Workington Town fan Helen McDowell proved all the doubters wrong as she managed to stay tight lipped for 80 minutes as her side clashed with rivals Whitehaven.

And, in doing so, she has raised more than £1,600 for charity, in memory of former Arlecdon RL junior and Carlisle and Keswick RU player James Addyman.

Watched by members of Mr Addyman’s close family, Mrs McDowell remained silent throughout the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy on Sunday – no mean feat for the vocal supporter.

“Never again,” she laughed at the final whistle. “But I am so proud of myself. I was walking up to the ground and just thinking ‘please don’t shout’. But I did it.”

Whitehaven may have regained the trophy after a late try sealed them a 24-18 win, but for Mrs McDowell the real winner was the Teenage Cancer Trust, where she is donating her money.

And the cash is still rolling in, with £1,610 already pledged and more still to come, with the players also putting their hands in their pockets for a good cause.

Mrs McDowell, 60, of Arlecdon, added: “It was the longest 80 minutes of my life but I am so pleased I did it and that James’ family came along. That really helped me as well.

“It was great knowing that they were behind me all the way.”

Mr Addyman died back in November after a battle with cancer and Mrs McDowell, who remembers him as a junior at Arlecdon, was keen to do her bit to keep his memory alive.

Mr Addyman’s mum, Sue, was at the Recreation Ground to support her and said she was really proud of her efforts.

“I know how hard it was for her to stay silent,” she said. “Her arms were going but she managed not to speak. She was trying really hard.

“She has raised an amazing amount of money and people have been so kind, with money still coming in.

“Things like this just keep James’ memory alive.”

But for Mrs McDowell she is now looking forward to Town’s next match where she can continue her vocal support.

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