• On Wednesday 23 August, O2 hosted a unique event, Wear the Rose Live, which saw over 250 people in attendance and more than 30 lucky fans competing alongside England squad members for a chance to be crowned England’s Unstoppable Fan
  • The O2 became the centre stage for Priority members to compete across a series of challenges, with live music and additional activities for guests to enjoy throughout the day
  • Participants travelled from across the country to attend the event, hosted by O2 ahead of the England Rugby team heading to France next month
  • The event closed with Paul Appleby from Stowmarket, Suffolk, being named the Unstoppable Fan and taking home the prize of a signed shirt as well as free tickets to all of England’s home matches until 2025

After a six-week search to find England Rugby’s most Unstoppable Fan, a winner has been crowned. Paul Appleby, 50, from Stowmarket, Suffolk, beat more than 30 other contenders to claim the title, winning a signed shirt as well as free tickets to every England home game until 2025.

The event, which took place at The O2, saw the presence of the full England squad as well as hosts and rugby legend, Ugo Monye, and TV personality, Sam Quek.

The unique event, Wear the Rose Live, featured more than 30 competitors from across the country with more than 200 family members and friends in the crowd. Competitors ranged from ages 16 to 72 and came from locations stretching across the UK.

Those who competed were tasked with a variety of challenges such as passing, lineout throwing and kicking as well as trying their hand at refereeing – all under the watchful eye of England Rugby’s elite.

Mr Appleby has always followed the England Rugby team and became a qualified referee after getting involved in the game through his role as a teacher.

He said: “I didn’t know what to expect when I entered but I’ve had an unbelievable day – I can’t believe I won and of course all the family had a great time too.”

Maro Itoje, said: “O2’s Wear the Rose Live event is a fantastic and hugely inspirational initiative ahead of travelling to France next month that brings together the players and fans like never before. Seeing so many passionate England Rugby supporters competing alongside us players to become the Unstoppable Fan just shows the support and dedication for the squad and how much the sport, and what we do out on the pitch, means to people.”

Ben Youngs, said: “It’s a brilliant initiative from O2 and we’ve all loved taking part. It’s been inspiring to see such amazing support behind the team just before we leave for France. Congratulations to all who were involved, your support means the world to the team.”

Marcus Smith, said: “Meeting and competing with more than 30 of the most passionate England Rugby fans in a variety of fun-filled challenges has been brilliant – it’s been great to see them put their knowledge to the test, showcase their love of the game and really reveal just how much they know. Everyone here today should feel really proud, and when next month’s tournament gets underway, we hope the fans will be cheering us on and watching how we progress.”

Gareth Griffiths, Director of Partnerships and Sponsorship at Virgin Media O2, said: “To be able to give our customers such a fun and intimate experience with the England squad as they compete together to unveil the Unstoppable Fan ahead of next month’s tournament has been great. Not only does it allow us to demonstrate our unwavering support to the team, but also shows the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities available to Virgin Media and O2 customers via Priority. England fans with O2 can also benefit from inclusive mobile roaming when following the team in France so they can use their phone just as they would at home without any extra roaming charges. We are proud to be the only major mobile provider to offer this incredible benefit to its customers.”

Rugby fans should look out for upcoming Priority offers throughout September and October, as a variety of perks to help them show support for the team are set to go live.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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