Singing out for Halifax at Wembley

Halifax RLFC fan Richard Farrell performing as part of a BBC Songs of Praise competition choir at the 2016 Rubgy League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.
Halifax RLFC fan Richard Farrell performing as part of a BBC Songs of Praise competition choir at the 2016 Rubgy League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

A dyed-in-the-wool Fax fan represented our town at the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final as part of a supporters’ choir.

Richard Farrell, from Bradshaw, Halifax, was one of the winners of a BBC Songs of Praise competition that put him on the pitch at Wembley alongside rugby league fans of all colours and 76,000 fans to sing Abide With Me ahead of the cup final between Hull FC and Warrington Wolves.

The performance was led by Aled Jones and Northowram vocalist Lizzie Jones – the widow of former Halifax RLFC player Danny Jones who died after a suffering a cardiac arrest following a match.

Richard, 27, said: “The day was absolutely outstanding.

“Meeting Lizzie was amazing. She’s such a warm person and her reputation precedes her. She said ‘smile and remember it will all be over in a heartbeat’ and it was, but what a heartbeat!”

“Danny was a lad who played in the same circles as me when we were young. He used to be one we always looked up to and showed what you can do if you stick at it.

“There was a moment where I put my fist over my heart and people asked me why and if I had a sudden feeling of patriotism, but it wasn’t that, it was the enormity of representing not just the club but the whole town on such a momentous occasion.

“It was incredible to be the first man to wear a Fax shirt on the pitch at Wembley since 1988!”

Richard, also an FC Halifax Town supporter, started singing when he was given a solo role in a school play.