Rugby League club the Salford Red Devil have announced they will be wearing a special jersey in support of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

The special edition shirt will be worn at the club’s upcoming fixture at Magic Weekend – the showcase weekend for the sport, with every team playing back-to-back on the same pitch across a weekend, in front of a huge crowd.

The shirt design features the bee, synonymous with Manchester and a symbol that has been a source of togetherness, support and strength since the attacks.

The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which was set up in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017 when 22 people died, will benefit from sales of the shirt.

This isn’t the first example of the club supporting promoting a fundraising. Last year they hosted a match against the Catalan Dragons shortly after the attacks and allowed fans in to watch for a donation rather than purchasing a ticket, with all the proceeds going to help the victims.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Salford player Weller Hauraki said:

“Nobody will forget that night as the news began to break. Most of the team live and have family around the Manchester area and the Arena is a venue we all know well.

“The emotion of the night when we played the Dragons in the aftermath of the bomb is one that really sticks in the mind.

“It was an honour to play a small role in the wider community coming together and it will again be a privilege to take a part in remembering those that lost their lives when we run out at St James’ Park in this special jersey almost a year later.”

Support for Manchester since the attacks has been far and wide, including the deeply emotional and poignant One Love Manchester concert, organised by Ariana Grande whose show at Manchester Arena had been targeted in the attack. That night saw stars from across the world offer their support, including Take That, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay and many more.

Next month will mark one year since the attacks, an anniversary that will be moving and a chance for reflection. We’d encourage everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and support initiatives like that of Salford, which help to raise funds and allow charities to offer continued support for the victims going forward.


Sam Meegan