Derek has this week given his backing to the Supporters Direct campaign to ensure the Rugby League Cup remains on the list of protected events for TV coverage. In November, the Davies Report was released, suggesting that the Challenge Cup should be removed from the protected list as it was no longer an event of 'national resonance' and since then, Supporters Direct, the umbrella organisation for supporters trusts across the UK, has been working with the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group (APPRLG), to which Derek belongs, to ensure those recommendations are ignored.
Derek, a keen Widnes Vikings fan, said of the recommendations:
"Rugby League is a sport which brings a huge amount to the communities in Halton, and has a wide range of benefits to society as a whole. The Challenge Cup Final is a showpiece event and it's coverage on free-to-air TV means the message of rugby league is allowed to expand into new areas across the country and outside of the traditional heartlands. The removal of the competition from the protected list could see it removed from free-to-air TV altogether, meaning future generations will have little access to the game, reducing our ability to find new players, officials and supporters alike.
I have been pleased to sign Early Day Motion 48 on this matter, and urge constituents to sign the petition."
Derek has now added his name to the petition along with stars of the game such as Martin Ofiah, Kris Radlinski, Henry Paul and current Cup holder Lee Briers. Derek invites you to do the same at:
You can also respond to the Consultation directly at:
"We're all proud of the Challenge Cup as a celebration of the game of Rugby League. Let's make sure future generations have the same chance as us to celebrate."