Charity rugby match in memory of former Littleborough rugby player

Date published: 15 May 2022

A charity rugby match has been organised in Oldham next weekend in memory of former Littleborough rugby player, Julian Bebbington.

Julian sadly died last year, aged 60, of Motor Neurone Disease. He was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme where he was a county sprinter and shot putter in his teens, before he started his career at Pottery Motor Transport, where his father also worked.

Julian married and had four children, three girls and a boy, after moving to Rochdale in the early 1980s to pursue a career in teaching science at Roch Valley High School. Once he decided to hang up his boots, he married Pauline with whom he spent the rest of his life with. Julian was also a keen musician and enjoyed outdoor activities such as walking, canoeing and skiing.

When he moved to Rochdale, he began to play at Littleborough Rugby Union Club as the first team tight head prop alongside Brent Pollitt and Bob Wester, who continued to be lifelong friends. Julian also played alongside his son, Andy, a couple of times.

The game at Oldham Rugby Union Club on Saturday 21 May will start with GB Masters v Elland Masters at 2pm, followed by Oldham v Littleborough at 3.15pm.

The game is being held to celebrate Julian’s life, and also raise funds for the MND Association. A raffle will also take place.

Brent and his wife, Dawn, said: “Please come down and join Julian’s family and friends in raising the roof and celebrating a great man, father, husband, grandad, friend and rugby player. Please help us raise awareness and much needed funds for a great charity.”

Motor Neurone Disease is a fatal rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis.

It’s a devastating disease that affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time and kills six people every day.

There is currently no cure.

The MND Association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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