09:45AM, Thursday 14 November 2019
Photo credit: Andrew Cook
A charity rugby match for an ‘exemplary’ fallen police officer will be played at Maidenhead RFC on Wednesday.
PC Andrew Harper died while responding to reports of a burglary in Sulhamstead, West Berkshire, on Thursday, August 15.
The match at the Braywick Road club is between Thames Valley Police Rugby, known as Thames Valley Stags RFC, and the Metropolitan Police’s XIX RFC squad.
It is being held in PC Harper’s memory and will raise funds for the charity COPS [Care of Police Survivors], which supports the families of police officers and staff who have lost their lives on duty.
The charity was chosen by PC Harper’s family.
Thames Valley Stags club secretary is Sergeant Thomas Day, who knew PC Harper professionally. They previously worked on the Chiltern and South Bucks LPA (Local Policing Area), and when Sgt Day was a custody sergeant at Maidenhead Police Station, PC Harper would bring offenders into the custody suite.
“In my experience, he was an exemplary officer and a fantastic human being. He was warm, kind and professional,” said Sgt Day. “Committed to helping the public and a great member of any team he worked in.”
He added: “We would love as many people as possible to come down to support and remember our friend and colleague and the price he’s paid for serving.”
Anyone who goes along to the match can expect ‘a great environment’ with Maidenhead RFC putting on a hog roast, beer from local breweries, and an appearance from London Irish players.
Sgt Day said: “I think it will be a very competitive match, the history of rugby in the police is deep. Prior to the professionalisation of rugby it was common for police officers to represent their country.”
He added: “We have two squads of players with some great skills and desire to put on a show in memory of Andrew.”
Doors open at Maidenhead RFC at 5.30pm and kick off is at 6.30pm.
A suggested donation for those attending is £5 which will also include entry into the raffle.
Parking is limited at the club and further parking is available a short walk away at Stafferton Way and in Maidenhead town centre.
Anyone who would like to donate but cannot attend can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-day7
There is also an online auction at www.good2bid.co.uk/andrewharper
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