After scenes of crowd trouble marred the Red Devils close, hard-fought win at Huddersfield Giants, a group of concerned Salford fans have started a ‘Sorry’ fund as per a BBC Sport article.
The incident itself, which saw worried Salford players clamber into the crowd to rescue loved ones thought to be in danger of getting caught up in the disturbance, struck a raw chord for a sport that has always been seen to be safe and family-orientated.
As is more befitting to the ethos that Rugby League espouses, a group of Salford fans set up a justgiving.com fund with the intention of raising just £500 as a way of all true Salford fans apologising for the actions of what many would term an idiotic minority, a minority who have brought shame on the club.
The Just Giving appeal fund, said on the page itself that the fund was opened with the intention of being seen,
“As a token of our compassion and in an attempt to say ‘we are sorry’ to the players, the coaches, the owner and their families we are aiming to raise enough money to purchase the wives of the players involved in the incident with a bouquet of flowers, as well as gift vouchers for the children with any spare funds donated to a charity of the players choice.”
The initial target of £500 was soon beaten and the page/fund itself was eventually closed with the £500 projected total in tatters – as reported by a tweet on the following Twitter account.
A massive £855 has been donated from generous Salford and rugby league supporters. An amazing effort in such a short space of time.
— The Salford Scene (@TheSalfordScene) April 1, 2016
The Just Giving page said in the page’s mission statement that, as well as the gift of flowers for players ‘ wives, gift vouchers for the children and the rest of the funds going to charity, the fans also wanted to do something else that would distance them from those whose actions caused the disturbance. He said that, “A full letter of apology will also be drafted and issued to the players from the Salford Red Devils fans.”
This sort of fan-driven appeal, one where individual fans wish to be seen as more of a collective, and wanting to distance themselves from what was obviously a moronic minority, is something that helps to restore that sense of something special in what is often referred to as the ‘Rugby League family’.