With the largest crowd of the season so far expected for next weekend’s derby clash against the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium, the Ospreys have confirmed the match will be dedicated to the memory of the four miners who lost their lives in the Gleision Colliery tragedy in September.
Phillip Hill, 45, Garry Jenkins, 39, David Powell, 50, and Charles Breslin, 62, died after they became trapped in the underground at the mine in Cilybebyll, near Pontardawe.
Having marked the tragedy with a moment’s silence when the Ospreys played in Treviso that weekend, with a further silence at the stadium for the home game against Ulster the following week, there will be a bucket collection held at the stadium before, during and after the game on Saturday 5th November, with all revenue raised going to the Swansea Valley Miners Appeal.
In addition, the Ospreys have also agreed to make a donation to the appeal fund of £3 from the sale of every home shirt sold on the day of the game, helping to boost the total further.
Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, said that the region was hoping to be able to provide a significant boost to the fund:
“While life has continued for everyone at the region since September, we mustn’t forget those members of our community who lost their lives so tragically just a few miles north of the Liberty Stadium.
“The whole Ospreylian community has responded incredibly since that sad day, providing support and assistance to the families of the four miners.
“We will have the largest crowd of the season so far at the Liberty Stadium for the Scarlets game on Bonfire night, and we hope that both Ospreys and Scarlets fans will show their support for the appeal. In addition, by donating a sum from every home jersey sold on matchday, we hope to be able to provide an even bigger boost to the appeal fund.”
Ospreys skipper Alun Wyn Jones added:
“The disaster in Cilybebyll touched people right around the world, and the tragic scenes were as upsetting for those of us away in New Zealand as they were for everybody at home. I think it’s fitting that the local derby between the two regions closest to the Gleision Colliery, whose supporters will know many people who have worked in mines over the years, will be a game dedicated to the memory of the four miners who lost their lives. I hope that we can raise a significant amount for the fund.”