World of rugby gathers to honour sporting legend Andy Ripley

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The sporting and financial worlds are coming together to celebrate the life of rugby legend Andy Ripley OBE at a special London city lunch in December.

Andy Ripley, who played No 8 for Rosslyn Park, Middlesex, the Barbarians and England and was a member of the 'invincible' British Lions who toured South Africa in 1974,  tragically lost his five-year battle with prostate cancer in June last year. Now the rugby world is holding a special tribute lunch in the heart of London's banking district where Ripley used to work.

Proceeds from the lunch will go to the Prostate Cancer Charity, a charity that was dear to Andy's heart and to whom he dedicated much of his time as an Ambassador once he had been diagnosed with the illness in the summer of 2005.

On Tuesday 13 December, his remarkable sporting life will be remembered and recalled by some of the legends of rugby, including 1974 Lions leader Willie John McBride, Sir Ian McGeechan, World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio, Mervyn Davies, Keith Wood, Alan Lawson and Roger Uttley.

"The response to the lunch has been terrific, but no great surprise," admitted former England captain Roger Uttley. "Andy was a special person, even before his illness. It was typically Andy the way he battled against the prostate cancer and publicly spoke out around the world about men being more aware of their own health. We are all here to carry on that message."

The lunch will be held at Grange St Paul's, 10 Godliman Street, London, EC4V 5AJ and tickets can be purchased by emailing ripleylunch@btinternet.com or by calling 01306 631926. Tickets cost £1,000 per table of ten or £100 each per person.

Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "As an Ambassador for The Prostate Cancer Charity Andy inspired and helped thousands of men across the UK come to terms with their diagnosis of prostate cancer as he fought tirelessly throughout his five-year illness. His efforts to raise awareness of the disease to all men went above and beyond.

"We want to ensure that as many people in the rugby community and further join us in raising awareness and  funds to help us fight the most common cancer in men, whilst honouring the memory of a truly magnificent man."

Betfair, who have selected The Prostate Cancer Charity as their charity of the year, will be sponsoring the lunch as part of their efforts to help raise over £150,000 for the Charity this year.