Date at No 10 for rugby chief

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SHEFFIELD Eagles boss Mark Aston will be sitting down to dinner with David Cameron at No 10 Downing Street tomorrow night.

Aston has been invited by the Prime Minister to recognise the Eagles’ leading role in the game’s stand against homophobia in sport.

The Eagles wore specially-designed shirts with the slogan ‘Homophobia: Tackle It!’ in their game against Widnes Vikings earlier this season.

“I’ve been invited by the Prime Minister to join a number of other chief executives of clubs, mainly from the Super League,” said Aston, Eagles head coach and chief executive.

“I’m very pleased to be asked because it recognises the work Sheffield Eagles have done in tackling homophobia.

“It’s not every day you get to go to No 10 Downing Street and have dinner with the Prime Minister.

“We played in special shirts against Widnes Vikings to highlight the campaign and it was job well done.”

The Eagles were the first professional rugby club to wear the shirts sponsored by the LGBT - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual - and Pride Sports to help support equality and diversity in rugby and all sport.

The game attracted national publicity with messages of support from singer Elton John, broadcaster Clare Balding and former Sheffield and NBA basketball star John Amaechi.

The only downside for the Eagles was that they lost the game at Bramall Lane 44-16.

But they have the chance to put that right when they travel to Widnes in the return fixture on Sunday.

Rugby league bosses attending the Downing Street dinner include Leeds Rhinos chief Gary Hetherington, who founded the first Eagles club in 1984.

David Cameron is an Aston Villa supporter but the Eagles boss is hoping he can interest the Prime Minister in rugby league.

Aston said: “Hopefully I’ll be able to present him with one of our shirts from the LGBT Pride Sports game.

“I don’t know if he has seen a rugby league game but he can always come and watch the Eagles.

“We got a great deal of support at the time of the Widnes game - Elton John sent a message.

“Rugby league has always stood out against discrimination and Sheffield Eagles were proud to be the first to wear the Tackle It! Shirt.”