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Stars shine at Nordoff and Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner

Sophie Ellis-Bextor performs at Nordoff and Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner

Entertainment

Stars shine at Nordoff and Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner

England and Loughborough Lightning star, Sarah Hunter CBE, has been honoured at the 29th annual Nordoff and Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner…

The ceremony took place at London’s JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel on Wednesday. The star-studded evening was attended by a scrum of rugby legends, including Jason Robinson, Martin Offiah and last year’s honouree, Emily Scarratt MBE, as well as members of the England Women’s 2014 Rugby World Cup winning squad.

Sandra Schembri, CEO, Nordoff and Robbins:

“It’s been another brilliant evening here at the Legends of Rugby dinner and a huge privilege to honour Sarah Hunter CBE. What a touching tribute to late Paul Rendall too; a real rugby great who was an inspiration and loved by so many both on and off the pitch.

“We’re so incredibly grateful to see these vital funds being raised for Nordoff and Robbins for another year. We believe that everyone who needs it should have access to music therapy. The support we receive through this wonderful dinner brings us ever closer to reaching that goal, and allows us to help even more people through the power of music.”

The night also celebrated and paid tribute to the life of the late Paul “Judge” Rendall, who passed away in June 2023 following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease. A player for the London Wasps, Paul was also a long-term supporter of the Legends of Rugby Dinner, attending every year since its inception in 1995.

Stars of the pitch were also joined by stars of the screen, with VIP guests including Made in Chelsea’s Harvey Armstrong, Tristan Phipps and Rez Amiri-Garroussi, Love Island’s Millie Court, Liam Reardon and Sharon Gaffka, sports presenter Seema Jaswal and Lady Victoria Hervey.

Back for its 29th year, the 2024 dinner was hosted by actor and former rugby union player Martin Bayfield and featured an electrifying headline music performance from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, with support from singer Acantha Lang and multi-instrumentalist and singer, Bernhoft.

England and Loughborough Lightning star, Sarah Hunter CBE, has been honoured at the 29th annual Nordoff and Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner

The event was presented by former rugby star Victor Ubogu’s VU Limited to raise funds for music therapy charity, Nordoff and Robbins.

Speaking at the event, honouree Sarah Hunter CBE:

“I am honoured to be recognised at the Nordoff & Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner, particularly as we pay tribute to the late Paul Rendall whose unwavering support significantly shaped this vital annual fundraiser. It’s heartwarming to see some of the biggest icons in rugby come together for such a meaningful cause and raise important charity funds.”

Nordoff and Robbins is the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity, with a unique approach shaped by more than 60 years of practice.​ By harnessing the power of music, Nordoff and Robbins’ trained music therapists help break through the barriers caused by life-limiting illness, disability and social isolation, creating space for people to express themselves and find connection in society.​

The charity reaches thousands of vulnerable people through their bases across the UK, and by working in partnership with organisations including care homes, schools and hospitals. Its work can be transformative, from an living adult with dementia reconnecting with family, to a child with autism finding their voice.

The money raised at the Nordoff and Robbins Legends of Rugby Dinner auction this evening will contribute to the £1.7 million raised to date for Nordoff and Robbins since the event launched in 1995.

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