• Dual dream for work duo

    A local MP has made childhood dreams come true for two workers at a Cannock business.

    As well as sharing the same surname, colleagues Wayne Ball and Robert Ball both share a love of rugby, and had a dream that one-day their boots might run on the hallowed turf of the home of England rugby – Twickenham.

    Thanks to the Conservative MP for Cannock Chase, Aidan Burley, their dream was realised recently, when both played in a game at the 82,000 seater stadium on April 17th 2012, watched by their family and friends.

    Having thought any chances of glory at Twickenham had passed them by years ago, Wayne and Robert were selected to take the field in a combined XV, facing Common and Lords Parliamentary rugby team opponents at the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, in a game organised specifically to raise money for the RFU Injured Players Foundation.


    The pair, who work for Icon Exhibitions & Display Ltd in Great Wyrley, were thrilled to learn that they were both picked to play. Both play for Cannock Rugby Club, where Wayne usually plays as a back row flanker and Robert plays scrum half. The team that played at Twickenham was put together from Aidan’s constituency, which contains two local rival rugby clubs, Cannock and Rugeley. Icon Exhibitions provided blue and black rugby shirts for the Cannock and Rugeley team, as well as being the team’s shirt sponsor.

    Wayne Ball says, “It’s every rugby player’s ambition to play at Twickenham, and the fact that we raised a lot of money for a good charity at the same time was just a bonus. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to play on the pitch and the whole experience was just amazing, from being in the changing rooms to walking out of the tunnel, to the game itself.  We enjoyed meeting new team mates from the Rugeley club and giving the Commons and Lords Parliamentary team a challenging game.”

    MP Aidan Burley comments, “I was delighted to have been able to offer this opportunity to Cannock and Rugeley rugby clubs, and I know how much it meant to the lads to run out on the pitch at Twickenham.”

    The match raised £10,000 for the RFU Injured Players Foundation, and a cheque was presented on the day.