Minute’s applause for Archie Bruce at Wembley

James Gordon

Rugby league will pay tribute to Batley youngster Archie Bruce with a minute’s applause ahead of the Challenge Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Bruce, 20, was found dead in his hotel room just hours after making his Bulldogs debut in the defeat to Toulouse last weekend.

The minute’s applause, to celebrate his life, will be held before the crowd are invited to join in singing the traditional Cup Final anthem, Abide with Me.

It will be preceded by the Warners Champion Schools Final for Year 7 Boys, between Standish Community High School of Wigan, and Great Sankey High School – the first Warrington school to participate in the Steven Mullaney Memorial Match.

Those boys will then join a Pitch Parade also including all the participants from the London Rugby League Challenge Cup Primary RL Festival which is being staged at The Hive in Barnet on Saturday morning as part of Rugby League’s Sky Try programme – with 18 clubs taking part in Under-7s, Under-9s and Under-11s competitions.

Representatives of 19 of the community clubs, schools, colleges and Universities to have received CreatedBy funding as part of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup’s InspirationALL legacy programme will also be presented to the crowd.

Taylor Prescott is due to deliver the Challenge Cup Final match ball to the centre spot exactly as his father Steve did 10 years ago – after a gruelling overland journey from Perpignan, as part of the ongoing fund-raising efforts for the Steve Prescott Foundation in memory of the former St Helens, Hull and Wakefield Trinity full-back, and his inspirational defiance of a rare form of cancer.

Taylor and a group of Steve’s former friends and team-mates will run a half marathon from Uxbridge to Wembley on Saturday morning to complete their journey, after cycling thousands of miles through France and then rowing a dragon boat 26 miles down the River Thames. They will also join the pre-match Pitch Parade.