Salford Red Devils have paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing by releasing a commemorative kit for Magic Weekend, with proceeds going to the families of the victims.
The special kit has been revealed almost a year to the day since the tragedy at the Manchester Arena took place and the lives of 22 innocent people were lost.
A few days after the terrorist attack, Salford threw open the gates for their clash against Catalans Dragons and raised almost £50k for the emergency fund set up in the wake of the bombing for the victims’ families.
And as the Red Devils prepare to face the Dragons against at Magic Weekend, the club have come out in support of the victims and will play in a limited ‘We Love Manchester Emergency Fund’ charity kit for the game, featuring the iconic Manchester bee logo on the cheat, with proceeds going to the victim’s families.
Ian Laithwaite, Red Devils managing director, said: “One year on our community remains very much affected by the events of that night. Many supporters, not just from Salford but from the rugby league family as a whole, know of people caught up in the tragic events and when we sat down to decide who we should support with our Magic Weekend shirt this season, the decision was made in an instant.
“The timing of Magic Weekend on the eve of the anniversary will be a poignant one for families across the North of England, and we are proud to be able to play a small part in the events being held to commemorate those who lost their lives so needlessly.
“Many of our fans, staff, players and partners attend the Arena on a regular basis with their families, or live in Manchester. It is therefore something close to all of our hearts.”
Weller Hauraki, Salford captain, continued: “Nobody will forget that night as the news began to break. Most of the team live and have family around the Manchester area and the Arena is a venue we all know well.
“The emotion of the night when we played the Dragons in the aftermath of the bomb is one that really sticks in the mind. It was an honour to play a small role in the wider community coming together and it will again be a privilege to take a part in remembering those that lost their lives when we run out at St James’ Park in this special jersey almost a year later.”
Vicky Rosin, We Love Manchester Emergency Fund chief operating officer, added: “We are unbelievably grateful for the generous donations to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. The world’s solidarity with our city has been a ray of light in Manchester’s darkest hour. To raise more than £20m is an amazing response. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.
“The kind gestures from Salford Red Devils and Mitsubishi will contribute to helping many people affected by the terrible events of 22 May 2017.
“We have done our very best, with guidance from clinicians, to distribute the money so generously raised by the public, and we continue to look at options for helping as many people as possible from the funds that remain.”