Gala dinner kicks off Robbo testimonial year

Huddersfield Giants' hooker/scrum-half and former England international, Luke Robinson has kicked off his testimonial year in the style.

The player - who faces forced retirement at the age of 31 due to hip injuries sustained during his 14 years playing professional level rugby league - held a Gala Dinner on Saturday 30th April 2016.

The sold out event was held at the four star Cedar Park Hotel, Huddersfield. It was attended by over 300 people.

Guests included fellow Giants players and club chairman, Ken Davy, Giants supporters, representatives from local businesses and former teammates of Luke from a career that has also seen him play for the Wigan Warriors, Castleford Tigers and Salford City Reds.

The compere for the evening was local comedian and sports journalist, Pete Emmett whilst the after-dinner speech was given by England and Wigan Warriors captain, Sean O'Loughlin. 

In addition to paying tribute to Luke and his professional achievements, Sean entertained guests with a number of amusing insights and anecdotes from throughout Luke's career. 

Luke and Sean have been friends for almost twenty years having been academy players together.

Luke also used the evening to officially unveil his new testimonial shirt. The limited edition shirt, which will be worn by players at Luke’s testimonial match in January 2017, will be available to purchase in the next few weeks.

Further highlights to the evening included an auction of sporting memorabilia including signed Giants’ merchandise. There was also live music and dancing courtesy of Halifax three-piece band, The McCarrons.

The Gala dinner is just the first of a series of events planned for the next twelve months to celebrate Luke’s career and his contribution to rugby league - which includes 221 appearances for the Giants alone.

Commenting on the evening, Luke said: “I’d like to thank Sean, Pete and everyone who either helped to arrange or who attended my Gala Dinner. It was a fantastic and enjoyable evening and I can’t think of any better way to start my testimonial year. 

“Retiring at 31 and especially when league is all I’ve known for my adult life is a daunting prospect but I’ve every intention of making the next year a special one. I’m also currently exploring opportunities to stay involved with the sport long into the future.”

More information on Luke’s testimonial year can be found at www.robbotestimonial.co.uk

- ENDS -

Image: Luke Robinson Gala Dinner 1.jpg

Caption: Guests at Luke Robinson’s (centre) Gala Dinner included Huddersfield Giants’ chairman, Ken Davy (left) and Wigan Warriors’ / England captain Sean O’Loughlin (right).

Image: Luke Robinson Gala Dinner 2.jpg

Caption: Luke Robinson (left) with compere for his testimonial Gala Dinner, Pete Emmett (centre) and after-dinner speaker, Sean O’Loughlin (right).

For more information on this story, contact Wayne Leith at wayne@tpz.uk.com

Notes to editors:

• Luke Robinson signed for Wigan Warriors at 11. After progressing through Wigan’s scholarship and academy systems, he made his debut with the club’s first team in 2002 at the age of 17. In 2003, he was part of the Warriors’ team which played in the 2003 Super League Grand Final against Bradford Bulls.

• In 2004, Luke spent two months on loan to Castleford Tigers before being recalled to the Wigan Warriors.

• Luke signed for Salford City Reds in 2005. He was a regular in the first team, playing at scrum-half. During 2005, he scored 11 tries, seven goals and one field goal for the Reds, totaling 59 points. In 2006, he helped the team to their highest ever finish (5th) in the Super League and to their first ever play-offs.

• Luke signed for the Huddersfield Giants in September 2007 and has made 221 appearances for the Club. In 2011, he received the Huddersfield Giants ‘Players’ Player’ and ‘Player of the Year’ awards. In 2013, he was part of the Giants’ team to win the ‘League Leaders’shield.

• Highlights from Luke’s international career include being vice-captain of the first England U18s side to beat Australia U18s in 30 years. He also played for the England first team and was named the team’s ‘Player of the Tour’during the 2010 Rugby League Four Nations held in Australia/New Zealand. In 2011, he played for England vs. the Exiles.

• Luke has dedicated his life and his body to rugby league. He has the unenviable claim to fame of being one of the most frequently concussed players in the sport. Hip injuries sustained during his 14 years playing professional level rugby league have also led to the need for a hip replacement at 31 and the need to retire or face losing the ability to walk.

• Luke lives in Huddersfield. He is married to Laura and has three young children – Leo, Blake and Keane.

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