Monday 7th May – Sunday afternoon I spent an hour or so as part of a team of volunteers fundraising for Wakefield Hospice – The Mobile Rocket Stadium, home of local rugby league club Wakefield Trinity, our collection point. A benevolent gesture afforded to the fund-raising arm of the end of life facility under a partnership with the rugby club.

It was a warm sixty minutes collecting in the unforgiving solar rays – The sun-drenched crowd in anticipatory mood prior to the home team’s Betfred*** Super League encounter with Hull Kingston Rovers.

*** – Other betting establishments are available…… However, unlike Betfred, they don’t sponsor the crown jewel of domestic rugby league, as such I’ve omitted them.

Forgetting my cap, I ended my voluntary hour scarlet of visage and parched of mouth. Saying that mind you, if I’d have worn my Leeds Rhinos cap stood in the middle of the Hull KR fans I may have finished the sixty minutes bruised of visage and toothless of mouth…….. Only kidding Hull supporters 😉

On returning home, my phone indicated I’d shed 97 calories and made no steps during my sojourn to the Mobile Rocket Stadium. This a major surprise as the details weren’t provided by a cell phone app. – No, they came courtesy of a Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) salesman calling on my landline!

Seriously, though, when I checked the fitness app on my phone it did state I hadn’t made any steps between leaving and returning to chez Strachan. I get the lack of steps stood with my collection. However, unless unbeknown to me I’d hovered to and from Trinity’s stadium between my parking space, I suspect the app was malfunctioning yesterday afternoon.

Whilst collecting in temperatures of 25+ on the Celsius scale, my thirst grew greater by the minute. A condition not helped by watching a bumper Bank Holiday weekend crowd quaffing lager, cider, beer or water a few feet from my collecting point.

This need for liquid became so bad, shortly before kick-off, I became victim of a mirage. This illusion not the water rich oasis of legend, moreover an image of my brother Ian taunting me with a chilled glass of pinot grigio and the words “You look hot, Gaz….. I tell you what this wine’s really refreshing!”

At one point a Hull KR fan, seeing my increasing perspiration levels, commented I should have wore shorts instead of jeans. I assured him me wearing shorts would’ve, as he said, probably helped diminish my perspiration levels. However, the sight of my pale pins may have made it tougher to encourage potential benefactors. He smirked at the comment, before contributing to the worthy cause advocated by our collection team.

On catching sight of my reflection in a donator’s reflective sunglasses, I was relieved that I’d not worn my green shorts. In possession of a red sunburnt face and yellow hi-viz jacket, the emerald coloured kecks would’ve taken me into walking traffic light territory……. Or, indeed, a none walking traffic light if my mobile app is to be believed!

Hopefully, through this rugby crowd’s magnanimousness, the hospice that so splendidly cared for my moribund father and clan last October, will have profited generously from the collection.

To conclude, after the collection I walked/hovered (delete where applicable) back to my trusty old Astra parked amongst terraced housing across Doncaster Road. Crossing this busy road was easier than when I navigated it on my way into the ground. Unlike earlier, on my return automobiles from both direction kindly stopping outside the Mobile Rocket Stadium to allow me to cross.

I suppose I’ll never find out whether this courtesy was extended through driver’s good manners, or whether (minus the hi-viz jacket) they did mistake me for a traffic light!

wakefield trinity

Disclaimer – The opinions, comments in this fictional narrative are mine not those of Wakefield Hospice and Wakefield Trinity RLFC.