Women unite over fair pay be­fore weeks of ‘work­ing for free’

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

THERE SEEMS lit­tle chance the Rugby League World Cup tro­phy will ever be lost again.

Nearly half-a-cen­tury af­ter it was fa­mously stolen, it is now not only fully re­stored but also has a GPS tracker at­tached.

It was dur­ing the 1970 com­pe­ti­tion that the tro­phy – com­mis­sioned by French Fédéra­tion Française de Rugby à XIII pres­i­dent Paul Bar­rière to be used at the in­au­gu­ral Rugby League World Cup in 1954 – was snatched while on dis­play at the Mid­land Ho­tel in Brad­ford.

What hap­pened to it over the next two decades no one re­ally knows but it did resur­face in 1990 when Brad­ford res­i­dent Stephen Ut­t­ley and his wife Eliz­a­beth dis­cov­ered it in a ditch near a rugby club in Bin­g­ley.

How­ever, there was an­other mys­tery in­volved.

A cock­erel that orig­i­nally adorned the top of the Paul Bar­rière cup has not been seen since be­fore the 1968 Rugby League World Cup in Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

What­ever hap­pened to it re­mains un­clear but as part of the build-up to­wards the 2021 World Cup, that takes in Eng­land, tour­na­ment or­gan­is­ers have en­sured the tro­phy has been re­turned to its full for­mer glory.

They com­mis­sioned the mas­ter crafts­men at the Royal Warrant hold­ing Thomas Fat­torini – a 191-year-old fam­ily-run busi­ness who also de­signed and cre­ated the Rugby League Chal­lenge Cup and the FA Cup – to recre­ate the cock­erel which was un­veiled on the tro­phy yes­ter­day in mag­i­cal style by award-win­ning grand il­lu­sion­ist Sean Alexan­der in Leeds.

“We’re ab­so­lutely de­lighted to have worked with the team at Fat­torini to re­turn the Paul Bar­rière Cup to its full for­mer glory in­cor­po­rat­ing the orig­i­nal de­sign,” said RLWC 2021 chief ex­ec­u­tive Jon Dut­ton.

“As a Rugby League fan this is a very proud mo­ment that we want peo­ple to share in and en­joy.

“How­ever, we’re not tak­ing any chances with the Cup and our new cock­erel this time.

“We’ve in­cor­po­rated a GPS tracker – a de­vice they ob­vi­ously didn’t have avail­able to them in the 70s.

“We may never know where the World Cup went dur­ing its two miss­ing decades, but we will al­ways know where it is go­ing for­ward.

“Fans can too, by keep­ing a close eye on the track­ing web­site.

“We shall be avoid­ing ditches at the side of the road!”

Pro­fes­sor Tony Collins, a sports and so­cial his­to­rian and au­thor spe­cial­is­ing in rugby league, said the new cock­erel was a wel­come fea­ture.

He said: “It’s been won­der­ful to see the Rugby League World Cup tro­phy un­veiled to­day, as it was orig­i­nally imag­ined.

“The story of the loss of the tro­phy back in 1970 is one I’ve told for many years so hav­ing this new cock­erel fit­ted is the per­fect end­ing.

“Per­haps see­ing the new cock­erel will prompt some­one to re­alise they un­know­ingly have the orig­i­nal on their man­tel­piece, and one of the great­est sport­ing mys­ter­ies of all time will fi­nally be solved!” WOMEN ACROSS the UK have been us­ing so­cial me­dia to raise aware­ness of the gen­der pay gap for Equal Pay Day.

The day is ob­served each year based on the cur­rent gen­der pay gap, 17.9 per cent in the UK, af­ter which women are said to work “for free” un­til the end of the year.

The hash­tag #EqualPayDay was trend­ing across the coun­try as cam­paign­ers and sym­pa­this­ers voiced their con­cerns.

Car­rie Gra­cie, who re­signed from her role as the BBC’s China ed­i­tor in 2017 in protest at how her pay com­pared to men in sim­i­lar roles, tweeted: “How can you #gete­qual if you don’t know how your pay com­pares?”

Green MP Caro­line Lu­cas pointed to re­search by gen­der equal­ity char­ity the Fawcett So­ci­ety, writ­ing on Twit­ter: “Re­search... shows one third of work­ers don’t know it is il­le­gal to pay men and women dif­fer­ently for equal work.”

Other cam­paign­ers en­cour­aged women to Tweet us­ing the hash­tag #OutOfOf­fice, turn­ing on their “out of of­fice” no­ti­fi­ca­tion while con­tin­u­ing to work to raise aware­ness of the day.

Cather­ine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equal­ity Party, tweeted: “I’ve switched on my out of of­fice for the rest of 2018 and my Twit­ter isn’t work­ing ei­ther... The gen­der pay gap means this is the last day un­til Jan UK women get paid to work rel­a­tive to men. The gap is greater for BAME and dis­abled women.”

Clare Bald­ing urged her fol­low­ers to share in­for­ma­tion and sup­port each other in work­ing to­wards a fairer so­ci­ety.

“I know ‘liv­ing your best life’ is all the rage but what about ‘liv­ing in your best world’? If the sys­tem is wrong, help change it,” she tweeted.

The gen­der pay gap is said to have a num­ber of fac­tors at play which are key to clos­ing the gap, from pay se­crecy, to women be­ing in lower-paid sec­tors, to tak­ing time off to raise chil­dren.

The Paul Bar­riere Cup has been re­stored by mas­ter crafts­men at Thomas Fat­torini – but the mys­tery of the miss­ing orig­i­nal cock­erel that adorned its lid re­mains.

The TV pre­sen­ter urged her fol­low­ers to work to­wards a fairer so­ci­ety.

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