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