ILKLEY Rugby Club say Saturday’s annual Rugby 7s Festival was the ‘best one yet’ following record numbers of money raised and supporters in attendance.

The club, who organise the fundraising event, say that over 1,000 people visited the club to support the cause and although an official figure has not been released yet it could be as much as £14,000.

The event included men’s and women’s competitions with clubs travelling from as far away as Cleveland and the North East to play in the tournaments.

England’s deaf men’s and women’s teams also fielded sides at the event but they came up short in both.

York claimed the women’s prize and in a thrilling men's final, Ilkley made the most of home advantage beating Old Grovians in a local derby.

Rhys Morgan, Head of Rugby at Ilkley, was astonished with the support the club received.

He said: “I was amazed to see the turnout, up to 1,000 people coming down to support the club.

“The money will be channelled back into improving our facilities so that the club is able to provide a real community base for the area.

Morgan was keen to point out that the club's commitment to getting more youngsters into the sport ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

“We have strong links with the Ilkley Grammar School and want to use our facilities to inspire the next generation of kids coming through.

“We work with the school and some of their pupils will ballboy for us on a Saturday, creating an environment so that the young lads and lasses can get into the sport.

“Investment in our facilities from the money raised last weekend gives us the very best chance of doing this.”

The event did not end with the rugby as the club put on a BBQ and a disco in the bar for supporters and players in the tournament.

Ilkley also used the event to ease into the pre-season before their first game of the season against local rivals Otley next month.