Rhinos winger Francis Cummins marked the end of his Testimonial year with the announcement that he had reached a club record figure of Â£151,000 for the years activities.
Leeds Rhinos winger Francis Cummins marked the end of his Testimonial year on Tuesday night with the announcement that he had reached a club record figure of Â£151,000 for the years activities. At the Finale Dinner held in the Long Room in Headingley's East Stand, Cummins was handed the cheque by Committee Chairman Colin Croft that signalled the formal end of the fundraising. Cummins was visibly shocked by the record haul and made an emotional speech to thank people for their support during the season. "My committee had kept the final amount a secret from me for the past couple of months so that it would be a surprise on the night but when I saw the figure I was completely gobsmacked. So many people have helped me during the year and to reach this figure is testament to their hardwork and support of me. "I would like to say a big thank you to the Leeds fans who have turned out in numbers for all my events. Leeds is a very special club with very special supporters, as this proves, and hopefully we are on the brink of finally rewarding them for their support," added Cummins. Cummins also presented three cheques to organisations he has personally chosen to support from his Testimonial Fund. The first one went to Children's Cancer Ward, Ward 10T, at Leeds' St James Hospital. Francis connection with the unit came from a meeting with an 8-year-old patient at the start of his Testimonial who sadly lost his battle with cancer however Francis was so impressed by the work of the nurses and doctors and the strength of the children and their families that he has chosen to support their fund raising activities. Francis is also raising awareness for a charity called Andrea's Gift which is working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals to provide brain tumour research and support across Yorkshire for those suffering childhood and adult brain tumours. The charity is spearheaded by the surgeon who performed neurosurgery on Francis' young son Mitchell last year and was a personal choice of the Cummins family. If you would like further information go to www.andreasgift.org.uk Finally, Francis presented a cheque to his local amateur club Dewsbury Celtic ARLFC to help fund their junior development and as a token of his thanks for the support he has received from his home town. Commenting on the night Committee Chairman Colin Croft said, "The warmth and affection that people have shown Francis this season shows the high regard with which he is held by everyone. Unlike some other sports, Rugby League players are not be able to retire once they hang up their boots and this fund with give Francis and his family a secure future. The final figure is a just reward for Francis' loyalty to Leeds over the past ten years but hopefully it marks just the start of the next chapter for him at Headingley."
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