BAILDON Rugby Union Club have had some must-win fixtures over the years, be they to gain promotion, win a derby or avoid relegation.

Who can forget the promotion decider against Knottingley at Jenny Lane for example, watched by over 500 spectators?

However, the season may be in its infancy but the Jenny Laners will be facing their toughest foe yet on Saturday, October 16 – cancer.

Several club members who have put in stalwart service have been afflicted by the disease over the past few months, hence the charity day (1pm-9pm).

There will be two matches, and profits from the day will go to five leading cancer charities, and Baildon RUFC club president Mark Purvis admits that he can’t think of bigger must-win fixtures.

Purvis, who is also the club’s doctor, admits: “When it comes to cancer, I don’t usually hold with ‘fighting’ metaphors.

“I’m not alone in having close friends and family members who’ve died of cancer, and none of our friends died because they lacked ‘fight’ or didn’t put up enough resistance.

“Indeed, in my experience, people with cancer are invariably braver and stronger than they think they can possibly be. In my mind at least, my friends and family did not ‘lose’ to cancer.”

He added: “With one in two of us likely to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lifetimes, there will not be a club member who has not been touched by this disease in some way.

“Our sport creates strong family bonds, bonds forged on the pitch here at Jenny Lane. Bonds that span and connect generations. Bonds forged in blood, sweat and tears, so when one of our club or one of their family gets cancer, it’s personal.

“Several members and relatives of members of our club are currently undergoing treatments for cancer.

“Our club has decided to hold an event to show support for these members and their families. Going through illness can be an isolating experience. Our club wants to show people with cancer that they are not alone, that we’ve got their backs, that the bonds of teamwork forged in sport will endure.”