University of Northampton rugby team donates coffee machine to hospital A&E department

Refund for commemorative varsity kit put to good use to say thank you for coronavirus response and patching up players

Friday, 17th July 2020, 3:07 pm

Staff at Northampton General Hospital's A&E department can now use a new coffee machine thanks to a donation by the University of Northampton's (UoN) men's rugby union team.

The team decided to use the refund for a commemorative kit for the annual varsity match, which was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, for something good.

Loosehead prop Neill Friedman said: “I’m really pleased I’ve been part of this donation to the amazing NGH team.

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Neill Friedman, from University of Northampton men's rugby team, hands over the coffee machine to Northampton General Hospital staff NNL-200717-144143001

"They deserve such credit for all they do to support the UoN men’s rugby union team, and the wider rugby community in Northampton.”

The team chose A&E because several of its players have been treated in the department in the past year.

Neill, who is studying sports and exercise science, said: "I’m a mature student in my 50s, and I’ve been playing rugby in Northamptonshire for many years, I have accumulated a long list of rugby injuries that have sent me to A&E for treatment.

"In 2010 I suffered a prolapsed common peroneal nerve. I spent many weeks in hospital and was told I would never walk without a walking stick again.

"I vowed that I would be back on the pitch, and 362 days later, I played five minutes in a game, and the following week a full 80 minutes of rugby.

"My passion and the fantastic care of everyone at NGH got me back on the pitch."

Neill added that it was particularly sweet to make the donation in the week the Government gave the green light to rugby training.

A hospital spokesman said: "We are extremely grateful for the support, generosity and kindness that we’ve received from members of our local community towards our staff over the past few weeks”.