Red Devils parachute in for fundraising day at Daventry golf course

Red Devils landing on the course with The Wigley Group giant flag.
Red Devils landing on the course with The Wigley Group giant flag.

Sporting stars played a round on a Daventry golf course to help raise £17,000 to help teach skills to injured soldiers looking for a fresh start.

Boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE, world snooker champion Mark Williams MBE and world darts champion Rob Cross were among the star-studded line-up at the golf day at De Vere Staverton Estate, organised by The Wigley Group, and were joined by more than 200 business professionals.

Pupils and staff from Staverton CE Primary School with Robert Wigley (chairman, The Wigley Group), James Davies (managing director, The Wigley Group) and the Red Devils.

Pupils and staff from Staverton CE Primary School with Robert Wigley (chairman, The Wigley Group), James Davies (managing director, The Wigley Group) and the Red Devils.

The money raised from the event will go to The Wigley Support Fund, the company’s initiative to help retrain injured, serving and veteran soldiers, identified by the Parachute Regiment charity Support Our Paras, to make the transition from military to civilian life.

Robert Wigley, chairman of The Wigley Group, said: “We are hugely grateful to everyone who supported our golf day this year which included a magnificent seven current and former world champions from boxing, darts and snooker.

"The money raised will help those in need make what can be a difficult transition from military to civilian life for a variety of reasons, one of which can be mental health which is a recognised issue within the armed forces and the construction industry.

"It was particularly moving to hear our special guest Frank Bruno speak about his own battles with mental health and his support in helping others, and we have recently funded a new opportunity for soldiers to take the first step towards becoming a boxing coach."

The day got off to a flying start with the Parachute Regiment display team the Red Devils making a spectacular landing on the course with The Wigley Group’s giant flag and tournament golf balls, cheered on by children from nearby Staverton CE Primary School.

The pupils had been invited by the company to enjoy watching a team of six parachutists perform a freefall display, generating air speeds of up to 60mph in perfect weather conditions.

The commercial property and construction company based in Coventry has now raised close to £100,000 for Support Our Paras from six years of the event.

The event was hosted by TV sports announcer and former Paratrooper John McDonald, who compered the gala dinner featuring a Q&A with Frank Bruno and an auction of sports memorabilia.

Darts legends Steve Beaton and Justin Pipe, sports promoter Barry Hearn and Mark Williams were among the celebrities to compete in the golf tournament, alongside business figures and Lance Corporal Gavin Prue, who was the first beneficiary of The Wigley Support Fund.

Robert added: "It was also great to hear first-hand from Gavin about how within a year of receiving help to study an access course at Henley College in Coventry, he has gone from having no GCSEs to securing a place at university to study for a degree leading to a career in cybersecurity."