A rugby club’s annual festival will this year be held in aid of Beating Bowel Cancer in support of one of its long-standing members who is recovering from the disease.

St Neots Charity Festival of Rugby takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, and it will be the fifth the club have organised.

Steve Rook, 51, of Little Paxton, has lived in the area all his life and has played rugby at St Neots for 35 years.

He went to his GP in October last year after having a bout of diarrhoea with blood. A month later he was being operated on to remove a tumour.

Because the cancer was caught early he didn't need to have chemo or radiotherapy.

Steve, who is married with three children, is recovering well. He said: "I was chuffed to hear that the festival is raising money for Beating Bowel Cancer. I found the charity so helpful when I was diagnosed and the website was exceptionally useful.

"I want to do anything I can to raise money and awareness. The festival is a fantastic weekend and I'm so happy for the support the club will be giving to this important charity."

Steve, who teaches IT and is an assistant headteacher at a school in Biggleswade, near Sandy, nearly didn't go to his GP because his symptoms had started to clear up.

"I wasn't thinking I had bowel cancer," he said, "But I knew something wasn't right. Because I went to the doctor straight away the cancer was caught early, but I nearly put it off. The message is 'If there's something wrong then go to the GP, just in case.'"

The Saturday will be the charity day at the festival. As well as rugby, a programme of fun and entertainment has been lined up, including rides, zorbes, music, BBQ and a charity auction.

The Sunday will be the club's annual mini's festival, featuring club's from across the region, which has been running for more than 30 years.

INFORMATION: Volunteers are needed for the Beating Bowel Cancer stall. Anyone who can help should contact

Leanne Sinclair by emailing Leanne.Sinclair@Beatingbowelcancer.org.