Colour Sergeant claims Fan of Pride award
Colour Sergeant Alan Boyle claims BRUT Fan of Pride award with Warrington Wolves
Photo courtesy of Mike Boden, Warrington Guardian
Warrington Wolves fan, former amateur player and now Colour Sergeant of 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment, Alan Boyle has been voted as the winner of Brut's ‘Fan of Pride' for Super League side Warrington Wolves.
A man, whose involvement in the sport has stretched from Warrington to Afghanistan via Malta in recent times, has shown huge commitment to the cause in recent years, due to a series of tragic events that rocked both his Regiment, but also the local community.
"I started getting involved with Warrington Wolves in 2010, when I was looking after injured soldiers back in the community. Part of my role was to organise days out when we could all be together, and I went to the Wolves, who were the first to agree to such a scheme."
It was however two weeks later when a member of Boyle's regiment, Tom Sephton, was tragically killed in Afghanistan.
"Three days before were going to our first Wolves game, Tom was killed in service. As a focal point of the community, the Club invited families down in an act of bringing everyone closer together. A Royal Marine, who was also a friend of Tom's from school, was also killed ten days prior, so it was a very difficult time. The Club looked after us magnificently, and their performance on the pitch symbolised the occasion. It was a very special day."
Since then Alan has taken on the Sephton Trophy and grown the occasion, hosted on Armed Forces Day every year since, to a stage where more than 5,000 people come to watch Crosfields, Tom's old club, take on the Royal Engineers, and help raise money for military charities.
"It's now the biggest amateur rugby league match in Warrington and the surrounding area, and we have big plans in for 2014 already. It's an important day for the local community, and one that has been well attended since its creation."
Boyle believes that Rugby League and the Armed Forces have similar values that make the close link such a success. Wolves star Stefan Ratchford was on site to meet Boyle and acknowledge his achievements within the local community: "The fans are hugely important to the Club, but also the community. The success of the club in recent years has seen the town get a lot of recognition which we hadn't had before and this spreads to our Forces from the local area; it's great to see so many down at the games. We've had coaching sessions with them before, and it is always a popular day with the squad when we get a chance to work with them."
By winning Brut's Fan of Pride Award for Warrington Wolves, Alan will enjoy a day out at the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in October, as well as some Brut product.
05, Sep, 2013