Ten years ago Steve Prescott MBE was given the honour of delivering the match ball to Wembley Stadium for the Challenge Cup Final between Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves – after a typically gruelling challenge taking him and a group of like-minded heroes overland from Perpignan in the south of France, as part of his awe-inspiring efforts to raise money for the Steve Prescott Foundation (SPF).
Now in the summer of 2019, his 17-year-old son Taylor is ready to lead a repeat mission.
This August 17-year-old Taylor Prescott is ready to follow in his father’s footsteps and lead the Paramount Digital Challenge Wembley 2019. Paramount Digital managing director David Hunter said “We are elated to support The Steve Prescott Foundation and be the main sponsor of this iconic challenge. We have been wanting to get involved with this great charity for some time and when we were approached with this opportunity, we had no hesitation to get fully behind the event and the cause. We are not only supporting from a monetary donation but will also be offering the SPF our expertise in digital marketing and social media. Taylor is made from inspirational stock and he will lead from the front, just like his father did 10 years ago”
Mike Denning Chairman of the SPF says. “Huge thank you to David Hunter and his team at Paramount Digital for their phenomenal support of Challenge Wembley 2019. Without great sponsorship like this, the SPF cannot stage events like this that will not only will raise significant funds for our chosen charities, it will also raise much needed awareness at a national level which is priceless. We are all looking forward to the challenge and all participants are now training really hard to be in the best possible shape to do the great man Steve Prescott proud.”
Taylor will be Joined by some of the familiar faces who joined his dad in 2009 – including Steve’s former St Helens team-mates Chris Joynt and Chris Smith. They will confront an 900-mile bike ride, followed by a punishing 26-mile journey up the River Thames from Windsor Castle to Teddington Lock in a Dragon Boat. Finally, they will run a half marathon from RAF Uxbridge to arrive at Wembley on Saturday August 24 – just in time for the Coral Challenge Cup Final.
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Taylor will then complete the Paramount Digital Challenge Wembley 2019 by delivering the Match Ball and placing it down in time for Kick Off – just like his dad did 10 years ago. The group challenge is to raise £50,000 for the SPF.
“I am honoured to be in a position to continue my dad’s legacy,” Taylor explained.
“My dad was passionate about everything he did and the charity was extremely important to him. I have seen my mum and incredible supporters of the charity continue the great work and helping those less fortunate - and I want to do my bit.
“My dad told me the ‘Carnegie Challenge’ of 2009 was the hardest but best challenge he took on. I have a lot of work to do on strengthening my legs, improving my cycling and learning how to paddle in a dragon boat - but I am looking forward to that challenge. I would like to thank everyone involved with the Coral Challenge Cup for allowing me to take to the Wembley pitch and place the Match Ball.”
Ralph Rimmer, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “Steve was a special person, and it’s becoming increasingly evident that Taylor is a chip off the old block. His father has left an incredible legacy, transforming the adversity of his illness into a life-changing charity, and it’s humbling to see Taylor committing himself in the same way, at such a young age.
“We are honoured at the RFL that the sport of Rugby League is represented so inspirationally by Steve, Taylor and everyone else involved in the Foundation, and in this latest Challenge. Having them with us at Wembley Stadium on August 24, for the Coral Challenge Cup Final and the first 1895 Cup Final, will be an honour – and it goes without saying that we were delighted to grant the request for Taylor to deliver the match ball, as Steve did a decade ago.”
Others who have signed up to support Taylor include Jimmy Gittins and Pete Stephenson from the RFL Benevolent Fund.
“It’s incredible that the original Challenge was ten years ago,” said Chris Joynt, the former Saints captain. “It seems like yesterday. Sadly, Steve will not be riding with us but will be there in spirit. It is great to see Taylor following in Steve’s footsteps, with the desire to continue the great man’s legacy.”
Anyone interested in offering sponsorship, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Martin on 07971 792859.
Itinerary for Paramount Digital Challenge Wembley 2019
11th Aug Fly To Perpignan, the home of Catalans Dragons, the Challenge Cup holders
12th Aug Perpignan to Carcassonne - 65 Miles
13th Aug Carcassonne to Montauban – 95 Miles
14th Aug Montauban to Sarlat La Caneda – 82 Miles
15th Aug Sarlat La Caneda to Limoges – 82 Miles
16th Aug Limoges to Chateauroux – 75 Miles
17th Aug Chateauroux to Blois – 66 Miles
18th Aug Blois to Chartres – 63 Miles
19th Aug Chartres to Rouen – 88 Miles
20th Aug Rouen to Abbeville – 63 Miles
21st Aug Abbeville to Dover – 70 Miles
22nd Aug Dover to Windsor Castle – 111 Miles
23rd Aug Dragon boat Windsor to Teddington Lock 26 Miles
24th Aug Half Marathon RAF Uxbridge to Wembley