4th May 2019, 11:17
Matt’s War Chest launched as Hall returns to Hornets
TWO of Rochdale Hornets’ most successful players of recent times have reunited at the club - and are now spearheading a fund-raising drive to help stay in the Betfred Championship.
Matt Calland has been appointed as the club’s new coach with Martin Hall as director of rugby, 28 years after they first lined up alongside each other on the field.
Now the pair are focused on the battle at the foot of the Championship, and the club has launched “Matt’s War Chest” fund, which will exclusively be used to aid the signing of new players.
Over £4,000 was pledged in the first few hours after Calland was appointed, and Hornets are now appealing to businesses and supporters to help boost the fund.
The idea was the brainchild of life-long supporter and local businessman Gavin Reynolds, and implemented immediately by Hall, who says it will be crucial in coming weeks.
Hall said: “Everybody at Hornets is now focused on retaining our Championship status, and to do that we’re looking to bring a number of players to the club.
“The club is on a stable financial footing at present due to the generosity in recent years of Paul Ormerod, and everything raised will go directly to signing new players for Matt's squad.
“Gavin came to me with the idea of a signings fund and we had a superb response to it as soon as Matt was announced as coach.
“Now we are hoping to receive further backing and have already begun talks with clubs over a number of potential targets.”
Hall and Calland played together in the last Rochdale team to feature in the top flight in the 1990/91 campaign, and then alongside each other in the Lancashire Cup final against St Helens the following season.
They both went on to have significant success after leaving the club - Hall winning every major honour in the game at Wigan, and Calland lifting a Super League title with Bradford and featuring in two Challenge Cup finals at Wembley.
They then teamed up again in 2001 when Hall took over as coach of the club and Calland was still playing, as Hornets finished third in the second tier for three straight seasons.
Rochdale chief executive Steve Kerr said: “The club has seen a massive surge in interest following the appointment of Matt as coach, with our social media channels receiving the most traffic of my time at the club.
“There has already been a remarkable take-up for ‘Matt’s War Chest’ in the first 24 hours, and with Martin working alongside him we now appeal to businesses and supporters to come forward if they are able to help our fight against relegation.”
Supporters and business that want to contribute to “Matt’s War Chest” can initially contact the club via firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing the club office on 01706 648004 or you can donate here.