MND Day's poignant and emotional moment - East Cheshire Hospice

MND Day’s poignant and emotional moment

The sound of a drum provided a poignant and emotional moment at the MND Day at Macclesfield Rugby Club.

Proud Sophie Usher banged the drum nine times in memory of her father Richard, a much-loved Macclesfield GP who died from motor neurone disease 18 months ago.

The number of hits honoured the No 9 shirt worn by Richard, a player for the club.

Organisers Jill Harding (left ) and Natalie Nye with Joel Millett (left) and Allan Nicholles.

Sophie’s symbolic act replicated Kevin Sinfield who became known for ‘banging the drum’ about the need to research MND.

At fundraising events Sinfield hits the drum seven times, signifying the shirt number worn by his close friend and former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow MBE, whose story about dealing with the debilitating disease has touched the nation.

The late Doddie Weir, another ex-rugby player, raised awareness about the illness before Sinfield took up the cause, completing several ultra sporting challenges to raise millions of pounds for MND research.

Jill Harding shows 18-month old Henry the route.

Jill Harding, co-organiser of the Macclesfield event, said: “Kevin Sinfield said he would have come along but for his coaching commitments with England Rugby Union on the day of the event.

“Sophie helped with social media and was one of many volunteers who helped make it such a memorable day.”

There is still time to donate, with proceeds shared between the MND Association and East Cheshire Hospice.

The JustGiving page for the MND Association linked to the event is still open and can be found at

Sophie Usher drumming up support.   

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