Plymouth Albion will play host to a very special post-season charity match on Bank Holiday Sunday (May, 27) in memory of former Plymouth College student George Stephenson who died, aged 24, after a two-year battle with leukaemia.
The game at Brickfields will be contested by two teams close to George’s heart. A ‘George Stephenson XV’ will feature good friends from his year group at Plymouth College, many of whom dominated the rugby pitch while at school, not least England and Exeter Chiefs player Henry Slade. Their opponents will be OPM RFC, a club George represented for several seasons, and comprises former Plymouth College pupils.
George had a raft of skills and talents. He excelled in a host of sports, particularly rugby and cricket, and was an exceptionally gifted musician. However, George was never arrogant about his abilities and was regarded by all who knew him as a caring and supportive friend who always prioritised the needs of others.
He was a tenacious rugby player, making the scrum-half position his own from a young age and was renowned for making some of the biggest tackles ever seen on the Plymouth College fields at Ford Park and Delgany. As a youngster, George also played for Devonport Services, Plymstock RFC and Ivybridge RFC, and was a regular fixture in the Devon RFU setup. He spent some time training with Exeter Chiefs before heading off to play a prominent role with the First XV at Bath University, where he studied for four years before graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
George was also a talented cricketer, following in the footsteps of his Grandfather, Harold Stephenson, who represented Somerset County Cricket Club. His extraordinary power on the cricket field was legendary and, during his time with the school First XI and Plymouth CC, George was selected for county honours with Devon.
George, who died last September, remained positive and upbeat throughout his illness, as well as characteristically generous and altruistic, dedicating himself to raising money for the young people’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent. To this end, he performed in a series of seven concerts, to raise money for CLIC.
The match kicks off at 3pm and all proceeds from the raffle and auction will be donated to CLIC Sargent to support their invaluable work helping youngsters and their families, after a cancer diagnosis.
The rugby game follows a similar event hosted at George’s home cricket club, Plymouth CC, which saw a great turnout and raised £1800 for the charity.
Friend of the family and Albion director Kevin Norris says: “We would love to see as many people down at Albion on the day, enjoying the rugby and raising money for a great cause that was clearly very dear to George’s heart.”
Special thanks are due to the Norris family and Plymouth Albion for their hard work organising the event.