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Rugby Unites: Honouring Tom Miller

The university rugby world came together to honour the memory of Tom Miller, former player for Nottingham Trent who tragically passed away late last year.

Nottingham Rugby Club hosted the inaugural event on the last Saturday of July 2021, seeing the clash between the two clubs Tom represented, Royal Hospital Schools (RHS) and Nottingham Trent (NTU), as well as the presentation of the Tom Miller University Rugby Award to James Parker of NTU.

Before kick-off, Tom’s favourite hymn, Jerusalem was played which was signified by the fact that it could not be played at his funeral due to Covid restrictions. In the emotional yet tough match, RHS got an early lead, but NTU came back strong and took the win. In the RHS side, played one of Tom’s former teachers, his brother and James Parker.

Proceeds from the match and fundraising being presented to Oddballs charity by Tom’s parents prior to the game.

All profits from ticket sales - 497 in total – and fundraising have been offered to Oddballs charity, where Tom has been a long-standing and highly appreciated ambassador.

The Tom Miller Award category was specifically created this year to reward a student who has demonstrated considerable impact through charitable and awareness raising endeavours – something Tom was well known for in the rugby community and beyond. In his nomination, James’ peers shared:

“Going above and beyond, James Parker ran 12km per day, every day, with 12kg on his back for the entire month of February. He then ran 10 miles with 17kg on his back to raise an extra £900 as part of a separate challenge. […] He fought blood sweat and tears (literally) every day in wind, rain, snow, sleet... it was just an incredible individual effort and an inspiration to Toms family, friends and wider generation.” (Read the full citation here.)

James Parker receiving the Tom Miller University Rugby Award from SRFU President, Bob Reeves and Tom’s parents.

The Award was presented by Tom’s parents and Students’ RFU President, Bob Reeves, who in his speech noted:

"Rugby creates personal values and friends for life, and never has it been better exemplified than in what we saw at the match."

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