Kids benefited from rugby player’s birthday challenge


A rugby enthusiast admitted his world record-breaking achievement will live long in his memory for some time after celebrating the achievement at Wooden Spoon’s Rugby Ball.

Former Wasps player and investment management specialist James Harding joined former international rugby stars Tim Stimpson and Ollie Phillips to trek more than 60 miles to the magnetic North Pole in April. They aimed to create a Guinness World record for the northernmost rugby match in history.

James, 41, from Piltdown, part of Team Tim, beat Team Ollie 17-14 in temperatures of minus 30 degrees and the two sides reunited last Friday evening at the Rugby Ball, the Wooden Spoon’s annual flagship event, also attended by Rugby World Cup winner Phil Vickery.

The teams were delighted to raise more than £200,000 for rugby children’s charity Wooden Spoon, ( which aims to change children’s lives through the power of rugby.

James said: “Getting all the guys together again, there is a nostalgia there, and we’ve all enjoyed remembering what we achieved. It was a phenomenally life-changing experience, not only for me personally, but also for the children we went out there to help.

“I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with Wooden Spoon for a number of years now, and I was looking for a project that was out of the box for my 40th birthday.”

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