Steve Prescott's legacy is in safe hands

St Helens Star: Honouring their dad: Steve's sons Taylor and Koby with Linzi Prescott at the Christie memorial Honouring their dad: Steve's sons Taylor and Koby with Linzi Prescott at the Christie memorial

IT was his wish that when he passed away others would keep up his magnificent work. And boy, does Steve Prescott have a team to keep that torch burning.

Sixteen faces from the worlds of rugby league – including some of the country’s best players of modern times – sport, broadcasting and charity united to be unveiled as ambassadors for the charity.

The event at the Christie, the cancer hospital that the SPF supports, happened two days ahead of Boxing Day, which would have marked Steve’s 40th birthday.

The hospital honoured Steve by adding a golden leaf in his name to its tree of life in his memory. His wife Linzi and sons Taylor and Koby were present as it was placed on the memorial.

Triple amputee Andy Reid and Saints players Jon Wilkin and Paul Wellens are among the St Helens contingent to have been confirmed as ambassadors.

Others signed up to ensure fundraising and inspirational challenges at the core of the Steve Prescott Foundation continue are ex-Saints skipper Chris Joynt, former Great Britain internationals Barrie McDermott, Terry O’Connor, Andy Gregory and Garry Schofield, and former Hull FC players Lee Radford and Shaun Briscoe.

The list also features England rugby league head coach Steve McNamara and retired Premiership football referee Mark Halsey, who battled cancer.

They join long-standing ambassadors, Paul Sculthorpe and BBC 5 Live broadcaster George Riley, and other ex-rugby league players Tommy Martyn and Lee Briers and boxer Martin Murray.

As the squad was revealed at the Manchester-based cancer hospital, a donation of £95,000 was made by the SPF’s two charities, the Christie and Try Assist, formerly the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.

The foundation was set up in 2007 by Steve Prescott following his diagnosis with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, a rare form of abdominal cancer, and has since raised more than £500,000. Mike Denning, chairman of the Steve Prescott Foundation, said: “It is a testament to Steve that there are so many high calibre ambassadors wanting to continue his legacy.

“They are from all aspects of life and will continue to help and inspire those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Members of the SPF ‘squad’ knew Steve as team-mates, through rugby league connections or work with his charity.

In the case of Andy Reid, who recovered from losing three limbs in an IED blast in Afghanistan during 2009, both men drew strength from the indomitable spirit each other displayed.

A calendar of events has been planned for 2014 to continue the foundation’s work and the ambassadors will play a key role in participating in and promoting them.

For more information on the Steve Prescott Foundation and events, visit steveprescopttfoundation.co.uk

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