Former England rugby international Alastair Hignell, who lives with Multiple Sclerosis, today encouraged rugby fans to attend this year’s Varsity Matches to support Leonard Cheshire Disability.
The 134th men’s Varsity Match will take place at Twickenham Stadium on Thursday, 10 December, with Oxford renewing their age-old rivalry with Cambridge.
For the first time, the women’s Varsity Match will also take place at Twickenham this year.
The women will play at 11.30am with the men’s match to follow at 2.30pm.
The charity is hosting a gala lunch with Alastair Hignell and other rugby internationals and will collect donations at the match.
The charity, which hopes to raise over £65,000 from the partnership, has historical links with Oxford. Its founder, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, a highly decorated British RAF pilot in the Second World War, grew up in the city and went to the Dragon School. In 1936, aged 18, he returned to his hometown to study Jurisprudence at Merton College, Oxford.
Alastair Hignell, a Trustee of Leonard Cheshire Disability and former Cambridge Captain, said: “The Rugby World Cup is already showing that the values that make the sport great remain the same.
“We hope those that have enjoyed England’s hosting of the tournament might be encouraged to attend the latest edition of rugby’s oldest fixture when Oxford again takes on my old side Cambridge on December 10.
“I am honoured to be representing Leonard Cheshire Disability in my position as Trustee at the Varsity Match. It is an incredible charity that supports disabled people around the world to fulfil their potential and live the life they choose.”
Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of disabled people every year to live as independently as possible. It provides care and support services across the UK, including at Agnes Court and John Masefield House near Oxford and The Manor near Cambridge.
The ambition of the charity’s founder was to provide expert care and support to any disabled person anywhere in the world, and of giving them dignity and respect in everything they do. That drive remains alive in Leonard Cheshire Disability today.