Flying wingers to the rescue

North Walsham will be “given wings” by an anonymous guardian angel when they are flown free of charge to an important match in Cornwall.

North Walsham will be “given wings” by an anonymous guardian angel when they are flown free of charge to an important match in Cornwall.

It's been a tough season for North Walsham and the benefactor wants to spare players and officials the “horrendous” 880-mile round trip by road, which is usually spread over three exhausting days.

Instead, a private 50-seater plane is being chartered for them VIP-style from Norwich to Newquay.

The Vikings, bottom of National League Division Three South, face table-topping Mounts Bay in Penzance on December 1.

The benefactor is described as a “club vice-president and North Walsham Rugby Club enthusiast” but has asked for his identity to be kept secret.

Richard Flatters, the rugby club's marketing director, said: “It's usually a horrendously long coach journey, starting on Friday and ending on Sunday, and involves two nights in hotels.

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“Being given our own Eastern Airways plane for the one-hour flights means we can leave Norwich at 10am on Saturday and be back after the game at 8.30 that evening - before closing time.”

About 30 players and coaching staff will travel free, with fans paying for the other 20 seats.

Adrian Goldney, of the club's main sponsor, property group Targetfollow, said: “We've been pleased to support North Walsham RFC this season and were delighted when we heard that someone else had come on board to give the players, coaching staff and fans a real lift.”