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Super League Grand Final set to take place at stadium embroiled in controversy as contract expires

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Grand Finals with the deal with Old Trafford set to expire.

With the likes of Gary Neville and other Manchester United legends being critical of the current state of the famous stadium calling for work to be done on the ground, rugby league fans have echoed this sentiment wanting to see the Grand Final move to a new stadium with Manchester United’s city rivals Manchester City and their Etihad Stadium suggested by many which is of course a former Magic Weekend stadium.

Making matters worse, the club were demoted to a one star food hygiene rating after a mishap saw them serve raw chicken. The club have explained this was a one off and that work was being done to improve this and return to their five star status.

Despite all of this, Serious About Rugby League understands that the Grand Final is set to remain at Old Trafford despite these recent controversies with the RFL and RL Commercial set to agree a deal to keep the Grand Final at the Theatre of Dreams.

The RFL have also gotten behind Oxen’s move to release MND inspired boots to raise money and awareness which we may see worn at the Grand Final this year especially if Leeds Rhinos get there with Lachie Miller wearing a pair against Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.

Oxen, the MND Association, Rob Burrow, Ed Slater and the family of the late Doddie Weir are delighted to officially launch the limited edition MND x OXEN boots!

The boots have been specially designed to help raise awareness and funds for the MND Association with all profits from the sales of the boots being donated to the MND Association.

The boots feature the MND Association logo on both sides of the boot along with the now instantly recognisable orange and blue colour tones of the MND Association around the rear of the boots along the tongue and the laces.

Possibly the most striking aspect of the boot is the uniquely designed sole plate which pays tribute to MND warriors Doddie Weir, Rob Burrow and Ed Slater.

The translucent sole plate features the names of all three players along with their famous shirt numbers of 5 (Weir), 7 (Burrow) and 4 (Slater). The sole plate also features some of the quotes that have been highlighted throughout the awareness and fundraising efforts of all three MND Champions including “In a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream” (Rob Burrow MBE), “Whatever your situation, make the most of each and every day” (Doddie Weir MBE). The boots are strictly limited edition with only 574 pairs being made available.

On the launch of the boot, Rob Burrow MBE said ““I think the boots look great! Oxen have been a tremendous friend to me personally and the MND community since my diagnosis, raising thousands of pounds to support those impacted by MND. I am looking forward to seeing players run out in this boot next season in Super League so we can keep banging the drum.”

Paul Thompson, Director of Fundraising and Communications at My Name’5 Doddie Foundation said: “Doddie Weir, Rob Burrow and Ed Slater have all done a huge amount to raise the profile of motor neuron disease and Oxen’s new rugby boot is a really fitting tribute to the trio. We think that they look great, and would like to thank Oxen for supporting the MND community with this latest collaboration.”

Dominic McDonough from the MND Association commented “We are delighted to be working with the Oxen team again and thank them so much for all of their support, they really do always go above and beyond to support us. These boots are a real game changer and will help us to raise both money and awareness so that we can combat this terrible disease and support those living with MND. The boots look absolutely amazing and they will help to bring us another day closer to a day without MND.”

Tom Burgess who became the first player to wear the boots during the recent International series between England and Tonga said “For me, representing my country is my highest honour but to able to represent a little bit of my father with these boots and honour his legacy was very special. To be able to do it through my job was amazing for me and I know my dad would have loved it.

“I will continue to be an avid ambassador in the fight against MND and for me this was a powerful way to spread awareness of this death sentence disease.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Oxen for help making it happen and sharing our passion to fight against this disease.”

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