck, centre, with his dad Roger on the left and coach and club chairman, Bob Wilkinson, on the right.
Rugby player Oscar Duck, centre, with his dad Roger on the left and coach and club chairman, Bob Wilkinson, on the right.

Clitheroe Rugby Club Under 16 outside centre, Oscar Duck, ran 15 miles around Clitheroe on Saturday to raise money for the RFU Injured Players Foundation.

The charity supports rugby players who sustain a catastrophic spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, and helps prevent future injuries through research and education.

Coach and club chairman, Bob Wilkinson and Oscar’s dad, Roger, kept him company on the run, along with Heather Wilkinson and Carol Taylor racing ahead on mountain bikes as the “support crew” to capture a photographic record of the whole event.

Oscar said: “I love my rugby, but I know that some people can get seriously injured playing the sport, so I wanted to raise money to help those who have been seriously affected by injury – but I hope I am lucky enough to never need their support myself.”

Since Oscar started training with Clitheroe in summer 2013, the junior side of the Ribble Valley’s only rugby club has gone from strength to strength and now has seven youth teams, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of coaches, players and parents at the club.

Coach and club chairman Bob added: “With this selfless act of raising money for those who need it, Oscar typifies the superb spirit amongst the young rugby players at the club and we’re very proud to have Oscar play for us.”

The run was one of 15 challenges that Oscar’s parents set for him as a “present” on his 15th birthday. One challenge found him walking around West Bradford wearing a rainbow coloured shirt, skull mask and a very manly skirt all of which he made for himself out of 15 pieces of material. Other challenges have seen him make a 150-mile round trip with a friend, cook a three-course meal for his family of five (15 plates of food), and volunteer for something associated with the number 15. The volunteering was, of course, helping to coach one of the younger teams at Clitheroe Rugby Club.

Despite sore legs, Oscar and Bob were back at training on Sunday morning. The club is always looking for new players. If interested, get in touch via the website at www.clitheroerugby.com.

Donations for the RFUIPF would be very welcome via Oscar’s fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Oscar-Duck.