Eastbourne Rugby Football Club (ERFC) raised more than £6,000 at its summer Gala Dinner, organised by Rix & Kay, which featured international referee Nigel Owens MBE as guest speaker.
The event, which was held at the Grand Hotel recently, saw 180 guests enjoy a sumptuous meal and a night of wonderful entertainment - thanks to Nigel Owens. The referee has won worldwide acclaim for his fairness and witty one-liners.
Ahead of the dinner, Nigel said it was the first time he had visited Eastbourne and that he was looking forward to speaking to supporters of ERFC. During the evening he regaled guests by reminiscing about refereeing the last Rugby World Cup final, his first Six Nations match and the recent Test Match between England and Argentina. He also praised the volunteers who give up their time to help others because of their love of the game of rugby.
Nigel Owens said, “In my humble opinion rugby union is not only the greatest of team sports in the world on the field, but without a shadow of a doubt it is the greatest of team sports off the field.
“If it wasn’t for rugby union and the good people in rugby union people like you here tonight, I wouldn’t be able to be who I am today. I owe more to rugby as a sport and the people like you in the sport than rugby will ever owe to me.”
Master of ceremonies for the evening was Welsh cricketer Tony Cottee, who played for Glamorgan and Sussex during his career.
Commenting on the success of the evening, Bruce Hayter, chairman of legal firm Rix & Kay, added, “Eastbourne Rugby Club is the archetypal community club that pulls in support and players from across the region. We’ve been helping to organise the Gala Dinner for a number of years and it was a pleasure to do so again this year.
“To have Nigel Owens as our guest speaker, one of the world’s finest rugby referees, was a real coup and highlights the high regard that Eastbourne Rugby Club is held in. Everyone had a wonderful evening, raising just over £6,000 for the club and we look forward to doing it all again next year.”