History of Sheffield Eagles to be documented thanks to National Lottery Heritage Fund grant

The Sheffield Eagles' Foundation has secured almost £100,000 for a project that will document and celebrate the club’s 38-year history.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 12:00 am

Sheffield Eagles - the story of a Rugby League club battling against the odds' will detail the highs and lows of the Betfred Championship outfit since their formation in 1984 thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant worth £93,650.

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The project will get under way later this year and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2023, with plans to showcase its findings as things progress to tie in with events such as the Rugby League World Cup, which will be held in England this autumn.

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Sheffield were the inaugural winners of the 1895 Cup in 2019.

"Sheffield Eagles have got a great history and there’s a lot of great stories to tell,” said David Butler, chairperson of the Eagles Foundation.

"The club is 38 years old this year, we have still got the opportunity to talk to the people that were there at its birth.

“We are very grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting our application and for providing the funding for this very exciting project."

Important pieces of the club’s history, such as player records and matchday memorabilia, will be digitised in order to preserve records and and make them more widely accessible.

The stories of key people over the last five decades will also be documented and made available to listen to through a series of podcasts, with a short film capturing the history of the club also set to be produced.

All of the content will be available on a specially created website.

David added: “What we want is ultimately an online museum.

"The project doesn’t just end in 2023, people will be trained so they can continue it.

"Sheffield Eagles is a club in a city that gives it enormous potential but has never been capitalised on.

"They have won the Challenge Cup, played in the top division, had great players playing there but never really been able to grasp it. That’s what we are trying to do now with the Foundation’s wider interest.”

A full-time project officer will be recruited in the near future to help bring the project to life over the course of the next two years, with volunteers also needed.